Archive for April, 2005

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Balance of Money Predictions – April 30

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

  • Predicted Labour majority 78 seat (nc)
  • Predicted vote shares LAB 37.3 ( -0.3) : CON 33.6 (+0.2): LD 22 (+0.1)
  • The spread markets are based on all-UK figures while the opinion polls report their figures on a GB basis excluding Northern Ireland and the latter are roughly 0.97 of the former. So a Labour spread of 37-37.5% equates roughly to 38.1%-38.6% when comparing with an opinion poll.

    The regular BALANCE OF MONEY predictions are based on how spread betting gamblers are investing their money on all the main UK markets from Spreadfair, IG Index, and Sporting Index.

    A full round-up of all General Election Betting is available here

    HELPING POLITICALBETTING This is not a commercial site and is operated by my son Robert and I for what we describe as “fun”. With the massive increase in traffic we have huge bandwidth costs and we are hoping to be able to defray at least part of these from commissions we get from bookmakers. We would be grateful if you could use the links on the site and to mention Politicalbetting if you are opening an account. Many thanks.

    Mike Smithson



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    The Sunday Poll Rush

    Saturday, April 30th, 2005

    First up tonight is Communicate Research in the Indpendent on Sunday which has LAB 39 (-1): CON 31 (-4): LD 23 (+5).

    Next Thursday will be the first time CR has been tested against real results. It remains to be seen whether it can perform better than the pollster the Indy on Sunday used four years ago, Rasmussen, which with its automated phone methodology was the only firm to get the Tories right and got the Labour margin within 2%. All the others underestimated William Hague’s party. CR do not weight by past vote recall and until they introduced party prompts three weeks ago reported the lowest LD shares.

    Second up is YouGov with LAB 36 (nc) : CON 33 (+1): LD 23 (-1) . So the only change since Friday has been a slight shift from the LDs to the Tories.

    Although the embryonic YouGov did carry out polls for the 2001 General Election this will be the first major UK test for the internet-based firm which is so often criticised by other pollsters. Until now, however, whenever it has been tested in UK elections it has come out pretty well. This is not its final polls and perhaps two more surveys are expected before polling day.

    Third up is ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph which has LAB 39 (-1): CON 31 (-2): LD 22 (+2) so unlike YouGov a move from the Tories to the Lib Dems.

    ICM’s final poll in 2001 had an 11% Labour lead compared with the 9.3% that actually happened. Another ICM poll started at the same time with a larger sample had a 17% Labour lead. The pollster has not carried out any surveys since 2001 when it could be compared with real results. Further ICM polls are expected before polling day.

    My big bet – several hundred a percentage point on a spread selling Labour at the equivalent of 38.6% – looks pretty good. Two polls showing Labour down a notch to 39% and the third showing no change.

    Mike Smithson



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    Betting for and against the opinion polls

    Saturday, April 30th, 2005

      Betting on votes – not seats

    With Labour’s victory being almost as big a certainty as Sunderland South being the first seat to declare there’s increasing interest in the party vote share markets where you do not have to factor in the complicated and varied considerations about how the seats will divide.

    And it is here that you can bet for or against the findings of specific opinion pollsters. If you think that YouGov are predicting this one best then there might be money to be made. The ICM figures also give some possibilities to gamblers.

    But be warned. The spread markets are based on all-UK figures while the opinion polls report their figures on a GB basis excluding Northern Ireland and the latter are roughly 0.97 of the former. So IG’s current Labour spread of 37-37.5% equates roughly to 38.1%-38.6% when comparing with an opinion poll.

    If you think that YouGov is calling this right then a sell bet on Labour would be profitable. If you are an ICM fan then there would be money to be made with a buy bet, given that their last Labour share was 40%.

    Labour vote share IG Index 37-37.5%: Sporting Index 37-37.75%: Spreadfair 37-37.7%

    Tory vote share IG Index 33-33.5%: Sporting Index 33-33.75%: Spreadfair 33.5-34%

    Lib Dem vote share IG Index 22-22.5% : Sporting Index 21.5-22.25%: Spreadfair 21.5- 22.2%

    MY BETTING: I have just placed a big sell bet on Labour with IG at 37.5%. This equated to a GB figure of 38.6% and means that I am a winner unless the equivalent of at least 13 out of 14 Labour supporters of 2001 stick with the party. Unfortunately a short time after I had placed the bet the firm reduced the spread by 0.5% making it much less value. This was my biggest bet so far and after being a big critic of the pollsters for always over-stating Labour I am at least putting my money where my mouth is.

    Mike Smithson



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    Is Labour’s “Vote Kennedy – Get Howard” warning true?

    Saturday, April 30th, 2005

      Could the small circulation Indy have an impact?

    With the Independent looking set to endorse the Lib Dems on Thursday today’s splash lead seeks to undermine Labour’s core strategy for dealing with the Lib Dem threat.

    The above is the front page that’s in the shops this morning and might well have an influence beyond the few hundred thousand who buy the paper each day. The story is very clear and could make Labour’s task in the final few days that much harder.

    The paper reports …..Labour’s attempts to warn its wavering supporters that a vote for the Liberal Democrats could allow Michael Howard into No. 10 “by the back door” was undermined yesterday in a detailed study carried out for The Independent. The study found that a swing of 11.5 per cent from Labour voters to the Liberal Democrats could deprive Mr Blair of his overall Commons majority but it would be virtually impossible for such defections – at even twice that rate – to let in the Conservatives to form a government.

    John Curtice, the respected psephologist and professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who carried out the analysis, said: “Labour’s claim that switching from Labour to the Liberal Democrats could enable Mr Howard to win the election is highly misleading.” Professor Curtice said: “It is even highly unlikely any swing could result in the Conservatives becoming the largest party. The most likely consequence of any large switch from Labour to the Liberal Democrats is simply nobody would have an overall majority.” His study came as Labour sought to deflect attention from the row over the war in Iraq, with cabinet ministers raising the spectre of a Tory victory – made possible by disenchanted Labour voters deserting for Charles Kennedy’s party.

    For months we have been arguing that Labour’s approach to this challenge was flawed simply because it is not true and the continued poor poll ratings for Michael Howard have just reinforced this. The alternatives to a large Labour majority are a small Labour majority or a hung parliament.

    As we get closer to “make you mind up time” the Curtice report in the article could frame the way this issue is debated and presented on radio and TV.

    BET OF DAY. You can get 12/1 against a hung parliament. Although we think a Labour majority is the most likely outcome the chance of a hung parliament is better than 12/1 and this is good value.

    NOVELTY BET OF THE DAYDate of next election. . You can get 6/1 against it being before 2009. This price seems good because a consequence of a close result could be another General Election soon afterwards.

    Mike Smithson



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    The Balance of Money Predictions – April 29

    Friday, April 29th, 2005

  • Predicted Labour majority 78 seat (+2)
  • Predicted vote shares LAB 37.6 ( -0.1) : CON 33.4 (-0.3): LD 21.9 (+0.2)
  • Today’s bet of the day - the 5/1 against the Tories getting most votes – has now been tightened to 7/2.
  • The regular BALANCE OF MONEY predictions are based on how spread betting gamblers are investing their money on all the main UK markets from Spreadfair, IG Index, and Sporting Index. Please note that the vote share markets are based on the total UK figures unlike the polls which operate on a GB basis. The latter is about 0.97 of the former.

    A full round-up of all General Election Betting is available here

    Mike Smithson



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    The money goes on Charles

    Friday, April 29th, 2005

    bbc

      Can the Lib Dems get more than 69 MPs?

    After a week which has seen the defection of veteran Labour MP Brian Sedgemore , the publication of the Attorney-General’s advice on the legality of the war, and the appearance of the three main party leaders on BBC’s Question Time special political gamblers have started backing the Liberal Democrats in earnest. The spread-betting price has edged up and now stands with IG Index at 66-69 seats

    SPREAD-BETTING EXPLAINED. For those unfamiliar with this form of betting you can either “buy” or “sell” at the price quoted. If you “buy” and Charles Kennedy’s party ends up with, say, 86 MPs the your winnings are calculated according to this simple formula. (Actual number of LD MPs elected) minus (the “buy” level at which you placed the bet) multiplied by (Your stake level). So if you bet had been £10 a seat your winnings would be £170. If the party get less than the level you “bought” at then your losses are calculated according to the same formula.

    So with spread-betting the more you are right the more you win and the more you are wrong the more you lose. The potential to lose a lot of money is quite high and it is wise the to assess the full downside before placing a bet.

    Getting the right price is very important and you should compare carefully what is on offer from the three main spread markets that we feature. You should note that Cantor Spreadfair is a betting exchange and the amount you can bet is limited to what other punters are prepared to bet with you. The spreads are usually smaller but a commission is levied on winnings.

    Lib Dem spreads: IG Index 66-69 : Sporting Index 65-68: Spreadfair 65.4-65.9

    Labour spreads: IG Index 359-364: Sporting Index 360-364: Spreadfair 362 – 362.5

    Tory spreads: IG Index 189-194: Sporting Index 188-192: Spreadfair 191.5 – 192.5

    SNP spreads: IG Index 5.1-5.4 Sporting Index 5.1-5.4 Spreadfair 5.1- 5.3

    Plaid Cymru spreads: IG Index 4.4-4.7 Sporting Index 4.3 -4.6 Spreadfair 4.4 -4.5

    PLEASE help us keep the site going by using the links and mentioning Politicalbetting if you open an account. This is not a commercial site and we are looking to commissions we are paid to help defray some of our rising costs. Many thanks.

    Mike Smithson



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    Prize worth £1,000 offered for our competition

    Friday, April 29th, 2005


    I was hoping that our final General Election competition would have been published yesterday but other pressures have put this back until the weekend.

    In the meantime Binarybet.com have told us that “we will be delighted to offer an account with £1000 cash in it to the winner of your competition. If the winner already has a Binary account, then we will deposit £1000 into it.

    Binarybet.com
    will be delighted to offer an account with £1000 cash in it to the winner of your competition. If the winner already has a Binary account, then we will deposit £1000 into it. Binarybet, part of the IG group, has a range of interesting General Election markets not found elsewhere.

    One that we like is who will be Prime Minister after the election? Gordon Brown is 32/1 which could be worth a punt. There is also a good “Tartan Tories” market where you can bet for or against the party winning a number of MPs.

    PLEASE use the links if making a bet or opening an account. The commissions we receive are our only income source and the site is running at a big loss.

    Mike Smithson



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    Will the final week rule hold?

    Friday, April 29th, 2005

      Can it get better for Howard in the final phase?

    With YouGov’s latest survey this morning showing the Tories still four points behind could there be some consolation for the Tories in the “final week rule”.

    This is that the party in second place in the polls at the start of the final week improves by polling day – a factor that is said to have happened in all but one election of modern times.

    This could be helped by the publication of the Attorney-General’s Iraq War advice which could reinforce switching from wavering Labour supporters to the Liberal Democrats – a move which in itself could produce more seats for the Tories.

      But the overwhelming factor in this election is whether Labour supporters will turn out and things like the war developments and the apparent certainty of a Labour victory will not help.

    While we think that Labour’s vote will hold up better in its marginals the overall national share will suffer by very low turnouts in the 300 seats in this election that do not matter – Labour’s strongholds.

    Our bet of the day. One bet that looks very interesting is the 5/1 you can get against the Tories winning the popular vote. Although we think that Labour will end up with more votes it is certainly not a 5/1 shot and a bet at this price looks great value for money.

    The figures from the YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph are LAB 36 (-1): CON 32 (-1): LD 24 . The internet pollster continues to show the highest shares for the Lib Dems.

    MORE BETTING MARKETS As well as the markets on the marginals a new series has just been launched on how each party will do in high profile seats. The full General Election Betting Round-up is here.

  • The site will be featured again on the ITV News Channel this morning – probably just after 9.30 am.
    • Please use the links if you are betting and remember to mention Politicalbetting if you open an account. This is our only form of income and the site currently runs at a big loss.

    Mike Smithson