Archive for the 'Betting' Category


If the early March polling this year is as good a pointer as March 2010 then the outcome is on a knife-edge

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The above chart shows the CON lead in the polls from the first week in March 2010 and compares them with the actual election result nine and a half weeks later.

As can be seen the polling at this stage proved to be a reasonably good pointer and in some cases better than the final polls.

Of course past performance is no guarantee about what’s going to happen but it’s interest to look at.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that five years ago all the betting pointed to a working CON majority – which is not what happened.

Coming up at 4pm the weekly Ashcroft national poll that last week had a LAB lead for the first time in 2015. Will that revert?

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Marf on Jihadi John and the afternoon round-up

Friday, February 27th, 2015


A leading academic forecasting model gives Farage just a 2% chance in South Thanet – Betfair punters have it at 60%

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

It was Tim Montgomerie in today’s Times who alerted me to the forecast for Farage’s South Thanet that has been produced by the 2015 UK Parliamentary Election Forecast – a collaberation between dons at UEA, LSE and Durham. For anyone betting on single seats their site is a gem with percentage probabilities for each party in every single seat.

Except that some of the forecasts just don’t feel right given everything that we know. The Farage battle is a case in point.

    True the headline Ashcroft polling from December had UKIP 1% behind. But the purples were 5% before the reallocation of 2010 CON DKs

That was before Christmas and things have moved on – notably a decline in UKIP poll shares generally.

My view of the seat is as recorded in previous posts. I think Farage has got a battle on his hands and both Labour and the Tories will do everything to generate anti-UKIP tactical voting to their candidates. This is a very tight three way marginal.

My money’s on both the Tories and LAB because of the odds I got – but, realistically, this is a gamble that I won’t be too upset about if I lose.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Turnout’s going to be higher surely on May 7th – but how much higher?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

SPIN opens its GE15 turnout market with 70% the mid-point

Sporting Index, which is sponsoring PB’s GE15 coverage, has put up a range of new spread markets including one on the turnout level. The opening spread is 69.7% – 70.3% making a mid-point of 70%.

If you think that it is going to be higher then you bet on 70.3% and for every percentage point above that level you will receive your initial stake level. So if it was 73.3% and you had bet £50 then you’d win 50 times 3 = £150. If, however, it was 66.3% then you’d be out by a gap of 4 so you would lose four times £50 £200.

With spread bets the more you are right the more you win. Alas it works the opposite if you’ve got it wrong

On this market my sense at the moment is that the opening range is on the high side and that it will be sub-70%. There is a tendency to regard every forthcoming general election as “the most important ever” perhaps over-stating how many voters will actually bother to record their choice.

We saw a big uplift in 2010 but I don’t expect a similar jump this time although I think it will be higher.

One technical factor that might help a higher level is the cleansing of the electoral rolls that has been taking place.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Anybody thinking of betting on the Greens ought to listen first to this interview with the party leader

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015


Betting that Farage won’t do it in Thanet South is starting to look like a good proposition

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

If the edge is coming off the purples Farage might fail

I’ve just caught up with the excellent BBC2 programme that was screened on Sunday night – “Meet the Ukippers” which focuses on Thanet South where Nigel Farage is the party’s candidate. It’s really worth watching and gives a great flavour of the battle that is going on.

The big news story from the programme was the expulsion from the party of a local UKIP councillor for some comments she made about black people. For me, however, the most revealing aspects was the high level of hostility that the UKIP/Farage campaign is attracting.

If ever there was a contest that looked set for tactical voting it is this one. The question is which of Farage’s main opponents stands the beat chance? The Tory candidate is a former UKIP leader which might count against him.

Looking at the polling the really remarkable feature is how close LAB was rated there in the earlier surveys which makes the 11/1 on the party a very attractive bet.

I’m already on both the Tory candidate at 9/2 and 6/1 on LAB and have now taken some more on the red team at what seem to be great odds.

The well funded Al Murray campaign might not attract voters to the Oxford-educated comedian but it stokes up the pot and has the potential to hurt Farage.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Who Will Deliver The First Budget After The May 2015 General Election?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

The Sunday Times are reporting (££) that

Ed Miliband has been urged to demote Ed Balls after the general election, amid simmering tensions in the Labour leadership over how to pay for a cut in university tuition fees.

A shadow cabinet member said if Miliband becomes prime minister he should move the shadow chancellor and accused Balls of behaving with “contempt” towards colleagues and “undermining the leader’s agenda”.

Frontbenchers attacked Balls last night for committing Labour’s two worst gaffes of the election campaign so far.

They said his reputation as a “safe pair of hands” had been shattered when he failed to name a single Labour business backer and told voters they should get a receipt for work done cash in hand, both of which attracted ridicule.

The tensions between the two Eds have been long known, so this isn’t a new thing.

The Sunday Times notes

There is a belief among Miliband’s allies that much of what Balls does is calculated to be of maximum benefit not to the Labour party but to his wife, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary. She is among the favourites to succeed Miliband if he fails to win in May.

Some think Miliband should remove Balls from the Treasury if he wins. A shadow minister said: “Ed M will be in a strong position because he will have won when some people have written him off. He’ll be in a position to get rid of people who have not been loyal.”

On current polling, Labour will be the largest party in May, which should theoretically allow them to form the next government and provide the Chancellor of the Exchequer after the  election, at the time of writing, William Hill had a market up on Who Will Deliver The First Budget After The May 2015 General Election?

On the basis of this story some might wish to back Chuka Ummuna and Rachel Reeves at 7/1 and 14/1 respectively, it is a shame that Andy Burnham isn’t quoted. But if you think Ed Miliband will follow Lyndon Baines Johnson maxim on dealing with difficult colleagues Ed Balls is 11/8.



Just one poll in past 17 has CON lead yet Tories winning most seats becomes an even tighter favourite on Betfair

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Am I missing something here? Discuss

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble