Archive for the 'Betting' Category


The polls have the battle broadly tied – the spread betting markets have a CON 19 seat lead

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Can we expect a proper cross-over in the final 17 days?


Tories a 64% chance on Betfair to win most seats but Mliband and Cameron level-pegging on who’ll be the post-election PM

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Meanwhile I like this new SPIN market which I suggested to the firm after someone posted the idea on a previous thread. Quite hard to think through the permutations given that 1 is a given.

Tonight I’m expecting the ICM Wisdom Index in the Sunday Telegraph and the usual Opinium and YouGov polls. O’m not aware of any other at the moment.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


For the second weekend in a row UKIP are accused of burying a poll that shows them losing a seat they are expected to win

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Will Reckless’ decision to defect turn out to be a reckless one?

This polling doesn’t come as a surprise, prior to the by-election last year, Lord Ashcroft’s polling found Reckless winning the by-election but losing at the general election.

It does fit in with the wider political narrative, such as last night’s Opinium, UKIP hitting a low that they last achieved in 2011.

Right now, if you think UKIP are going to flatter to deceive come May the 7th, you can get 7/2 on UKIP winning just one seat, as Douglas Carswell is in my opinion is going to win Clacton comfortably.

It maybe that UKIP do better in other seats, as has been noted,  Farage is a divisive figure, whilst Mark Reckless has earned the ire of many Tories, for the timing of his defection.

The Tories are 4/5 to take Rochester and Strood itself and UKIP are 11/10.

Some PBers may wish to exercise caution until we see the data tables from this poll.



My favourite GE15 spread bet: That there’ll be a CON margin on seats of fewer than 12

Friday, April 10th, 2015

SPIN trend

Betting sentiment remains solidly with CON double digit seat margin

The chart shows the trend on the Sporting Index commons seats spread market over the past few months and as can be seen the Tories have opened a double digit lead which has remained for some weeks. Even yesterday’s poor polls for the Tories did not have much impact.

As well as the straight total seats betting as seen above there’s another market I like – CON supremacy over LAB. The terms are

    A prediction on the total number of seats won by one party versus another party at the UK General Election. Note: This market can have a negative result and is a supremacy market where the favourite is listed first and the underdog second.”

My bet is a sell at 12 seats which has now edged down to 9. What this means is that I’m a winner if the eventual margin is fewer than 12 seats – the actual level of my return dependent on the final gap. So if LAB ended up 20 ahead I’d make 20+12=32 multiplied by the stake level.

If my prediction is wrong and the Tories, shall we say, end up 20 ahead then my losses would be 20 minus the bet level (12) multiplied by the stake level. So at, say, £20 a unit (which is not what I’ve bet) I’d lose £160.

I’ve gone in to this market rather than the total seats because the gap is more interesting and a big unknown is how many seats the non-main two parties will end up with.

With spread betting the more you are right the more you win and the more that you are wrong the more you lose. So the most important first step is to work out the down-side risk. What’s the most you can lose and in this case I can’t envisage the circumstances in which the Tories are more than 30 seats ahead – in which case my loss would be 18 units.

There can be quite heavy potential losses with spread betting if you call it wrong as I found in 2001 when I made the assumption on election day that the reported very low turnout would favour CON more than LAB. That remains my biggest ever gambling loss.

My latest bet is hopefully more than covered by my debate bet on Sturgeon a week ago when I came away with a 35 unit win on which leader would poll best.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Interesting betting on Scotland just opened

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

I am selling the turnout which just looks far too high. I can’t decide on the LAB/SNP seats yet because a lot could happen but I do believe LAB’s losses have been maxed out


The debate: The post mortem continues

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

debate15postmortem (1)

The notion that betting’s a good pointer to political outcomes got thwacked last night


One of the things I keep on getting asked is whether betting markets are good pointer to political outcomes. Well last night we might have had an answer.

Right throughout the event and on the Betfair exchange the money was going on Nigel Farage who became a very tight odds-on favourite. This is what Ladbrokes Shadsy writes on his blog:-

“..on the YouGov poll that Ladbrokes used to settle the winner, Sturgeon got it. If we’d have gone with other pollsters we’d have paid out on a different winner, mostly Miliband. She was 8/1 at the start, came in for a little bit of support during the first half but then her odds really tumbled in the last 20 minutes, and she was 2/1 when it came to a close.

It was interesting to see Farage’s odds come in very dramatically, very early in the debate. About 20 minutes in we were taking money on him at 2/5, which seemed odd, given that he was putting on a decent show in his normal style and no more than that…”

Whenever I’m asked about the predictive qualities of political betting I point out that favourites don’t always win and sometimes can get very overstated.

People don’t bet on politics to provide a predictive tool – they do it to back the their judgement in order to make money. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are not.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


CON retains its TNS 1% lead, encouraging YouGov ratings news for Ed, and the CON spread lead moves up to 14

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The second morning of GE2015

TNS, with its new online polling series, becomes the first internet firm since the Paxo events to report a CON lead, albeit a small one.

The LAB camp, meanwhile, will take some heart from the range of EdM findings featured above. The key thing here is the direction they are going. “Would he be up to the job of being PM?” – was 23 to 59 in February while the latest has that at 30 to 45. The recovery seems to be all coming from LAB voters who now back their man by 79% to 9.

I’ve long taken the view that Ed ratings amongst those who support the party are a good pointer. Labour’s got to maximise its vote on May 7th if it has to have a chance then faith in the leadership amongst party voters is key.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The official campaign Day 1: The line-up for Thursday night and an interesting betting market for the 7 sided event

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The line up on the stage was decided by lots being drawn this morning. It is hard to work out who has come out best. Farage has Clegg on his left and Miliband on his right though he’s some way along from Cameron.

My guess is that Farage would have preferred to be closer, if not next to, Cameron. Sturgeon has done well – directly next to Dave.

Ed is centre stage – that might be good and it might be bad. Cameron will be please to be some places away from Farage. My betting tip, Leanne, is in a good poistion given her main opponent in Wales is Labour.

The SportingIndex betting market is intriguing.

Polling: Populus had LAB & CON level pegging and this afternoon at 4pm we’ll get the weekly Ashcroft poll. There’ll be a round up later.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble