Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

These don’t appear to be the actions of a PM confident of winning the referendum

Typo alert – The below tweet I think he means Foreign Sec, I hope



Sadiq Khan 20% ahead of Goldsmith according to Survation phone poll

Friday, April 29th, 2016


So on the face of it a great poll for Sadiq Khan, Labour, Corbyn and those PBers who got on the Labour man at 33/1 in March 2103 when Henry G Manson tipped him.

But the survey took place before the blow up involving the last LAB mayor of London, Ken Livingston and phone polls have not had a good record on London Mayoral contests.

Of the 2012 final polls the least accurate was the only phone survey.

There’s also an issue that Labour voters might be less likely to turnout given it looks like a foregone conclusion.

Just in case I’ve been laying off large parts of my 2013 Sadiq bet at odds of up to 17/1 on Betfair so I’m certain of a substantial pay day next Friday whatever happens.

Mike Smithson


Choosing Cameron’s successor – the process and the possibles

Thursday, April 28th, 2016


Alastair Meeks thinks they’ll select in completely the wrong way

Epigone is an underused word.  Originating from the ancient Greek for “offspring”, it means “undistinguished successor”, referring to the sons of the Seven Against Thebes who sought to avenge their fathers.

Politics is littered with epigoni.  Margaret Thatcher was followed by John Major, who had imbibed the economics but lacked the lustre.  John Major was followed by William Hague, who lacked not just the lustre but also the gravitas.  William Hague was followed by Iain Duncan Smith, who lacked not just the gravitas but any concept of strategy.  When he was replaced by Michael Howard, the Conservative party was in danger of disappearing up its own fundament.

The same point can be illustrated through Labour.  Tony Blair was followed by Gordon Brown, who had spent so long craving the top job that he had forgotten why he wanted it.  Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn further demonstrated the law of diminishing returns, with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour exploring the concept of a political party without a functioning hierarchy.  Labour can be expected to recover at some point but long is the way and hard.

In each case the successor was chosen to address some of the perceived weaknesses of the previous leader (in the case of John Major, the ability to unite the party; in the case of William Hague, the ability to unite the party; and in the case of Iain Duncan Smith, the ability to soothe the party’s soul) and in each case the selection process overlooked some of the previous leader’s compensating virtues.

The Conservative party will shortly be required to select a new leader.  They will select in large part on the basis of addressing perceived flaws in the current leader.  So where does David Cameron apparently go wrong?

When David Cameron steps down, whether sooner or later, he will leave a divided and unhappy party behind him.  Many Conservatives think he is insufficiently reliably Conservative and more think he is insufficiently Eurosceptic.  There is no shortage of Conservative MPs who think that he pays insufficient regard to their opinions.  So if one is drawing up an identikit of the next Conservative leader, anyone who is perceived to be trustworthy, Eurosceptic, old school Conservative, a unifier and consultative is going to be off to a flying start.

What does that mean for the betting?  It means that those who trade off their star quality rather than their ideology or who seem careerist are under a serious handicap.  Those who are seen as pivotal in the EU referendum debate on either side (but especially on the Remain side) will find it hard to present themselves as a unity candidate.

None of the front rank candidates clear all these hurdles but some clear more than most.  Boris Johnson hits every single one.  Yet he is currently the front runner in the betting.  He is in with a shout (and a considerably better one than George Osborne, who remains far too short) but he looks less likely than Michael Gove or Theresa May. Jeremy Hunt or Philip Hammond would also meet the required negative attributes better than Boris Johnson if they decide to throw their hats in the ring.

If David Cameron stands down in a couple of years’ time, there will be new contenders to reckon with who will look less sullied than Boris Johnson.  If David Cameron has kept him out of the Cabinet (or given him a menial role) and his period as London Mayor has waned in the public memory, he will look like a much longer shot.   Boris Johnson’s poor referendum campaign means that he is now a clear lay.  I have bet accordingly.

But the Conservatives will go about selecting a leader in completely the wrong way (in fairness, all political parties usually make the same mistake).  As stated above, they are likely to pick their next leader on the basis that he or she does not have faults that David Cameron has – in other words, for what they aren’t rather than for what they are.  When you look at the political leaders who really stood out, they are remembered for their positive attributes.  It would be better to select a leader for those attributes in the first place.  Then we would have rather fewer epigoni.

Alastair Meeks


We haven’t seen any post-Obama but punters are moving to IN

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016


Trump set for big victory in New York – Hillary projected to win Dems race

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016


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Live GOP nominee betting

Live betting – Winner 2016 White House Race


And so the 2016 White House Race moves to delegate-rich New York

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016


Trump and Clinton look set to win but it’s all about delegates

In recent days there’s been a big improvement in Trump’s betting position following his disappointment in Wisconsin two weeks when he dropped to below a 50%.

Here in New York it’s all about delegates in the GOP race where Trump needs to win as many of the 27 congressional as possible. Overall in the state there are 95 delegates at stake.A total of 1237, as we keep on saying, are requred to be sure of the nomination.

He’s been over the 50% mark in most polls and ideally Trump needs all of the 95 – the big question will be how far short he is.

In the Democratic Race Hillary Clinton needs a solid win in the state where she used to be a Senator. Things have gone a bit sour of late and clear victory would stead the nerves.

Mike Smithson


Punters think that Sadiq’s still on course for victory following last night’s TV debate

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Under the moderation of Andrew Neil the five main contenders in the London Mayoral race took part in the big TV set piece of the election last night.

In his normal manner Neil was pretty tough on all of them but I don’t think know it will have an impact on the direction of the race.

Khan was pressed hard on the allegations of extremist links which he handled competently. Goldsmith vigorously denied that he’d been running a smear campaign.

Zac’s big negative is that he’s perceived to be filthy rich and therefore out of touch with the needs of ordinary Londoner. He was pressed on what he thought th price of an affordable home in the capital was which he managed to sidestep.

The Green, UKIP and LD contenders got much less time with the focus being on Zac and Sadiq.

The betting suggests that Khan retained his front runner status not doing himself any harm.

The only thing that will move the markets now will be the polling which have remained pretty solidly with Khan.

Those who took the March 2013 PB tip to get on Sadiq when he was 33/1 can feel a little bit more relaxed. It’s looking reasonably OK.

Mike Smithson


The punters at Betfair think Remain have this in the bag

Sunday, April 17th, 2016



But here’s a reminder that betting markets aren’t infallible.