Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Paul Nuttall’s doing the right thing by seeking to join Carswell in the Commons at the first opportunity

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017


This could be a tight 4 way contest

The main non-BREXIT UK political news during the day has been that UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall, looks all set to become candidate in the Stoke Central by-election – the seat being made vacant by the Tristram Hunt departure. On Betfair the development has caused UKIP chances to move from 29% to 31%

At GE2015 the purples beat the Tories by 33 votes into second place there and look to be in a reasonable position to contest it. There’s no doubt that with the leader flying the flag UKIP would put absolutely everything into it.

I admire Nuttall’s decision because he’s ready to take a gamble. I always thought that Farage made a mistake in 2013 not being candidate in Eastleigh where he had stood previously.

But there’s no question that he has a major challenge on his hands. Labour will be working very hard to defend the seat; the Lib Dems, who were runners-up in 2005 and 2010 are on a roll when it comes to by-elections and carry the pro EU message, and of course, the Tories might fancy their chances.

Another risk is that it is almost certain that there’ll be a big stop UKIP move with one or two of the other parties trying to argue that only they can stop the purples  from advancing. The fact that UKIP will be running a high profile campaign could increase turnout across the board.

UKIP do have a councillor  on Stoke City Council which suggests that they have some form of organisation.

A lot is going to depend on the timing and, of course, how BREXIT  looks at the time of the vote.


Mike Smithson


My 66/1 long-shot bet for the 2020 White House race: Democratic Senator Kamala Harris from California

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Could she be the one to take down Trump?

With Trump’s inauguration taking place on Friday there’s been a flurry of betting activity on the newly elected Senator from California, Kamala Harris, for the next White House Race in 2020. This followed a lot of coverage of her part in fighting against Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

In November she became the second black woman and first Indian American elected to serve in the Senate. She’s a former Attorney-General for California and is the daughter of an Indian-American mother and Jamaican-American father.

As I’ve found in the past it can pleasurable and profitable backing a long-shot three to four years out and watching their progress. Occasionally you might back a winner.

My reading of the Democratic party 2020 race is that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will simply be too old to contemplate running. Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren (15/2) is currently favourite and she’s likely to play a big part in her party’s opposition to the incoming president. She was strongly tipped to run last year but didn’t. Maybe 2016 was her best chance.

Michelle Obama (8/1) is also being tipped but somehow I can’t see her taking the plunge.

For bets that won’t mature for nearly four years I like long-shots and have 53 year old Harris at 66/1 for the Presidency and 40/1 for the nomination. As I write these odds are still available and might be worth a punt.

Mike Smithson


Punters rate UKIP as a 29% chance in Stoke Central. A chance for Paul Nuttall?

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Betting interest in the Copeland and Stoke by elections is starting to grow even though the sitting MPs have yet to resign.

The Copeland man, is off to join the Sellafield nuclear Centre and that’s expected to take place at the end of this month.

My guess is that Labour strategists will try to hold both by elections on May the 4th when there are the local elections as well as the string of contests for the elected mayors in the new English combined authorities. This will mean that many activists of other parties will be tied up on their home patches thus, LAB will hope, decreasing their campaigning capabilities in the Westminster by-elections.

On the face of it the Tories stand a good chance in Copeland and, indeed, are odds on betting favourite. In Stoke Central UKIP came second last time and there is a lot of hope within the purples that they can do it.

The Lib Dems, flush with their successes in recent Westminster and local by elections, are fired up and my sense that they’ll making Stoke the priority rather than Copeland if they are held on the same day. They have the benefit of having been in second place in 2005 and 2010 and also have held Council seats in the CITY.

Interestingly one of the Lib Dems’ leading campaigners, the man who masterminded the Sleaford and Hykeham north effort in which the yellows pushed  Labour into 4th place, is from Stoke, was a councillor there and was the candidate at GE2005 when he came second.

This would seem to be ideal seat for the new UKIP leader, Paul  Nuttall who clearly is hoping that under his leadership UKIP can pull up pull off a first past the post by-election victory for the first time without a defector/incumbent.

I’m waiting to see who the candidates are before placing any more bets.

Mike Smithson


Want to bet on footage of that golden shower appearing on a porn site? Yes WEE Can

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Paddy Power have some Donald Trump specials up, to be honest most of these appear to be taking the piss, as it were, and serve to act as an excellent way to contribute to Paddy Power’s bonus fund.

For example take the bet on the golden shower footage to appear on porn website ‘RedTube’, not being an expert (sexpert?) on niche websites like this, I believe there are many many many more websites of this nature on the internet, that the footage could end up on, that alone makes it an unattractive bet even before you consider the subject material.

The only bet if I was forced to choose would be the 7/4 on Trump NOT to complete his first term in office, because Ladbrokes are offering 11/10 on Trump to leave office via impeachment or resignation before end of 1st term (which doesn’t cover all the possibilities as the Paddy Power bet, such as Section IV of the XXV Amendment being enacted.)

Speaking of Ladbrokes, they also have a few Trump specials

The one I’m backing is the 1/25 on Trump to be inaugurated on the 20th of January. Yes I’m aware a 1/25 tip is likely to be the shortest priced tip in the thirteen years of PB but with interest rates of 0.25 per cent, a 4 per cent return in five days seems very good.

Despite the best efforts of an alumnus of the finest university in the world, Trump will be inaugurated, the only circumstances that prevent him being inaugurated will make it unlikely you’ll be paid out on the other side of the bet, circumstances like nuclear war, a pandemic, the rapture, or the zombie apocalypse, those type of things.



Now you can bet on how many LAB MPs will quit as during 2017

Saturday, January 14th, 2017


Interesting new betting market up from William Hill on how many LAB MPs will quit the Commons this year. The bar has been set at six which seems reasonable given that we know about Copeland, Tristram Hunt and Andy Burnham’s promise to resign if he’s elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester.

There are lots of rumours circulating about other possibly escapees from the PLP and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw other developments in the next few days.

The Parliamentary Labour Party has not been a happy place since September 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader. Less than seven months ago Labour MPs by 80% to 20% voted against Mr Corbyn in a motion of confidence. Corbyn has hung on since then.

What is causing disquiet for many MPs is the prospect of the boundary review and the impact that is likely to have on their continued presence in the House of Commons after the next election. Both Copeland and Stoke Central were due to be seriously affected by the review and it was no surprise that the sitting MPs feared  for the selection process that was likely to happen if they’d have wanted to stay.

On top of that there must be many MPs whose sole reason for being in politics is that they aspire  to ministerial office and can now see no future for Labour under Mr Corbyn.

There are others who have felt deeply uncomfortable by some of the policy positions espoused by the current leader a particularly on international matters,  defence and BREXIT. Corbyn’s clumsy handling of the anti-Semitism issue hasn’t helped either.

So a further four MPs on top of the three that we already know about seems a reasonable total and the bet looks value.

Mike Smithson


Copeland is still the better bet for the Lib Dems

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

But will they be distracted by Stoke Central?

The Tories love governing, Labour loves protesting and the Lib Dem love winning elections. With the return to form of the Lib Dems in gaining by-elections, all is now once again well with the world. They might still be languishing in fourth place in the national polls but in actual elections, Farron’s party has been performing admirably well over the last year and in particular over the last few months.

Thursday produced two more spectacular examples in local by-elections, where they gained one seat from the Conservatives on a 23% swing in Hertfordshire, and another from Labour in Sunderland (from fourth) on a swing of no less than 35%. This ties in with a tweet I saw this week from Glen O’Hara that traditionally Labour voters are very much considering the Lib Dems as an alternative. Obviously, we should be wary of reading too much into two by-elections, never mind a single tweet, particularly when the national polls indicate only a modest Lib Dem recovery. Even so, the runes are there to be read.

Which begs the question: can they follow up on their gain in Richmond Park with another Westminster gain? Neither upcoming contest looks particularly fertile ground on the face of it. The Lib Dems lost their deposit in both seats, finishing fourth in Copeland and fifth in Stoke. Only twice in British history has a party won a by-election from fourth or lower (the SNP in Glasgow Govan in 1988 and George Galloway for Respect in Bradford West in 2012). However, these are strange times and both seats do offer opportunities.

In Stoke, the Lib Dems have the stronger history to fall back on. They finished second in 2005 and 2010, and although they lost most of their votes in 2015, they lost them to Labour. If a substantial Lab-LD swing is now taking place or at least there to be won, then unless Labour can recover the votes they themselves lost to UKIP, they could easily be vulnerable to whichever party established itself as the main challenger. However, their second places were not particularly strong: their best vote share was 21.7% in 2010, which was still 17% behind Labour and below their national average that year.

On the other hand, while the Lib Dems have a much weaker record in Copeland, they have two advantages (one of which may yet also apply to Stoke). Firstly, both Tories and Labour look to be running entirely negative campaigns, with Labour attacking the Conservatives over NHS concerns (which has some local resonance), and the Tories going on Corbyn and his anti-nuclear stance. The problem there is that in a two- (or more) party system, mutual negative campaigning can simply depress the votes of both parties that engage in it, to the benefit of a third party.

And that third party is the Lib Dems. Their toxicity from the Coalition years is clearly declining. They are once again becoming the ‘none of the above’ party in small FPTP elections where they can focus a campaign, which is something UKIP struggles to do. With UKIP having won a referendum and lost a role, with Labour suffering under catastrophic leadership, and with the Tories a little unsteady under a defensive and cautious May, the door has again opened to the Lib Dems everywhere outside of Scotland.

The second and more certain point about Copeland is that it’s very, very remote. It’s a trek for someone living in Greater Manchester, never mind the South. Local resources will matter more than in most by-elections, particularly with Stoke a more accessible alternative for MPs to help out in. Although the Lib Dems have little presence in Copeland itself, they have plenty in neighbouring Westmorland & Lonsdale: Tim Farron’s constituency (though even that isn’t particularly close to most Copeland voters).

What of the Lib Dems’ European stance? Won’t this be a disadvantage in two strongly Leave seats? To an extent, yes, but only to an extent. The reality is that there were plenty of Remain voters too, even in Leave seats. More relevantly, Brexit won’t be the only issue. If the Lib Dems can establish themselves as a clean alternative to the parties throwing mud, they have a chance to do something extraordinary.

But only in one of the seats. By-elections are labour-intensive and expensive (even more so when the MP future-dates his resignation). All parties except Labour have a choice to make about which to prioritise but the Lib Dems most of all. After all, winning by-elections is what they’re about. Copeland, where they’re up to 50/1 should be that choice.

David Herdson


Labour’s challenge in retaining Stoke Central is equal if not greater than in Copeland

Friday, January 13th, 2017

I was one of the lucky ones and managed to get £20 on the LDs at Ladbrokes Stoke Central market when the odds were 50/1. That’s now moved in sharply to 7/1 which I think is still reasonable value.

Labour must be favourite though this could be very challenging. The party is less effective on the ground since JC and his team arrived. The massive increase in members does not appear to have added to the party’s ability to fight elections. Some specifics on Stoke:

TURNOUT: At GE2015 fewer than half the electors in Stoke Central turned out to vote which was the lowest in the entire country. Based on this my reckoning is that the by-election turnout will be in the region of 28%-33% which means that the most effective campaigns can have real advantages. This will be about foot-soldiers on the ground..

BREXIT VOTE. Although Stoke went strongly for LEAVE we cannot assume that those voting in the by-election will split with the same proportions. The lower the by-election turnout, I’d suggest, the greater the proportion of REMAINERS voting in the by-election.

LOCATION Unlike Copeland Stoke is extremely well served by rail and road. It is just off the M6 and A50, only 84 minutes from Euston and 34 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly. This means that all parties will be able to flood activists into the area for the critical 4-5 weeks of the campaign.

Given UKIP’s second place last time Nuttall’s party should be in a position to do well eating into both the CON and LAB support bases. The question is how far the LAB vote will be cut down from the 39% at GE2015. My guess is that there’ll be a real fight between CON and UKIP to establish them as the best choice for leavers.

GE2005 and GE2010 saw the LDs in second place though, like elsewhere, they got smashed at GE2015 following the coalition years. If they scent victory they’ll flood the area and there’ll almost daily deliveries of different leaflets and campaign newspapers. This has the effect of diluting the impact of other campaign’s material.

Mike Smithson


Stoke Central, where MP Tristram Hunt is resigning, could be a tight four-way contest

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Is Hunt going because of the threat of de-selection?