Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Andy Burnham rules out standing for the LAB leadership – get your money on Andy Burnham

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

EdM’s successor? Could be

In the closing seconds of his interview on the Marr show this morning the shadow health secretary and 2010 leadership contender, Andy Burnham, was asked if he’d rule out standing the the job “in due course”.

His denial was, to me, less than convincing.

He’s come on a lot since his first leadership bid and I was quite impressed with the way he handled the interview.

Both Ladbrokes and PaddyPower have him at 6/1. If EdM does stumble on the the way to May 7th or in the aftermath Burnham looks a good bet.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Rochester punters unmoved by the CON primary and Cameron visit: UKIP still a 77.5% chance

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Is Reckless right to complain about the CON primary?

We are just five weeks away from the Rochester & Strood by-election and today David Cameron visited the area to meet local businesses as well as the two women competing to be the CON candidate.

Last night the Tories staged hustings and voting papers have now gone out by post to every single elector in the constituency, not just Tories, so they can vote by post on who should represent the blue team. It will be next Thursday before the party is able to announce which one has got it.

    Meanwhile a legal argument has started about the status of the primary process and election expenses. Will all or part of the costs have to be set against the overall limit that’s imposed on candidate during elections? The CON argument is that official expenses are triggered once the candidate is chosen. UKIP believe this is unfair because details about the two Tory contenders are included in the mail-pack that has gone out with the ballot forms.

UKIP and Mark Rekless have to be careful about how they handle this. As C4′s Michael Crick writesit’s hard to complain about a move which seemingly makes the process more democratic”.

Meanwhile punters remain unimpressed. UKIP remains a 77.5% chance on Betfair to win.

What will really set the betting alive is a new poll, perhaps from Lord A, in which the candidates are named. That’s probably a couple of weeks off.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


And so to Rochester & Strood which has become a “must win” for both the Tories and UKIP

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Will the CON all postal primary get them into the game?

Inevitably UKIP go into the upcoming Rochester & Strood by-election with their tails up high. Clacton, and even more so, Heywood have given the party the “big mo” which they hope will carry over to the next contest.

Although the only public poll had them 9% ahead the demographics of the constituency make it a much bigger challenge than Clacton. Carswell, as the massive early poll leads showed, never looked beatable and the Tories from the start treated it as a damage control operation.

In R&S this will be very different. The blues want to stop the rot here and have already shown their intent by announcing a full postal primary to choose their candidate in which every single elector will get a ballot pack and be able to vote. This is a very costly exercise which the blues hope will give them an edge.

    The intention is that the primary will raise the profile of whoever wins who will be presented to the constituency as the “people’s choice”.

Then the campaign will take on the intensity that we saw in Newark in June when for the first time in 25 years the party successfully held onto a seat in a by-election while in government.

Already this is being talked up as a make or break moment for Cameron with suggestions from the Speccie’s James Forsyth at the weekend that the PM could face a leadership challenge if the battle is lost.

This is also massive for Nigel Farage. For a failure by Mark Reckless to retain the seat would seriously dent UKIP’s remarkable surge and make it far less likely that other CON MPs will jump ship.

Whichever way it goes R&S will, have an impact on GE15.

LAB appears to have decided not to take this too seriously and, like in Newark, not to put the resources in. The LDs expect their usual lost deposit.

The betting is very much on UKIP which I think has moved in too far. I’ve put a bit on the Tories.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Guest Slot from Peter the Punter: Matthew and Peter Go To The Seaside – with a Marf cartoon

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Clacton doesn’t look like being the most exciting of elections.

Matthew Shadwick [Shadsy] of Ladbrokes was kind enough to invite me along on a visit to the scene of one of tomorrow’s by-elections. I wondered whether he might need help collecting a flood of money, or maybe he just wanted some company while he stood outside the firm’s shop on Pier Avenue with his board optimistically offering odds of 1/50 UKIP, 14/1 Conservative and 33/1 Labour. We’d arranged to meet at 10.30 am. I got there at midday and still felt it was an hour too soon. There was a queue of about a dozen people, but that was for the bus. The driver was taking rather more money than Shadsy.

On the way I’d asked directions from a couple carrying UKIP boards. No, they couldn’t help; they were strangers here too. The locals looked disinterested. Even the seagulls looked bored.

Over a leisurely lunch we discussed the contrast with Newark where there was a lively atmosphere and a steady stream of (ultimately unsuccessful) UKIP backers. Perhaps the re-election of Douglas Carswell in UKIP colours is just too much of a foregone conclusion. Perhaps too little rides on the outcome. Perhaps the voters of Clacton just don’t like that kind of thing. They couldn’t even be tempted by Shadsy’s generous offer of 25/1 against Charlotte Rose [Independent] to beat the LibDems. “I mean, if she can’t beat the LibDems, who can she beat?”

We caught sight of the Sky TV crew, leaving early. A local MP, down in support of Giles Watling [Conservative], kindly spared us some time but was unable to offer any insights, or even a bet. Labour was nowhere to be seen.

On the way home I passed the UKIP offices, festooned with Carswell banners. It looks like tomorrow will be a coronation. What will be his vote share? Ladbrokes go 11/8 against 50-60%, 5/2 60-70%, 11/4 40-50%. Yesterday gave no clues as to where the value lies.

Turnover at Under 50% might be a bet. Shadsy will give you evens. I see from my betting notes that I went for Over, back in August when the market, like the weather, was a good deal warmer.

All right, we all make mistakes.

Peter the Punter


Lord Ashcroft’s national poll joins YouGov in having the Tories ahead after their conference

Monday, October 6th, 2014

As ever, I’d caution about reading too much into polling conducted during and in the immediate aftermath of conferences, particularly with the Lord Ashcroft national poll, which has shown more volatility than most other pollsters. However the Blues will be delighted to have another pollster showing them ahead following their conference.

Additionally Lord Ashcroft has polled on the Heywood & Middleton by-election. Labour will be delighted as with Survation, that their share of the vote is increasing and it is looking like a comfortable hold.

As antifrank noted on the previous thread “As in Newark, Lord Ashcroft’s by-election poll shows both Labour and UKIP at lower levels than Survation and the Conservatives higher.” Which might be something to bear in mind when looking at the Survation Rochester & Strood poll that had UKIP 9% ahead. Hopefully Lord Ashcroft will conduct a poll in Rochester & Strood soon.


Meanwhile for those of us betting on Alistair Carmichael as next out of the cabinet/the current cabinet not lasting until the General Election.


Labour MPs urge Alan Johnson to challenge for the leadership

Monday, October 6th, 2014

This morning the Telegraph reports

Labour MPs in despair at Ed Miliband’s weak leadership are planning renewed efforts to tempt Alan Johnson into challenging for leader before the election.

It is understood a cohort of MPs believe Mr Johnson is the only person who can win Labour a majority next May and want to push for a leadership switch with his backing.

The rebels hope to convince him to stand if disaffection grows over the coming months while also building up enough support inside the party to convince Mr Miliband to stand aside.

To be honest, I can’t see it happening, there’s only two pollsters reporting Tory leads, and they are in the 1-2% range. This morning’s Populus shows Labour on course for a comfortable majority.

But the key thing for me is that if Labour didn’t ditch Gordon Brown when they polled 15.7% in a nationwide election, or when the polls showed the Tories were on course for 300 plus majority, then they won’t ditch Ed Miliband when he’s leading with most pollsters.

The most interesting thing from that article is this, which shows Alan Johnson doesn’t lack self confidence

The former Home Secretary privately accepts if he had successfully challenged Gordon Brown in the run-up to the 2010 election Labour would currently be in power, according to one source.

So rather than put your money on the 50/1  on Alan Johnson to be the next Labour leader, stick your money on the 14/1 as next Mayor of London (hat tip Peter from Putney)



Rochester and Strood: The betting begins with UKIP the odds-on favourite

Sunday, September 28th, 2014


My initial thinking is to back the Tories and Labour, based on the following tweets last night, and well Labour could come through the middle.

Hopefully other bookies will open markets on this by election.




LAB’s strategy in Heywood and Middleton is blindingly obvious: Talk up UKIP threat to get tactical anti-UKIP votes

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

And you know what? They’ll probably succeed

Suddenly the Heywood and Middleton by-election two weeks from today is not looking like the foregone conclusion that it appeared when the vacancy was created following the death of the popular MP Jim Dobbin.

In the past couple of days there have been are a wave of stories about the possibility of UKIP taking the hitherto rock solid LAB seat. This is from last night’s Manchester Evening News:-

“Labour figures are now genuinely worried Ukip could win the Heywood and Middleton by-election a fortnight tomorrow, we understand.

The anti-EU party has already promised to give them a shock on October 9 – but Labour insiders now fear Ukip could actually take it….. they were worried at how close their main rivals could come, but several told the M.E.N there is a real possibility they could actually lose to Mr Bickley. One said the pro-Ukip sentiment on the doorstep is palpable and that some colleagues are ‘terrified’ they could lose.

Certainly the high BNP share there in 2010 together with recent good local elections performances for UKIP are very positive indicators for Farage’s party.

For me the interesting thing is that it is LAB that is now raising the expectations about UKIP and an indication how Miliband’s party will deal with the Farage threat at GE2015.

The first audience for this is the party itself. They need to get activists engaged. But there’s a second audience – the 23% who voted LD there at GE2010 and the 27% who voted Tory. The LAB strategy seems to be designed to attract anti-UKIP tactical votes.

For as Ipsos-MORI reported earlier in the week Farage’s party is seen as the one that’s least liked and is most disliked.

    What better way could there be of defending the seat than by galvanising anti-kippers of all colours to impede the “purple peril” than by suggesting that it could win?

Both Bet365 and Ladbrokes make LAB a 2/9 shot.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble