Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Punters unmoved by Jeremey Browne’s reported desire to succeed Clegg

Monday, April 14th, 2014



William Hill


Labour needs to take 69 of these seats to secure a majority

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Your guide to the LAB targets

Thanks to the compiler of the @election_data Twitter feed for this latest map showing where they key LAB targets are located.

For details of the seats themselves check out the UKPollingReport LAB target list with the names of the seats, their ranking, which party is defending and the size of the majority.

The seat that is on the margin is Peterborough which doesn’t appear to have a betting market. The seat closest to it in terms of the size of the majority is Calder valley where PaddyPower make the Tories the odds on favourite to hold on.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


The money goes on Scotland voting for independence and YES reaches its highest point on Betfair

Monday, April 7th, 2014

YES remains the value bet

There’s been quite a rush of money going on YES for the Scottish IndyRef over the past few days so much so that the price on the Betfair exchange is quite a lot tighter.

When I recomended three weeks ago that YES was the value bet the price on Betfair represented an 18% chance. This morning the this moved to a 24.4% chance although it has eased a touch since.

My reading is that this will get tighter as we get close to the September date.

Next week I’m off to Edinburgh once again for a session with researchers at the Scottish Parliament. On my last visit, in February 2013, I was asked to make a prediction and said it would get very tight with a gap within 5%. Well that is almost there.

Hopefully I’ll get a better picture of opinion north of the border during my trip.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Ladbrokes open betting on all 57 LD seats and make the yellows favourites to hold on to 35

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’ll be interesting to follow the changing prices

This afternoon Ladbrokes put up betting markets in every one of the 57 seats that the Lib Dems will be defending at GE2015.

In 35 of them, all but one of them defences against the Tories, the Ladbrokes opening prices make the LDs favourite and in a further three Clegg’s party is join favourite.

From a quick look down the list the MPs most likely to be still there on May 8th next year are Tim Farron who is priced at 1/20 to hold on to Westmorland & Lonsdale and the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, who is at 1/100 to hold Orkney & Shetland. This far out you can get a better financial return putting your money in the building society!

All the party’s cabinet ministers, including Danny Alexander in Inverness/Nairn are priced as odds on favourites.

    Where the yellows face the reds as their main opposition Ladbrokes have in all the seats bar Simon Hughes’ Bermondsey made LAB the favourites. It is hard to argue with that.

It is amongst this group where you can get the longer odds and our friend Shadsy has just tightened the 8/1 that I put £100 on in one seat to 4/1. I’m not revealing which one because I hope to get good value from other bookies.

The best advice here is to use what local knowledge of the seats that you have.

I have bet against the LDs in three seats and on them in three others – all the prices were longer than evens.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Don’t bet on a Tory Euro-win unless you expect a Blue landslide in 2015

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Governments rarely win interim elections

William Hague was not a very successful leader of the opposition.  Against Blair’s prolonged political honeymoon, Hague’s Conservatives were regularly so far behind in the polls as to be out of sight.  Not only did they fail to gain a single seat during the parliament but they actually went backwards, losing Romsey to the Lib Dems.

However, in the midst of that constant popular battering, he did manage one significant victory: the Conservatives won the 1999 Euro-election.  At the time, Labour was regularly 20-25 points ahead in the Westminster polling, scoring above 50% most of the time and occasionally topping 55%.  Was this because the Conservatives were particularly good at that particular election format?  In small part, yes: the huge constituencies turn the differential turnout which at Westminster is an advantage for Labour into a drawback for them.

The main reason though is that if you wanted to design an election where the public can give the political establishment a good kicking, you would produce something very much like the Euros.  Few really care about the outcome; few know who the candidates are, who the MEPs were, what they achieved or what they’re promising; the public has a much longer list of minor parties to choose from (one of which specifically exists to stick two fingers up at the EU); and under PR, tactical voting considerations don’t apply to anything like the same extent.

Consequently, it’s unsurprising that no party in government has won one since 1984, when the contests were in single-member constituencies and when there were virtually no minor parties standing.  Last time, Labour finished third with UKIP and the main opposition party taking the top two spots.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised at the equivalent outcome in May, with the Tories in third and the Lib Dems fighting for fourth at best.  The majority of local elections (where turnout should be relatively higher) being in the big cities this year should help Labour too.

There’s been quite a bit of speculation here in recent months as to whether the Conservatives are value at 10/1 to win the election (and even odds that long are no longer available).  I simply cannot see it.  Although Labour’s Westminster lead has been cut since last year, it’s still steadily in mid-figures.  Why would the Conservatives suddenly perform better – or Labour that much worse – when there is so little at stake, when voters can express their displeasure of the day without risking Ed Balls at the Treasury, when UKIP can be expected to perform much better than their Westminster polling, and when the simultaneous local elections should benefit Labour?  Similarly, there is no incentive whatsoever for the LD-Lab switchers to return in 2014; quite the opposite.

Unless we think that the minor parties will disproportionately take votes from Labour, there’s no realistic route for the Blues to finish on top.  It’s not quite inconceivable: the Greens do draw from the left and UKIP has made much play about attracting ex-Labour voters.  Yet most UKIP support in the Westminster polls has still come from the Tories.  Will the additional share the Purples are likely to take in May be so very different?

What we can say is that if Cameron did pull off a win as PM – something Blair never managed – it would both place tremendous pressure on Miliband and burst UKIP’s bubble.  It’s surely difficult to see either government party performing worse at the polls next year than this.  Indeed, every natural political dynamic would imply that a Con victory in May should point to a healthy overall majority in 2015.  And reverse-engineering that logic, if we don’t expect the Conservatives to make substantial gains next year, we shouldn’t expect them to win in this one.

David Herdson


The way opinion is moving in Scotland the value IndyRef bet is now on YES

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The betting seems to be lagging behind the polls

This morning I made my first serious Scottish IndyRef bets and my money went on YES.

This is not a prediction but my assessment of how I think the betting will move in the coming weeks and months.

There has been a clear tightening in the polls and if this continues I can see the YES price moving in with NO moving out. The prices, seen in the chart, are quite generous and my guess is that they will move.

Note The betting percentages don’t add up to 100 because they are based on actual trades.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Osborne’s budget is a narrative changer that could have the same effect on the polls as his October 2007 move on IHT

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Time to be putting more money on the blues winning the Euros

Downing Street will be delighted with the coverage that Osborne’s budget is getting in the papers this morning and my view is that we could start to see a change in the media narrative.

Suddenly the pressure that the savings changes put on the UKIP switchers will be become the story and every bit of news that supports this will be highlighted. Farage will be seen as the main Osborne target adding further pressure on the purples in the run in to the elections that are so important to them – the May Euros.

    I think that it is just possible that declining UKIP support and fewer 2010 CON don’t knows could lead to a Westminster polling cross-over in the next few days.

The first polls taken fully after the budget will appear on Saturday evening and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see movement to the blues. This will be seen first in the Westminster VI numbers and it could spill over into the Euro polling.

I’ve taken the precaution overnight betting on the Tories for both the GE2015 and EP2014.

Essentially the latter could become a three horse race so the 8/1 that’s currently available with Bet365 on the Tories winning most votes is a value bet.

This Osborne statement reminds me of his 2007 conference speech when it looked as though Brown was going to call an immediate general election and the Tories were trailing badly in the polls. His big promise of an easing in inheritance tax was seen as a game changer which is how it was portrayed across the media. The big LAB poll leads evaporated.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


As Osborne starts his 5th budget Betfair punters rate CON majority chances at 20.8 pc and most seats at 41.7

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Will today’s announcements help CON get any closer?

With just over a year to go before the general election today’s budget is key to Tory chances. This morning’s news on employment and the general better economic pointers. These, though, have yet to work themselves through in the polling.

Political gamblers are taking a more bullish view of the party’s chances as can be seen from the latest trade data, featured in the chart above, from Betfair.

I’m putting up this now because it’ll be a good reference point for the future. Will George give punters more confidence in the Tory chances or not?

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble