Archive for the 'Betting' Category


The SNP is betting favourite to win in just 4 of the 41 LAB-held Scottish seats. See chart

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

However upbeat the Nats might appear they don’t seem ready to bet


Is there anybody brave enough to risk hard earned cash on what the next government will be?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

See how Betfair punters are confused

I’ve gone on any other.


SportingIndex cuts the UKIP spread again in effort to entice elusive purple buyers

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Meanwhile the CON spread gets even closer to LAB

I’m just on the train back from London after having a fascinating chat with the guy who runs the political spread markets at Sporting Index. This is the form of betting that I like the most because it is all about numbers and the more you are right the more money you make. Unfortunately the converse is also the case!

Lots of interesting new markets are on the way and he’d be delighted to hear from PBers of any idea that they might have. I suggested LD deposit losses and his first question was how you’d go about working out an opening price.

On the main Commons seats spread featured above he said that the most striking feature was the almost total lack of UKIP buyers – hence today’s drop by one seat. He compared that with the Cleggasm surge ahead of GE2010 which fortunately for SPIN saw a rush to buy the LDs at a peak of more than 100 seats.

The essence of spread betting is that you buy or sell and your profits/losses are determined by the difference. Thus if you bought CON at today’s 285 level and they get 310 you’ll make 25 times your stage level. You can get out of a bet at almost any time and if you’ve made a profit you can pocket the difference.

But be warned. Spread betting can be very risky as I found to my cost on election day 2001.The messages were coming through that turnout was very much down and I interpreted that as being good for the Tories. This became my biggest ever betting loss.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Latest polling from Thanet South has Farage trailing the Tories by 5% – yet in the betting he’s a 62% chance

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

A case methinks of hearts over heads

As a general rule political betting prices and polling tend to run in parallel particularly in the constituencies.

So when earlier this month Lord Ashcroft published his latest round there was a rush of activity when apparently obvious bargain appeared. One such one was Nigel Farage’s Thanet South where following the numbers being available the UKIP price of 2/5 eased to 5/6. An earlier Ashcroft poll had had Farage with a 3% lead. The latest put the Tories 5% ahead.

Yet in the past fortnight we’ve the the UKIP price getting a bit tighter and is now 8/13 making the seat just about the only one in the country where betting and the polling are showing a very different picture.

    My expectation is that the Tories will mount a tough campaign against Farage with a message that what the area, with all its economic problems, least needs is a part-time MP.

    No doubt the blues could make constant references to Farage’s voting and attendance record in Brussels. Maybe even there’ll be references to his Euro-expenses.

But Farage is party leader and will surely get a boost from that. He’ll be the one on the TV every night and also, if they are held, appearing in at least one of the debates.

In spite of the polling I’d still rate his chances quite highly.

I’m on the Tories here at 11/4 in a bet I got on just after the Ashcroft poll came out.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


“The next CON leader will not be a white man” – Tory insider

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Theresa May up 4% in ConHome party members’ next leader survey

The comment in the heading for this post was made to me at a recent social event by someone I regard as a leading Tory insider. It certainly has a ring of truth about it given that the two contenders currently being talked about are Theresa May and Sajid Javid, the culture Secretary.

This conversation took place before the latest ConHome findings from its regular party member surveys. Theresa May, as can be seen, is on the up and cabinet newcomer, Javid, is rated highly.

In national polling an area where the Tories and David Cameron are almost always rated poorly is when voters are asked about which party/leader will be “best for people like us“.

If the party has to leave government after May 7th then expect a lot of soul-searching over what went wrong and why, against someone perceived as being weak, Ed Miliband, they failed. It is in that context that May or Javid will stand a good chance.

Remember that the glory days for the party, the late seventies an eighties, the leader was a woman from a modest background.

Of course if David Cameron is still PM then there will be no immediate contest in prospect and Theresa May’s time will surely have passed. She is 58 years old.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


On current polling the Tories will, surely, suffer net losses of more than 18 seats

Friday, December 5th, 2014

For the first time there’s overlap in the Commons seat spread betting

The Tories have made more progress on the SportingIndex Commos seat spread markets and the buy level is 285 MPs.

Given the polling showing number of CON held seats with majorities up to 7.8% seeing LAB leads, the threat from UKIP, and the stickiness of the yellows in CON-LD battles then securing 285 MPs seems a big ask. That’s a net loss of just 18 on where the blues stand at the moment.

The next wave of Lord A polling should focus on seats with bigger blue majorities and maybe then we’ll see the point where the Tories are holding on successfully.

We are getting very close to the point where I become a CON seller.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


On the morning of Osborne’s big speech the GE15 betting gets even tighter. Now almost level-pegging

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Most seats betting

Overall majority betting

But it’s Scotland not the economy that’s influencing the markets

As we face the most uncertain general election in at least a generation there’s not much you can glean from the betting markets about what’s going to happen except that few are risking their cash on one of the two big parties securing a majority.

    The huge uncertainty created by the SNP surge in Scotland is the major driver. If the SNP (6 MPs at GE10) can really take the lion’s share north of the border from LAB (41 Scots MPs at GE10) then we are in uncharted territory.

The standard seat predictors that give a rough estimate of MPs from GB vote shares simply cannot be relied on in the new situation.

We know from the 140+ single constituency polls that Lord Ashcroft has carried out since May that LAB has been doing OK picking up most CON targets up to CON GE10 majorities of about 7%. Problem is that most of these could be offset by Scottish losses if the Scotland-only polling carries forward to May 7th.

Lord A has said that Scottish seat polls are in the offing but we don’t know when. I really want to see what his polling approach with the two stage voting question produces north of the border. Is there an incumbency factor and will there be tactical voting? That has to be examined at the seat level.

And so today we have Osborne’s final autumn statement and big economic announcement ahead of the election. Will that change the political weather? Hard to stay but this is a key moment on the road to polling day.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Osbo’s Autumn statement – Ladbrokes first in with their buzz word bingo

Monday, December 1st, 2014

What’s the value here?