Archive for the 'Betting' Category

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How post BREXIT the bookmakers are looking at WH2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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A certainty – maybe not

With three months to go until election day, people all over the world are lining up to place their bets on who’s going to take on the role of the 45th president of the United States after Barak Obama’s two-term presidency. Up until now, the odds have been everywhere – Donald Trump may have started off with odds that would make you a millionaire if he was elected, but right now, the fact that he could soon be leading one of the most powerful countries in the world is both scaring and exciting millions of people, depending on which side you’re on. But, if the odds are anything to go by, Hilary Clinton is still in the lead, with the wife of former U.S. president Bill Clinton polling strongly during the move along the campaign trail, giving her a solid lead over Republican nominee and immigrant-proof wall-builder Donald Trump.

Is Clinton in the Lead?

It would be safe to say that Hilary Clinton is currently taking the lead, however, when it comes to political betting, it’s always good to remember that sometimes, elections can go a completely different way from how the majority of people envisioned. One of the best recent examples of this is the EU Referendum in the United Kingdom, with bookies placing massive odds on the public voting to leave – a ‘remain’ vote was definitely the favourite, a mistake which cost dearly as the 23rd June saw Britain decide to Brexit with a 52% majority vote. The CEO of Bookmaker Ratings, Paruyr Shahbazyan, said at the time “the shock of Brexit definitely surprised a lot of bookmakers. It’s likely the bookies will be setting tighter odds for the US election, just in case”.

When it comes to the U.S. presidential election, Clinton appears to hold a considerable lead in several of the key states, including New York and California – states which have the most and third-most electoral delegates. However, Donald Trump is currently reigning supreme in Texas, the state with the second-most electoral delegates.

Is the Gap Closing?

Although Hilary Clinton seems to be firmly in the lead, the Republican Convention saw the presidential odds begin to tighten. After Clinton’s extended period of being dominantly in the lead according to the odds, Donald Trump has started to close the gap and creep a little bit closer to being in the lead. And, the bad news for Clinton supporters is that whilst Trump’s odds have been rising, Clinton’s have been doing the exact opposite and falling. Of course, if your money is on Trump to win the presidential election, this is great news for you. However, let’s not forget about Republican newcomer Evan McMullin, a former CIA operative who has recently announced that he will be running for president as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump – great news for anti-Trump Republicans who were unsure of which way to vote.

Nominees

It’s safe to say that this year’s presidential election in the U.S. will be a stand-off between billionaire media mogul Donald Trump and former First Lady Hilary Clinton, who will become the first female president of the United States if she is elected. It’s worth noting that Clinton’s odds have not yet fallen below those of Donald Trump, as her potential position as the first female president has incited millions of vote from women who want to finally see another woman in power.

On the other hand, Donald Trump was the only presumptive nominee for a month after Ted Cruz and John Kasich both suspended their campaigns within twenty-four hours of one another back in May. Although Clinton gained enough delegates to win the nomination before the Democratic Convention, her opponent Bernie Sanders vowed to take his campaign all the way to Cleveland, before losing the final primary by a huge margin in the District of Columbia on June 14.

The Presidential Race

This year’s presidential race has certainly proven to be one of the most interesting of all time, with many of the candidates defying the odds to win or lose at different points. From a betting perspective, Clinton has always been a firm favourite to win, however, Donald Trump, who’s now the bookies’ second favourite, was just a ludicrous long-shot when he first announced that he would be running in the election. So far, the race for POTUS has taught us one thing – anything can happen!

Who are you backing to win?

Vince D



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The latest Farage farrago, Douglas Carswell is accused of helping the Tories defeat Farage in Thanet South

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Can or will Douglas Carswell remain a UKIP MP if senior Kippers are making these allegations?

Forget traingate this is the political story of the week, although I can sympathise with those who say a UKIP internal squabbling story is up there with a dog bites man story, but this story has achieved that rare feat, leaving me lost for words.

Senior members of Ukip have accused the party’s only MP of helping the Conservatives defeat Nigel Farage in South Thanet in the general election last year, according to Ukip’s main donor, Arron Banks.

Farage, then the leader of Ukip, was beaten by the Tory candidate, Craig Mackinlay, after a controversial campaign in the Kent constituency.

Banks’s company has written to Kent police with the allegation that Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for Clacton, helped the Tory campaign retain the seat. It details allegations that Carswell downloaded Ukip data for South Thanet and passed it to the Conservatives, enabling them to do “push polling” of key voters.

Push polling is when an apparently unbiased telephone survey spreads negative rumours about a candidate.

Carswell defected to Ukip from the Tories in 2014 but has had a fraught relationship with both Banks and Farage.

According to the letter, Carswell was granted access to the Ukip database but then only accessed the South Thanet data.

A letter sent to the police by Precision Risk & Intelligence, where Banks is chief executive, claims that “we have evidence of excessive spending by the Conservatives and secretive dealings between them and a senior Ukip representative to collude against Mr Farage”.

It should be noted that Douglas Carswell has quite pithily denied these allegations, he said “There is no basis in these claims whatsoever. We should just be relieved that those responsible for the disastrous campaign in South Thanet were not responsible for the successful referendum campaign.” 

But given that these allegations it might be worth looking at this market being offered by Ladbrokes on Douglas Carswell resigning the UKIP whip in 2016.

Carswel Whip

Given the time constraints it is no bet for me, even given Carswell’s past form for leaving political parties and the allegations made against him this week, the bet will not pay out if he is expelled from UKIP. UKIP does have a history of kneecapping* the internal opponents of Nigel Farage, as Suzanne Evans, the Lady Jane Grey of UKIP, can attest to.

TSE

*That’s a metaphorical kneecapping, not a literal one.



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Betting on a united Ireland referendum happening by the end of 2020

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Irish Referendum

Prior to June 23rd, there was a strong push from Remain that a Leave victory could lead to a united Ireland, Paddy Power have a market up on whether there will be a referendum on such a matter by the end of 2020.

A 2011 poll found ‘more than half of Catholics in Northern Ireland want the long-term future of the North to be as part of the United Kingdom, while only 16 per cent of the overall population favour a united Ireland.’

When coupled with Theresa May saying straight after she became Prime Minister, ‘The full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist party and that word unionist is very important to me. It means we believe in the union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,’ I don’t think there’s any appetite for a referendum or reunification, especially with Mrs May in charge, I cannot see her authorising a referendum, in fact prioritising keeping the United Kingdom together might be her route to avoid the ‘hard Brexit’ some leavers are advocating.

I’m normally not one to back 1/8 bets, especially ones that will take over four years to pay out, but with interest rates approaching negative rates, a 12.5% return in a little over four years might seem attractive to some.

TSE



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The betting strategy if for some reason Trump or Clinton aren’t candidates on election day

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

PP

What to do if Trump or Clinton aren’t the candidates on election day?

Paddy Power have markets up on whether Trump or Clinton won’t be their party’s Presidential candidate on election day. After all there has been speculation about Trump quitting the race (or the GOP trying to replace him.)

But if for whatever reason Trump isn’t the candidate on 8/11/2016 if you wanted to bet on this market, the better strategy might be to back the likely replacements for Trump. Say Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz, whose odds range from 160s to 970s on Betfair to be next President.

A similar strategy can be employed on the Democratic Party nominee, where you can back Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine to be the next President at 80s and 1000s respectively on Betfair were something to happen to Hillary Clinton to stop her being the nominee on election day.

For the record I don’t expect either of the candidates to stand down, if they aren’t the candidates on election day it’ll be either for actuarial reasons or well if we have a modern day John Wilkes Booth, so again this is another market where I wish the bookie would offer the other side of the bet. Plus the actual mechanics of a candidate withdrawing at this late stage is very problematic, this article from a few days ago says

This formal re-selection process would take at least a couple weeks, though, and time is ticking down to Election Day.

Most states have their own ballot deadlines for presidential elections so people casting absentee ballots can vote for the correct candidates.

That means that if the RNC replaces Trump, his name could still appear on the ballot in some states — and not the new nominee selected by the party. This could be incredibly confusing for voters who would want to vote for Pence, but would have to select Trump on the ballot, political scientist Josh Putnam told The Washington Post.

Several ballot deadlines have already passed, and more are coming up this week.

“The deadline for things not being messy is like now,” Aull said. “By the end of the month at the latest, that’s the non-messy deadline, whereas post-August or end of September is when things start to get really, really complicated. They don’t want that.”

Another state-specific hurdle would come up after the election.

When voters select a candidate, they are really telling members of the electoral college in their state to vote for that candidate. In some states, the electors can choose whomever they want for president. Others require they vote for a party based on popular vote. And in a third set, electors are legally bound to vote for the name on the ballot.

It’s this third category where the Republican Party would have to go to court to transfer the votes for Trump to the replacement. That would be even more time consuming and “messy.”

TSE





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Latest prices from WH2016 and the LAB leadership

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Next President

2016 LAB Leadership Contest



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Don Brind says there’s no solid evidence for making Corbyn odds on favourite. He could lose.

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Labour Leadership Debate Jeremy Corbyn vs Owen Smith 2 4 YouTube (1)

Momentum might being beaten at their own game

Back in 2007 I emailed Mike Smithson: “You should advise your readers: ‘don’t bet on an election unless you understand the voting system’” At the time the pollsters and the bookies were making Alan Johnson favourite to become Labour deputy leader.

I was a member of Harriet Harman’s campaign and I knew how much effort was going into getting second preferences from other candidates. In the event, the second preferences from John Cruddas supporters swung it for Harman.

That was a six horse race. The current election has, of course, only two contenders but the advice about understanding the system holds good. This time punters need to understand the significance of the three sections of voters: members, registered supporters and affiliate supporters.

When the history of the Corbyn era comes to be written the verdict will be that he was toppled because Momentum were beaten at their own game.

By that I mean that the tactic of signing up thousands of supporters who get a vote. It worked brilliantly for Corbyn in 2015 and for months his supporters have been warning off potential challengers – “don’t bother Jeremy will win again”.

But it always seemed possible that a tactic that worked for Corbyn could be used against him. And so it has played out. As I argued in my last PB post the 120,000 new voters recruited by the grassroots campaign Saving Labour are a “game changer.”  The election I said was “too close to call” and Corbyn could be in for a shock.

Sad to say John Prescott doesn’t appear to be a reader of PB, telling Mirror readers “Corbyn will win this leadership election as every MP knows”. Lord Prescott is wrong.There is not a scrap of hard evidence that Corbyn will win.

Although a new YouGov survey is under way they are likely to find it challenging to reflect the three sections of the selectorate accurately. For now, their one bit of polling so far, at the end of June ( which was not helpful to Corbyn  has whiskers on it. Otherwise all we have had is nods and winks such as the Huffington Post report that “one senior party source” said a majority of the new members are backing Corbyn ‘but only by the tiniest of margins.”

There is, however, a line in the Prescott article that gives a clue to why he and many others are convinced Corbyn’s re-election is inevitable. His lordship speaks of the “the thousands I saw at his mass meeting in Hull”.
In the absence of hard data Prescott and others are relying on circumstantial evidence – the size of campaign meetings and nominations by Constituency Labour Parties.

Both are badly flawed as a guide to the election.

There is no doubt that Corbyn has been speaking to some big meetings. The combined attendance could be well be above 10,000 But there are half a million Labour members and supporters eligible to vote. All the Corbyn rally goers combined are a tiny fraction of that. The vast majority will never go anywhere near a rally. Mainstream media, social media and direct contact will be far more important for them in making up their minds. That is where Smith is concentrating his efforts.

On the face of it Corbyn’s advantage in nominations by CLPs — Constituency Labour Parties — is impressive. He is outpunching Owen Smith by five to one: 273 to Smith’s 51.
But dig below the surface and you see that these figures are telling us nothing about sentiment in the party. What they do reveal is where the Corbyn and Smith campaigns are putting their efforts.

Pushing for nominations has been a priority for the Corbyn campaign with the aim of creating “momentum”. A couple of examples suggest the outcomes are not a good guide to local opinion. Take Canterbury where the meeting voted 91-8 to back Corbyn. This is a party with 1,500 members, so the turnout was 15%. And in a large London party Corbyn won by 274 to 196 but that a was turnout of barely 10% of the 5,000 members.

It’s significant that barely half the 600 plus CLPs have made a nomination – my own party in Tooting hasn’t met even though at a meeting in June we backed the motion of no confidence in Corbyn.  Many of the blank areas on the map are Labour held seats. It’s striking that virtually no urban CLPs outside London have nominated. A big bunch of Corbyn nominations come from parties in safe Tory seats, many in places where Labour come in third.

So the circumstantial evidence is unreliable. At the moment the hardest data come from Saving Labour. Their 70,000 new anti-Corbyn registered supporters and the 50,000 affiliated (trade union) supporters offer Owen Smith a path to victory.

Don Brind



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If elected, will Hillary or the Donald be impeached?

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

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Impeachment

Will one of them become the first POTUS to be successfully impeached?

Paddy Power have a market up on if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be impeached and resign during their first term.

I have a few concerns with this bet, for example the impeachment process against Richard Nixon never completed to full impeachment, as Nixon resigned as President before the House of Representatives formally impeached him, so if something similar happened, this bet wouldn’t pay out, also that was during Nixon’s second term, again that wouldn’t pay as per the terms of this bet.

If there’s one Presidential candidate you feel that is likely to be impeached it is Donald Trump, especially as some of his policies seem unconstitutional, however this is no bet for me, even before looking at the recent sub-optimal polling that indicates Hillary Clinton is going to be the forty-fifth President.

Another reason that makes me say no Trump bet is that the actual mechanics of the impeachment process, one of the early steps is a majority of House of Representatives most vote to impeach the President (the Senate conducts the actual impeachment trial.)

With the way the House of Representatives has been heavily gerrymandered redistricted in recent years, the GOP majority there is safe, even when Trump is the nominee for President so if they vote on partisan lines, and a successful impeachment conviction needs two-thirds of the Senate to vote for it. Given the current and anticipated make up of the Senate a vote on partisan lines stops the impeachment.

With Hillary Clinton, there would be a symmetry with her being impeached, given her husband also faced impeachment for turning The Oval Office into The Oral Office, but she seems to be the great survivor, given the way her opponents have tried to use the events in Benghazi or her private email set up to topple her but have failed, and as above, if we see a vote in the Senate on impeachment on partisan lines she’s safe.

Overall this is one of those bets where you wish the bookie would offer the other side of the bet, especially with it being limited to the first term only, but if forced I’d  put a very small stake on the 50/1 Hillary option simply because the polling indicates she’s on course to win in November.

TSE





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The Tories set to re-introduce Fox hunting with hounds if the International Trade Secretary doesn’t wind his neck in

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Next Cabinet Out

Taking the 10/1 on Liam Fox being the first cabinet minister to leave the cabinet looks tempting.

Today’s Sunday Telegraph has a story which says

Liam Fox and Boris Johnson are locked in a bitter Whitehall feud over who controls key parts of Britain’s foreign policy, a leaked letter seen by The Telegraph reveals.

Just weeks after the two men joined the Government, Dr Fox sent Mr Johnson the terse letter, which he copied to Theresa May, effectively demanding that the Foreign Office be broken up.

Dr Fox, suggested that British trade with other countries would not “flourish” if responsibility for future policy remained with the Foreign Office. 

He also listed a series of economic statistics which called into question the Foreign Office’s ability to boost Britain’s economic ties with other countries and suggested that Mr Johnson focused instead on “diplomacy and security” including overseeing MI6 and GCHQ.

The Foreign Secretary is understood to have firmly rejected Dr Fox’s demands and Whitehall sources claim that the Prime Minister is “unimpressed with this sort of carrying on”.

These shenanigans by Liam Fox are the sort of things I think Mrs May will not tolerate for long, coupled with his comments on the EU customs union a few weeks ago, where it could be argued Fox exceeded his remit, Downing Street was forced to clarify his comments and say no decision had been made.

This has not been an auspicious start as International Trade Secretary for Liam Fox. On Friday his department issued and retracted a press release that said Brexit will lead to ‘UK businesses could be left facing crippling tariffs on EU deals‘.  So far he and his department are displaying all the competence of a man who is unable to find a cup of water whilst in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Mrs May knows Brexit needs to be successful for the country and for her long term political future, she won’t tolerate this kind of conduct from Liam Fox for much longer. His conduct so far will also cause him problems with his fellow cabinet ministers, and he needs their support to be a success.

Ladbrokes are offering 10/1 on Fox being the first cabinet minister to leave the cabinet, it looks very tempting.

As an aside, if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party was a decent opposition, they could have so much fun exploiting things like this.

TSE