Archive for the 'Betting' Category


London might be a Labour city but it has only won the mayoralty once

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015


Contenders need to be able to reach out beyond their party bases

One of the biggest UK political battles and what will certainly be a big political betting event will be next year’s race for the London will between Zac Goldsmith for the Blues and Sadiq Khan for the Reds.

This will be the fifth time there’s been such an elections and so far CON has won two, LAB one and independent one. The latter, of course, was Ken in 2000 when he stood against the official LAB candidate, Frank Dobson, after failing to win the party’s nomination. In the end Dobson came in third with Ken victorious.

Four years later Blair persuaded Ken to rejoin the party a move that was very much opposed by Gordon Brown. Ken, of course, won what for him was a second term and for Labour a first.

I highlight this to make the point that mayoral elections are far less about parties than other sorts of votes. For both Ken in 2000 and 2004 and Boris in 2008 and 2012 won because they were able to reach out way beyond their party’s normal bases.

We can see this by comparing the mayoral results with the GLA elections which are held at the same time.

Next May Zac Goldsmith, a champion of environmental causes, looks set to eat into the Green party support either as first or a second preference. There is, just to recall, a limited form of AV in place with voters able to indicate a second choice.

Sadiq could pick up significant extra support from the capital’s large Asian communities and certainly there’s been polling to indicate that this might happen. Both Zac and Sadiq are opposed to Heathrow expansion.

A big unknown is what’ll happen to the UKIP vote which although smaller than in other parts of England could be significant. It’s hard to see many purple second preferences going to either Sadiq or Zac.

Currently Sadiq is odds on favourite.

Mike Smithson


Rubio the big betting gainer and Bush the big loser after a week that saw the 3rd Republican nominee WH2016 debate

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Because there is a general clampdown down in the US on online betting many US observers are having to look at what is happening on the UK markets in order to get a sense of the betting sentiment on the White House Race.

A new American site has just been established, which is monitoring this daily and producing regular reports on how things are being seen. It is covering three elements, the Democratic nomination, the Republican nomination and of course who will be the next President

The chart above is based on what I believe is the most interesting current race – the fight for the Republican nomination. There was still more than a dozen contenders in there and the has been a lot of movement in recent weeks. The biggest change over the last 7 days was of course, as a result of the third Republican TV debate

This reinforced the growing negative view about Jeb Bush, the brother of the former president and the last man to win the White House for the Republicans.

The big thing for Marco Rubio now is that like all front-runners he’ll come under much more scrutiny.

Mike Smithson


Jeb Bush’s bid for the GOP nomination looks even more in doubt after a clumsy performance in latest primary debate

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Rubio heading to 40% in the nominee betting

The clip above gives a taste of the overnight third Republican debate. Bush, who not too long ago had been touching evens in the nomination betting, was under huge pressure to assert himself and take on the young Senator from Florida his own state, Marco Rubio.

He did it in such a cack handed manner and unfortunately for him Rubio was waiting with a solid response. Bush bombed.

The other big losers were CNBC who’ve been widely criticised for their poor management of the event which wasn’t good for anyone – the contenders or the audience.

Trump did OK, Carson was at times totally incoherent while Cruz and Fiorina came out reasonably well but they are still a sideshow to the main action.

The clip that’s getting all the US media attention is the Rubio-Bush one and that can only be bad news for the brother of the last Republican to win the presidency.

This is all preparing the ground ahead of the primaries which begin in about 90 days. I think that Rubio justifies his favourite position but don’t rule out Trump. Cruz is one to keep am eye on.

I personally like Fiorina but she has struggled to gain traction.

Mike Smithson


2016 should be the Republicans’ year for the White House

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

But only if they can choose the right candidate

Hillary Clinton will be the Democrats’ candidate for the presidency next year, short of falling under a bus. Sanders is far too left-wing to be electable and offers nothing beyond his base, Biden has announced he won’t run, and no-one else is on the same lap, never mind in the frame. All she has to do is turn up, smile and not have a TalkTalk account.

That she isn’t facing a heavyweight challenge is something of a surprise. She has, after all, been beaten before and if she does win, it’ll lock out anyone else’s chances for at least eight years. Furthermore, she’s not all that popular. Her favourability ratings have headed fairly consistently south over the last three years, from about a +25 rating in November 2012 to around -8 now. While that’s better than Donald Trump (-17), Jeb Bush (-16), Ted Cruz (-15) or Ben Carson (-12), it’s worse than Marco Rubio (-1) – and those she leads are hardly out of sight. Furthermore, while she retains a narrow lead over Trump on the head-to-head national polls, she now trails Carson and is near-enough level pegging with Rubio and Bush. This is very far from an invincible candidate.

Add in that the Republicans comfortably won the 2014 Congressional elections and that the Obama factor, which undoubtedly boosted African-American participation, won’t be there next year for the Democrats, and all else being equal, the Republicans probably start ahead in the race.

Whether they’ll finish ahead depends, however, on the candidate they pick. One of the ironies of the 2012 election was that ‘Generic Republican’ consistently polled best against Obama, which it could be argued was what they ultimately went with. Not only did none of the field have star quality, they were all net vote-losers. The Republicans could, perhaps, have won if only they could have found someone to win with.

So to this election. The first big question is whether the Republicans will choose a career politician or not. Neither of the two current front-runners, Trump and Carson, has ever held a public office before nor made a meaningful bid for one. That isn’t a bar to being elected, as the polls testify, but certainly represents a higher risk than a more seasoned politician. Trump has already made gaffes that would have finished a lesser man and you do wonder whether another at the wrong time or in the wrong place might prove terminal. Carson, by contrast, just seems lightweight.

But if so, why aren’t the others doing better? Trump’s charisma and energy might be part of that – two things not overflowing in the rest of the field – as is policy. As has been mentioned before on the site, Marco Rubio ought to be a very strong contender (see the approval figures above), yet his immigration record has scope to hurt him with the core while his fiscal and social policy stance is not designed to attract the centre. Not that you necessarily need all the centre: about half of it should be enough. Against that, Bush and Fiorina look to be running out of momentum, while Cruz has never really had any but remains sufficiently in the race to be on hand to pick up support when another conservative falters. At 20/1, he is probably worth a trading bet if nothing else.

As things stand, I’d write off Carson, Bush and Fiorina. Trump has the potential to go the distance, as does Rubio, as – possibly – does one from the field who comes good at the right time, which is to say Iowa and New Hampshire in three months’ time. The importance of Iowa can be overstated: John McCain finished fourth there in 2008 and Mitt Romney also lost in 2012, albeit by a tiny margin. By contrast, no candidate has ever finished worse than second in New Hampshire and gone on to win, though George W Bush trailed by some 19% to John McCain in 2000. This isn’t an iron law – a big field and a short run to Super Tuesday this year does make it possible for a candidate to recover from further back if they’ve strength elsewhere – but it is a strong trend.

Of those, I don’t think a lucky also-ran will be able to beat Hillary: they’ll have to run so far right that they’ll never be able to get back. Trump, on the other hand, could win and Rubio should win (if you don’t believe me about Trump, re-check the stats above). Of the two, the markets have over-reacted to Rubio: 2/1 is too short for the nomination though 7/1 is not bad for the presidency. Trump, however, has led the field by some distance for three full months and at 5/1 for the nomination is good value.

David Herdson


Five reasons why this CNN politics man has bet on Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination

Monday, October 19th, 2015

In his own way there’s a touch of Obama about him

I like the case has been made in this clip particularly the debate extract when Rubio is dealing with the language issue. The way he handled it is reminiscent of the conference speech Obama made in 2004 which brought him to prominence for the first time.

The age factor is important given that all the potential Democratic party opponents are in their late 60s or 70s. With Rubio the candidate the gap would be similar to the Obama – McCain one in 2008.

In recent days Rubio has moved in the betting ahead of Jeb Bush to take the favourite slot.

If the prize is to go to an established politician, unlike Trump or Fiorina, then Rubio seems to be well placed.

Mike Smithson


Betting on the first Labour MP to resign the whip

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Ladbrokes have a market up on who will be the first Labour MP to resign the Labour whip.

With the forthcoming House of Commons vote on Trident’s replacement, you can see that turning into an epic omnishambles for Labour and CND’s newest Vice-President, Jeremy Corbyn. Given John Woodcock’s past pronouncements on what he were to do were Labour not to back a replacement for Trident, you can understand why he is the favourite in this market.

But it might be worth backing Simon Danczuk and John Mann at 10/1 and 16/1 as well. Both Simon Danczuk and John Mann are to Corbynmania what Brian Blessed is to sotto voce. Both aren’t shy in expressing their disdain for Corbyn which has earned them the ire of the Corbynistas. 

The new Pro-Corbyn Labour grass roots organisation Momentum is already sparking fears about deselecting anti Corbyn MPs to which Frank Field has suggested deselected MPs should trigger immediate by-elections and stand as independent Labour candidates.

To misquote LBJ, some MPs may see being outside the tent pissing in as the best way to hasten Corbyn’s departure. Some MPs may also see it as the best way to save themselves from an electoral thrashing in 2020 by disassociating themselves from the Corbyn led Labour party, so resigning the Labour whip might be the best way to achieve either of those aims.



Rubio takes over the Republican nominee favourite slot on Betfair

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Mike Smithson


If the next CON leader betting is anything to go by Theresa May had the best conference

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Click on the change tab to see the movement since last Sunday.

Mike Smithson