Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Meanwhile away from UKIP runners declare themselves in 3 political races and an 8/1 tip from Damian McBride

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The LAB leadership contest

The LD leadership contest

LAB selection for the 2016 London Mayoral race

And a tip from Damian MaBride


Farage’s biggest mistake was to duck the Eastleigh by election

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

farage and carswell

A big public split with Carswell was almost inevitable

The very public row that has broken out between Farage and his party’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, was one that had been widely predicted. The only issue was what would spark it off.

For because of his unique MP status it is up to Carswell to decide on how the public funds that UKIP is due from what is known as Short money should be used. The Clacton MP believes passionately in a smaller state and could not see how the sum involved, £600k, could be justified

What this highlights is how important it is that Farage as party leader should be an MP. His failure in Thanet South last Thursday was a huge blow for him and his party.

The signs are that Farage will endeavour to get into the Commons at a by-election but the timing and location of that are clearly out of his control.

Back in February 2013 I could not understand why he stood aside at the Eastleigh by election. It had been clear for at least a year beforehand that there was a big chance that a vacancy would occur there and Farage had stood for UKIP in the seat at a previous by election.

Given that his party’s surge was just starting at that time this presented an ideal opportunity for him to become an MP. For whatever reason he decided against and saw the UKIP candidate come in second very close behind.

In politics you have to take opportunities as they come and it says a lot about Farage that he didn’t.

Now the speculation is that Carswell might leave and there’s even a betting market that he’ll rejoin the Tories.

Mike Smithson


Time for Labour to make a clean break from its economic past

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

My bold prediction for the 2020 General Election, the economy will dominate it, as much as it did this year, even if the economy is performing badly, which will be particularly bad news if your name is Liam Byrne, as the argument will be framed in terms of the situation the Tories inherited in 2010.

Ed Miliband’s refusal to admit that Labour overspent between 1997 and 2010 during Question Time a week before election day, was felt to be a crucial mistake, at the time, so I’m working on the assumption that the best thing for the next Labour leader to perform a mea culpa and not to be associated with Gordon Brown in the way Ed Miliband and Ed Balls were.

I’m ruling out backing Yvette Cooper further, for similar reasons, her past health issues might be a bar, but she’s coped with being Shadow Home Secretary for four years without any issues.

Andy Burnham is another contender, I wouldn’t back, I like him on a personal level for his work on getting justice for the Hillsborough victims and their families, but like the economy, the NHS will feature a lot in 2020, and the Tories have successfully managed to associate the problems at Stafford Hospital with Andy Burnham’s previous tenure as Health Secretary.

So I’m looking at the MPs who first came to Parliament in May 2010 or after. One of whom who gets mentioned as a potential leader is Dan Jarvis, who unlike most of the current bunch of MPs has had a career prior to politics, but I cannot recall a single speech or article from him at all since he became an MP.

If having a compelling back story was crucial for winning the leadership election, then Naseem Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West, would be nailed on to be the next Labour leader.

Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt are two people that might be worth backing, they are impressive in the media, particularly the latter given his role as a TV presenter, the debates are here to stay, and all parties will need to be led by someone good in the media. The only mark against Chuka is some issues regarding his wikipedia entry, but that’s something that’s never held Grant Shapps’ career back.

But if you are feeling adventurous, you might consider backing are Liz Kendall, Stella Creasy and Rachel Reeves, at 16/1, 25/1 and 50/1 respectively. All three are impressive in the media, some backed Kendall at 50/1, so she’s quietly impressive. Stella Creasy’s campaign on payday lenders, is something that will and has gone down well with Labour activists. The one caveat with Rachel Reeves is that she’s due to give birth next month.

The full odds on the next Labour leader are available here.



GE 2015 – the view of the spread betting trader

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

By Aidan Nutbrown, senior trader at Sporting Index with overall responsibility for the firm’s Election markets

The regulars of this parish will no doubt be very familiar with our host’s frequent highlighting of the difference in Sporting Index’s Conservative seats price and our Labour seats price. Why is it that this market seems so different from most pollsters’ forecasts or the many predictions being made by the new and growing breed of academics?

The answer lies in not where our prices begin life but in what drives them after release. A brief explanation of these two aspects of how our pricing works may serve to show how and why we frequently take a different line to the mass of predictions, and why we are often happy to lay chunky bets that seem at odds with the common (or indeed educated) view.

Our prices are originated by our traders, working in this respect as ‘market makers’. If this was say football we would effectively be sports statisticians. But when it comes to elections it is arguable that there is little in the way of a relevant data set to draw upon. We can take polls and turn, for example, Lord Ashcroft’s ‘snapshots’ into forecasts. We can, and do, run sophisticated Monte Carlo simulations, studying uncertainty and things such as leptokurtic distributions. However our model outputs are only ever as good as our inputs. We sometimes get these initial prices wrong – note for example the movement in our Turnout Percentage price. Often these early moves are driven by the very well-informed readers of this website.

The key difference though comes in the next stage of how we manage our prices. Unlike most people making these seat predictions, ours are available to wager on. And it is no secret that we are taking very sizeable bets on this election.

    It is the weight of money that really now drives the prices and our intention is, as with most traditional bookmaking, to try to balance our books.

So we move from being market makers to traders, attempting to generate as much business as possible on both buy and sell sides of the market. So we move our prices and there is a much publicised graph of how our Con and Lab seats have moved in the past few weeks, with a hugely significant upward trend for the Tories. But just a month ago our predictions were only marginally different to the seats distribution implied by Poll of Polls.

However the trend in modern sports betting is rarely to end up with a balanced book, and if not intentionally we will usually find ourselves cheering on or booing one or other outcome – Tory seats will not be welcome at SPIN HQ in the early hours of Friday morning! So believe me when I say we welcome business that seems against the grain, and most readers of this website will be clued up enough to appreciate where there are significant differences in our prices and the accepted wisdom of psephology. Just look at our current SNP level versus many respected forecast of around 52 Nat seats. Believe us when we say we are as surprised by some of our prices as you are!

During the course of election night we will be taking these concepts to the max. We’ll be trading the seats markets – our most liquid – live and in-running, updating them as often and as late as we feasibly can, together with a selection of other core markets. If it’s some of the other markets that interest you then do check our websites for the timings of when each is due to close. Some such as turnout will be late morning, others such as individual seats will be mid-afternoon, and from 10pm just like everyone else we will be focusing on seats, trading live until the death, whenever that might be…


Two polls so far – Populus remains level pegging while CON Ashcroft lead falls back 4

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Just got back from London where I recorded several TV interviews plus made a contribution to the BBC News Channel’s prediction round which will be shown tomorrow. Unlike all the others who are participating I was the only one with a LAB lead – albeit of only one seat.

I find it hard to see how the polling swings in England and Wales can be just ignored. In England & Wales in 2010 the Tories were 10.2% ahead of LAB on voters. It is very hard to discount current margins of just one or two.

    The groupthink is that universal national swing no longer exists. Clearly you’ve not got to exclude Scotland but I fail to see how you can disregard some of the latest polling numbers.

The assumption appears to be that LAB will put on votes where it doesn’t matter but will do less well where it does. I don’t buy it and there’s precious little supporting evidence.

On top of that this election is so tight that party GOTV ops are going to be critical and by all accounts the red team has more skilled foot-soldiers than the the blue one.

The betting meanwhile sticks with the groupthink.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The YouGov poll at this point in the 2010 race got the CON-LAB margin almost exactly right – should we be expecting the same of the latest poll?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

It’s back to level-pegging in latest poll

On Betfair CON most seats is an 82% chance


Betting on when The Queen will invite someone to form a government

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Queen invitation

Paddy Power have a market up on when Her Majesty will invite someone to form a government. 

Please note the terms of the bet, Applies to the date of the Queen’s first invitation to form a government. Person first invited may or may not go on to form a government. Invitation counts even if an exploratory commission is accepted. PP decision final.

Following on from this morning’s thread, this year’s Queen Speech is scheduled for the 27th of May, so if Cameron is planning to carry on until he is forced out, the 11/4 on 21st of May or later may be the one to back. If it takes as long as form to coalition this time around as it did in 2010, the 7/2 on 12th of May to the 14th of  May.

I’m going for 21st of May or later.


There’s going to be a  Broxtowe pre election get together on the 5th May at 8.00 at the Victoria Pub, Beeston, 85 Dovecote Lane, Nottingham NG9 1JG, all are welcome.


Why the 6/4 on LAB in Croydon Central might be a value bet

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

This pattern doesn’t look right

As I’ve said so often what the 2010 LD voters do in the marginals could be absolutely critical in deciding the election.

In processing yesterday’s round of CON-LAB marginals from Lord Ashcroft I came across the above apparent oddity in the Croydon Central survey. Its 2010 LD switcher total to the Tories is totally out of line with just about anything we have seen in his constituency polling.

In October Lord Ashcroft found a split in Croydon Central of LAB 45% to CON 11%.

    Before the poll’s publication yesterday’s LAB was as tight s 1/2 with some bookies to win. Now you can get 6/4 with Ladbrokes. Looking at the polling detail the latest price seems like a great value bet.

I’m on.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble