Archive for the 'Betting' Category


LDs said to be “competitve” in Solihull – the Tories’ top yellow target

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Ladbrokes have them at 10/3

Big polling story of the day are the reports of Survation private seat surveys for the Lib Dems some of the details of which the party is publishing. A key element, unlike the Ashcroft polling, is that incumbent MPs are named which is having a positive impact on response. This is from the report:

“The party even knows the popularity of all its current incumbent MPs that are standing again, and is capable of ranking their net positive ratings.

The scale of the positive ratings for some well dug-in Lib Dem MPs such as Norman Lamb, Tim Farron or Andrew George is high, with many hitting a net positive rating of 60%. The polling shows the party is squeezing the Tory vote in key seats by running a strong anti cuts message, but it is clear it is struggling to win back Lib Dems disillusioned by Clegg going into government with the Tories, making its retention of seats where Labour is the main challenger a much harder task.

On the basis of the projections, the party is on course to remain competitive in seats that would fall if there was landslide against the Lib Dems, such as Cheltenham, St Ives, Cardiff Central, Eastbourne, Solihull, Cheadle, Leeds North East, Cambridge and Bermondsey. The rise in the Lib Dem vote in these seats is almost entirely undetected in national polls where the party is becalmed, it claims.”

In most of the named seats there is polling from Lord Ashcroft to corroborate the assertions. The one that stands out is Solihull where Lord A had the Tories 9% ahead. Ladbrokes have the LDs on 10/3

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The Next Tory Leader betting

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Given the current polling and lack of time and opportunities for the polling to change, it is likely Cameron and the Tories in a little under three months time will be out of Downing Street, which in all likelihood means there will be a vacancy at the top of the Tory party.

The current favourite is Boris Johnson, in past Tory leadership elections it has been profitable to lay the favourite. Another reason for laying Boris will be if the Cameron project is seen to have failed, it is unlikely the Tory party will elect another Old Etonian, Bullingdon member.

For largely the same reasons it might be prudent to lay George Osborne, as he will be seen as the continuity Cameron candidate, more crucially, he will forever be associated as the architect of the omnishambles budget of 2012, from which the Tory poll ratings have never really recovered from.

So who to back? The value may have gone out of Theresa May, but you can still back Philip Hammond at 14/1.

If the Tories do lose power in May, a lot of Conservatives will see reuniting the right as the way to power in 2020. Who better than Philip Hammond, who has said in the past he would vote to leave the EU and has also said gay marriage caused a real sense of anger to attract back the UKIP defectors?

If you fancy an outsider, and the Tory Party does have a history of picking as leader someone who was long odds only a few months before they became leader, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid may be the way to go and they can be backed at 33/1 and 16/1 respectively.

The odds on the next Tory leader are available here.



At this stage in 2010 bullish punters pushed the betting to a CON majority of 36 completely in defiance of the polling

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Are CON punters being grossly optimistic yet again?

Last night John Rentoul asked me what had happened in the betting at this stage of the 2010 campaign and I dug up the above – an index that I created and reported regularly on here based on the spread betting and Betfair line prices.

At this stage in the last campaign the Tories had begun to falter in the polls and the established firms had them with leads of 5-7% which pointed to them winning most seats but some way back from an overall majority. This was indeed what happened.

    Yet the polling did not arrest the what turned out to be the grossly over-confident blue mood on the betting markets as the above PB Index shows. The money was piling on an overall majority in spite of the ample polling evidence that this wasn’t going to happen.

I think that that is repeating itself now. The betting is strongly suggesting that the Tories will win most seats even though the polls are showing small but consistent LAB leads

Apart from the Ashcroft weekly poll, which hasn’t had Miliband’s party ahead this year, there’s a pretty consistent pattern from the others. Even with LAB’s Scottish problems they’ve got at least a 50-50 chance of beating the Tories on seats.

It appears that the mood is driven by a rock solid conviction that when voters are presented with the possibility of Ed Miliband becoming PM they will shy away.

Maybe they will but there’s nothing in the polling to support that at the moment. I was struck by yesterday’s ComRes finding that just 12% said that the key factor in voting choice is which party leader will make best PM.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


LAB might be edging up in all recent polls – but punters staying solidly with CON taking most seats

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Latest betting

Latest polls

When an outcome is like toss a coin the value bet is the one with longest odds

There seems to be some pretty heavy money about on the Tories in the general election betting resulting in the blues being favourite to win most seats.

Based on what we know and reinforced by recent polls I wouldn’t recommend blue wagers at these prices. It might be that there’s a considerable swing back but there is little to support it at the moment. As I wrote in my Betfair Predicts column yesterday:

“..The Conservative problem, something that is not getting highlighted at all at the moment in remains that the electoral system stills works very much against it. Quite simply the blues needs a bigger vote share than Labour in order to secure most seats or win a majority. This has been ameliorated a bit by Labour’s Scottish difficulties but it has not solved it.

Just look at England alone where 532 of the 650 Westminster seats are located. Back at the 2005 General Election the Tories “won England” on votes but Labour came home with a colossal 92 more seats giving the party a comfortable working majority. In 2010 the Tories had a 90+ seat lead over Labour in England but to do so need a lead on votes of 11.4%.

Theoretically any Conservative lead in England less than 11.4% would see Cameron’s party losing seats to Miliband’s.

The reasons for that imbalance are still there. The average size of the electorates in Labour constituencies is smaller and there are much lower turnout levels in its heartland seats compared to the Tories. On top of that the blue team is more vulnerable to tactical voting against the party. Those opposed to the blues have been more ready to switch parties to kick the Tories than vice versa. All on this contributes to a lower seats:votes ratio for Labour than the Conservatives…”

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Ahead of what Ipsos-MORI is describing as a “corker” of a poll NOM moves to its tightest level ever on the Betfair Exchange

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The Ipsos-MORI poll, for the Evening Standard, usually comes out between 1200 and 1400.

As to the betting moves it is very hard to argue against. The pathways to both Tory and Labour overall majorities look very difficult based on what we know at the moment. But remember what Harold Macmillan used to describe as “Events dear boy”. Anything can happen.

We’ve seen how Scotland has totally knocked Labour off track and just look how the Tories good start to the year is suddenly threatened by HSBC and the tax avoidance/evasion issues. That Cameron made a top HSBC man a minister and a peer gives it an extra potency.

Let’s see how much of a “corker” the Ipsos-MORI survey actually is.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Good news from William Hill about the great PB “Composition of next Government” bets from July 2012

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

In view of the way politics have developed in the past six months those who bet on “other” in the William Hill “Composition of Net Government” market in July 2012 have started to think that there’s a nice pay-out to come in May. I’ve got several bets on at 12/1. The screenshot was taken after the “other” price was tightened to 8/1.

Given that a majority Labour or Tory government looks quite remote and a simple coalition on the 2010 model might be difficult to achieve I’ve been contacted by some PBers about how the bookmaker will regard a bet on “other” because it has to be read in the context of the other options on the market at the time.

This was my exchange of emails with Graham Sharp of William Hills.

“to Graham
I’m getting a inquiries from people who bet on “other” in your composition of next government market in July 2012. The screen-grab below was published on my site on July 12th 20012.

Given the way politics has been totally transformed in past two and a half years you have a lot more options up.

“Other” from then looks like now like a very attractive bet. Can we assume that if the outcome is not one covered on the July 2012 list then it will be settled as a winner?

It would be great to meet up again before the action starts.


Graham Sharpe

to me
Mike – I can see no reason why ‘OTHER’ wouldn’t mean exactly what it said at that time – any option other than those described………..

It’s great to have clarification.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


LAB most seats slips to just a 40% chance making it the best value GE2015 bet

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The fundamentals stay with the red team

After yesterday’s Lord Ashcroft Scottish polling and last night’s YouGov recording a CON lead the money on the general election betting markets has moved to the Tories.

The overall outcome is, of course, still for a hung parliament but CON most seats has now become a firmer favourite on that market. The broad split on the Betfair exchange this morning is CON with a 60% chance of most seats and LAB with a 40% one.

    This makes LAB most seats a great bet and I’ve moved money in that direction. The reason is that the basics haven’t changed

For the Tories to win most seats they need to pick up a big wallop of LD seats which as earlier Ashcroft polling suggested is going to be a lot tougher than the national figures suggest.

Going through his polling seat by by seat the blues are only clear cut polling favourites in eight seats. Some others were allocated to the blue camp the but polling detail is less promising for the blues. Several seats have more LD voters than CON ones but the former are downgraded by lower certainty to vote levels. In Yellow-Blue spats you have to assume that the most marginal voters will turn out.

The other huge question mark for the Tories is England. On the face of it they need to repeat their English vote lead of 11.4% in order not to lose seats to Labour. None of the pollsters providing England only data has Cameron’s party anywhere near that. ComRes and the latest Ashcroft make that a 4% gap. Ipsos-MORI has them tied in England while ICM gives LAB a 3% lead.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The best betting strategy for tomorrow is do nothing till you’ve seen the numbers

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

At 11am tomorrow morning Lord Ashcroft’s Scottish single seat polls will be published and will get huge media attention. It is going to be an intensive period for political punters both on the constituency markets and the overall outcome ones.

The best preparation is to look over your current commitments and have a plan of action depending on what the polling is telling us.

If it’s bad for LAB then its price will lengthen on the most seats and overall majority markets. If it is only showing, say, the loss of 15-20 seats then my guess is that the impact will be neutral. If it’s better than that it might get tighter.

So far Lord Ashcroft has not responded to my Tweet!!

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble