Archive for the 'Betting' Category


To kneel or not to kneel that is the question

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The story above in the Sunday Telegraph follows on from Corbyn’s failure to sing the national anthem at the Battle of Britain 75th anniversary memorial earlier on this week could present further problems for Mr Corbyn. Why this story might carry some potency is that Kevan Jones, one of Corbyn’s own shadow ministers has gone on the record so it can’t be dismissed as Tory/media smears/hype. Jones said

“This slur on the Queen will be highly offensive to members of our Armed Forces and many ordinary Labour voters. I am sure these are not the views of Jeremy Corbyn but it is time he distanced himself from some of the more extreme elements of the anti-war coalition.

All of this leads on to an intriguing market by William Hill about whether Corbyn will kneel or not kneel before the Queen during his Privy Council ceremony. Part me of says he will not want to make it a hat-trick of perceived insults towards Her Majesty that the voters will disapprove of (in today’s Sunday Times a YouGov poll finds 59% of the public want him to downplay his opposition to the monarchy) but equally another part of me says he will stick to his long standing Republican principles.


That we are discussing such things indicates that since he became leader the political situation has developed not necessarily to Jeremy Corbyn’s advantage.

You can access the William Hill market by clicking here



Could Alan Johnson lead Labour into the 2020 General Election?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015


At 25/1, Alan Johnson is a value bet for next Labour leader says Keiran Pedley.

It’s fair to say it’s been a difficult start to life as Labour leader for Jeremy Corbyn.

His failure to appoint any women to the so-called ‘top jobs’ whilst controversially choosing John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor got his leadership off to a rough start. Since then, he has been attacked for not singing the national anthem, endured a mixed reception at his first PLP meeting as leader and has generally been derided for a perceived lack of competence in terms of how he deals with the media.

Corbyn’s initial difficulties have led many commentators to declare that he is ‘even worse than imagined’. However, his opponents might want to be careful. There is more than a hint of hysteria in how some of his detractors have seized on largely trivial events. The lack of women in Labour’s top jobs is very disappointing but I can’t help but feel the national anthem issue has been overblown. In going over the top in their attacks on Corbyn, his opponents will only serve to solidify his position – especially among Labour members that voted for him.

And here’s the thing, Jeremy Corbyn is not going to lead Labour into the 2020 General Election anyway. Whether you support or oppose him, whether you think he will be removed or stand aside, if you stop and really think about it we all know this is true. He will be 70 going into the next General Election. It is not even clear he wants to be Prime Minister (as daft as that sounds). His initial poll numbers are dire. The nature of his departure is up for debate but it won’t be Jeremy Corbyn leading Labour into 2020.

My gut feel is that Labour in 2015 is not massively dissimilar to the Conservatives in 2001. Then, the Conservative Party chose Iain Duncan Smith as leader only for him to be removed and replaced by ‘unity candidate’ Michael Howard. History often has a habit of repeating itself and I wonder if it will do so here but this time for Labour. Another battle between Left and Right is possible of course but perhaps the best way for the PLP to get a leader they are more comfortable with, without alienating Labour members that voted Corbyn, would be for them to work with the Trade Unions to choose a leader that is palatable across all sections of the party.

Step forward Alan Johnson.

It is hard to think of someone that could perform the ‘Michael Howard role’ for Labour better than Alan Johnson. I have written on this blog about the prospect of a David Miliband comeback but that feels unlikely now given the current makeup of the Labour (s)electorate and the likely reaction to that prospect of the Trade Unions. At the very least, David Miliband would have to show he has changed in some way from the man that lost in 2010.

On the other hand, Alan Johnson would make an excellent ‘unity candidate’. He is experienced, likeable and could command support both from the PLP and the Trade Unions. He is relatively well known to the public and has a back-story that political dreams are made of. He has shown reluctance to seek the leadership in the past but it is possible that being asked to stand as a unifying figure for Labour might convince him. Before now, you would be forgiven for thinking his time had passed but at 65 he is actually younger than Jeremy Corbyn. Granted, only by a year, but still younger.

Alan Johnson leading Labour into the 2020 General Election may not be the most likely outcome but it makes sense in lots of ways. He is currently 25/1 with Ladbrokes to be the next Labour leader. That feels very good value. I have put £20 on and recommend you do to. As always with betting, the value is not in the most likely outcome but where the balance of probabilities is in your favour. I definitely think they are in this case. Let’s wait and see.

Keiran Pedley 

Keiran Pedley is a regular contributor to and tweets about polling and politics at @Keiranpedley


How Mr Corbyn could end Cameron’s Premiership

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

One of the underlying assumptions in the EU referendum was Labour and the Trade Union movement would be campaigning vigorously for the United Kingdom to remain a member however with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader that assumption needs to be revised. This morning’s Guardian reports “The prospects of Labour opposing British membership of the European Union, or adopting a position of neutrality, has grown markedly after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) voted to recommend Britain leave the EU if David Cameron negotiated a new European settlement that watered down workers’ rights.”

YouGov found that 74% of Corbyn supporters would vote to Remain in the EU so this could also be a major problem for the Labour party were Corbyn like in 1975 vote to leave the EU. Chuka Umunna left the shadow cabinet “because he had not received unambiguous assurances a Corbyn leadership would support Britain’s continued membership of the European Union in the coming referendum.” It would be some achievement for Mr Corbyn to make Labour more disunited than the Conservative Party on the European Union.

Were David Cameron to campaign for Remain and Leave won then that would almost certainly trigger his immediate resignation/removal as Conservative Party leader and thus First Lord of the Treasury, so the fate of the Prime Minister could well be in Mr Corbyn’s hands. Over to you Mr Corbyn.

Yesterday’s ICM poll gave Remain a 4% lead when you add in the potential for a very disunited Labour party on the EU referendum, Remain supporters should be very nervous about the outcome.

The best odds on Leave winning are 3/1 with Paddy Power.



Ladbrokes makes 2020 or later the favourite for Mr Corbyn’s departure

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

I think the logic Ladbrokes are employing is given Corbyn’s overwhelming mandate and Labour’s general aversion to replacing poorly performing leaders makes it likely Corbyn will last until the election. It is hard to criticise that logic.

There’s been a lot of comment and criticism about Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet reshuffle which makes some people want to back an early departure for Mr Corbyn, but in time these things that are considered game changers are often forgotten. Remember the sheer barrage of comment and criticism the omnishambles budget of 2012 attracted? It was hardly mentioned during this year’s general election campaign.

You can access the Ladbrokes market by clicking here.



Corbyn’s first PMQs buzzword bingo

Monday, September 14th, 2015

With Corbyn’s first PMQs coming up on Wednesday Ladbrokes have opened up a market on what Corbyn might say.

These betting markets often appear to exist purely to fund the bookies’ bonus fund and I’m not sure I can see any value here, Punch and Judy at 5/1 might be the one to go for. Perhaps PBers might be more successful in identifying the value in this market.

You can access the Ladbrokes market by clicking here.

Interestingly Corbyn has performed a bit of a u-turn as he is now planning to do PMQs for the forseeable future and not rotate it out to other members of the shadow cabinet.



Sporting Index open a market on how many days Corbyn will last as leader

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The market opens at 475 days

The 475 days would mean that Corbyn’s stint as leader would end on the 31st of December 2016. Whilst discussing this market earlier on today with PBer Tissue Price his view on 475 was if pushed he’d sell, but it’s a risky one. I agree with him that it is risky for several reasons.

The main reason being Labour seldom replace poorly performing leaders. Secondly Corbyn also has a strong mandate that would be difficult for the parliamentary party to overturn. Thirdly the spreads at the last election like in 2010 can be very wrong. On May 7th the spreads indicated the Tories would be 25 seats ahead of Labour the reality was they ended up 99 seats ahead.

That we are discussing Corbyn’s exit date a little over forty eight hours after he was elected is an indication that his leadership has not begun auspiciously as the current shadow cabinet reshuffle contretemps show. One of the Tory messages at the general election was Tory competence versus Labour chaos, this is only reinforcing that message for the Tories.

This market is currently not available online, but by contacting Sporting Index over the phone. Apologies SPIN have now said “We are not offering that market. Someone on a blog asked us for a price. It was a PR Exercise.”



Voting has now closed and the speculation begins

Thursday, September 10th, 2015



Reminder: There’ve been only 2 published LAB polls the latest a month ago

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

LAB4 looking right

At this stage in 2007 deputy race Alan Johnson was odds-on favourite as was DavidM in 2010

Unlike in the 2010 Labour contest there has been no published polling of those eligible that has taken place since voting actually started.

Last time the final YouGov poll was carried out about 6 days after the ballot packs went out and a key question was whether people had actually voted at that stage. This time the final poll was published just as the ballot started going out.

Even with the advantage in September 2010 of knowing which Labour members said they had voted at the time of filling in the online questionnaire the findings overstated Ed Miliband and understated David Miliband. On the final split Ed had a 4% lead over his brother. When the actual votes were counted David had a 9% lead.

YouGov did far better then with the trade union section which at the time made up a third of the party’s electoral college.This time we have a very different single selectorate and there is no polling experience to fall back on.

    YouGov might have this right we simply don’t know. There’s been little polling and what there has been is a month old.

The data we have suggests that Corbyn is doing better with trade union voters and those who have signed up under the £3 scheme. What could be critical if this is indeed closer than it appears are the turnout levels in the various sections.

My point is that the election result could still come as a surprise – either Corbyn winning by a far bigger margin than YouGov had or maybe him falling short of 50% of first preferences required and him struggling to win. Polls, as we saw on May 8th, might not always be giving us the full picture.

The last two big LAB elections have caught the pundits by surprise. Harriet’s victory in the 2007 deputy race was a huge shock. Everybody thought Alan Johnson would win easily. And, of course, David Miliband was odds on favourite until the day before in September 2010,

The uncertainty is why I’ve maintained an all green book on Betfair. I make money whichever of the four gets it.

Mike Smithson