Archive for the 'Betting' Category


If reports of private polling are accurate then the Greens could lose their only MP – Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavillion

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

You can still get better than evens on Labour

At the last general election one of the most active constituency betting markets was on Brighton Pavillion where, as we all know, Caroline Lucas won through with a 31.3% vote share to become the Green party’s first MP. The result and vote changes are in the chart above.

This victory came after years of work in the area during which the Greens built up a very strong councillor base.

    The big question for GE15 is whether she can hold on and until now the bookies have made her favourite.

That might change following unconfirmed reports that the Greens carried out a private poll in the seat which shows that they are behind LAB by quite a margin.

The pollster is said to be ICM which carried out surveys for the party ahead of the historic victory in May 2010. I am being told that a new poll was carried out earlier in the year which had the Greens a long way behind.

The party shares being talked about are in the region of LAB 39% to GRN 23%.

The best chance that Caroline Lucas has is if she can persuade CON and LD voters that she is the one to support if they want to stop Labour winning.

I’ve not seen any data or had any confirmation but my source is credible enough for me to have had a punt on Labour at 11/10.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


YouGov has Tessa Jowell leading the way in London as next LAB candidate for mayor

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

One of the great political betting events is the fight every four years for Mayor of London and the next contest is just 22 months away.

Coming up in the next few months will be Labour’s selection process for their nominee who, given the party’s huge success in the capital on May 22nd, should be in with a strong chance. London was where they did best of all and within the party a lot of the credit for that has gone to the shadow minister for London, Sadiq Khan.

Back in March 2013 Henry G Manson tipped him here when Khan was an attractive 33/1. This is what he wrote then:-

“What puts Sadiq Khan in such a great place for this contest is that Ed Miliband also made him Shadow Minister for London… This remit will enable him to meet, speak, campaign, engage with the whole London electoral college for this selection ahead of elections in 2014 and the general election a year later.”

Sadiq’s now 8/1 which I think is still good value.

As to the polling this is little more than a recognition issue. Tessa has been about for many years and is far better known. My reading is that Sadiq would b in with 50-50 chance of beating her for the selection.

As to the actual election a lot depends on what Boris plans to do.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


At GE15 the result in Watford is set once again to be the most interesting, most argued about and most bet upon

Friday, June 20th, 2014

You can make a strong case for Red, Blue or Yellow

Back at GE2010 we had many arguments and discussions about what would happen in Watford which LAB was defending. Jack W, for instance, argued strongly that this was a Lib Dem gain while I put my money on the Tories. You can see the result by clicking the GE10 tab on the interactive chart.

My reasoning was that the overall tide was to the Tories and that the blues would probably do better in three way marginals.

Yesterday’s Ashcroft LD-CON battleground polling, featured in the chart, shows that this is going to be a tight contest once again with just five points separating the three main parties. It has the blues ahead. I’m not so sure.

What adds to the interest in Watford is that it is one of only a dozen areas outside London where there are elected mayors and the third such election took place on May 22nd. You should note that the local authority boundary is not the same as the parliamentary constituency but is not too different.

    Click on the Mayoral election tab and see that last month the Tories were pushed into fourth place on just 13.6% behind UKIP. Dorothy Thornhill of the Lib Dems held on easily with LAB 20% behind in second place.

Watford is a key target for Labour and on a national CON>LAB swing of 4% would take it.

Ladbrokes make LAB and CON joint 6/4 favourites with the LDs on 5/2. PaddyPower have LAB at 10/11 with the Tories at 15/8 and the LDs at 5/2.

There’s been a lot of speculation about what would happen if the mayor was chosen as the LD candidate. Her lowest first round vote share in four mayoral elections was 45.9%. Would she stand? I’ve no idea. If she did it how much of her personal vote would be retained at a general election? I don’t know that either.

The campaigning tab in the chart is based on one of Lord Ashcroft’s regular questions in constituency polling asking which of the main parties have been in contact.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Two new Scottish referendum polls have the gap getting closer

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

And ICM finds that the vote’s dividing 42% of Scottish families

Two new referendum polls this weekend see the gap between YES and NO getting narrower. ICM for Scotland on Sunday has, after the exclusion of DKs, YES up 3 to 45% with NO down 3 to 55%.

The Panelbase poll for YES Scotland, reported earlier, had a 4% gap.

    A feature of both polls is that women are becoming less hostile to the notion of independence. They are still less enthusiastic than man but the gap is closing.

The ICM poll also looked at what the whole debate and campaign is doing to Scottish society. 38% of those polled thought that divisions would remain whatever the outcome compared with 36% who disagreed.

It also found that 42% of families are divided with 21% of those questioned saying that discussions with family and friends “had degenerated into rows.”

The betting has edged up ever so slightly to YES which is now on Betfair a 19.2% chance.

My position remains “all in green”. I’ve traded this for several months and win exactly the same whatever happens. I think it is going to be NO but it’ll be tight.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


What’s believed to be the largest political bet ever – £400k at 1-4 on an #IndyRef NO

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Suddenly the high rollers are putting big money on NO

The punter, said to be a middle aged man, placed a bet via a banker’s draft 1/4 on an IndyRef NO at a William Hill’s betting shop in SW London. He stands to make a profit of £100,000 if that’s how the referendum goes.

Hill say they believe it to be the largest political bet ever in the UK, or even the world.

The punter is reported to be from Surrey and doesn’t have a Scottish accent.

The previous biggest #IndyRef bet was for £200k.

If you think that NO is pretty much a absolute certainty then this makes a lot of financial sense. I’m not so sure that I would have risked it.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The big challenge now for UKIP: Securing enough votes in single seats well in excess of anything its achieved before

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Getting even a single MP might be beyond the purples

There’s been lots of betting interest since EP14 and Newark over what UKIP will do at GE15. Will this be the election when the party that won the Euros actually gets it first MP or MPs?

We’ve been over this many times but it is hard ask for Farage’s team to get enough votes in at least one of the 650 seats that puts them over the line. As we all know Westminster seats are decided by first past the post.

    To put it into context. The lowest vote share achieved by a winning candidate at GE10 was the 29.4% for the LD Simon Wright in Norwich South. The biggest percentage that UKIP has ever chalked up in any Westminster seat, was the 27.8% at Eastleigh back in February 2013.

We are told that UKIP, aware of the problem, is trying to find its own Norwich Souths where high vote shares won’t be needed and victory might be possible with, say, 30-33%. In seats like this two or even three of the main Westminster parties would slugging it out. A danger for the purples is that a rallying cry for their opponents in targets seats will be “we are the only party that can stop UKIP” in an effort to win over tactical votes.

Given all the media attention that the leader gets Farage, himself, would appear to have one of the best chances and he’s expected to announce shortly where he plans to stand.

In a bet placed in May 2013 I’m on UKIP at 8/1 to win at least one seat In a bet placed with Hills and reported here in March 2013 I got 8/1 on UKIP securing more than one MP at GE15. I’m not confident that it’s a winner.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Should the Lib Dems treat the 2015 election as their Rorke’s Drift

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

The video above is what it must feel like to be Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems and what awaits them in next year’s General Election.

James Kirkup in the Telegraph writes about the Lib Dems in Newark

If Labour was passive in Newark, the Lib Dems were non-existent. Not a single Lib Dem MP campaigned there, and only a single peer. (Lord Newby). The cash-strapped central party gave no support to the local candidate. Finishing sixth and losing the deposit surprised no one.

Arguably, this was rational: the Lib Dems have scarce resources and have decided to concentrate them on those seats where they have a realistic chance of holding on; trying to make gains is almost entirely ruled out. Phil Cowley of Nottingham University has snappily dubbed this a Zulu strategy, Clegg’s redcoats retreating to the last line of mealie bags.

Prof Cowley persuasively says that’s “a sign of a party that is sensibly marshalling resources.”

I agree with Professor Cowley.

Whilst we have first past the post, the national share of the vote is irrelevant, it’s all about the number of the seats you win. As seems likely on current polling, next year, UKIP will outpoll the Lib Dems, but the Lib Dems will end up with more MPs, the fact the Lib Dems have started to do this a year before the election leads me to believe they’ll do better than currently anticipated.

James Kirkup seems to think Lib Dems as having to give up on any pretence of being a national party.

Whilst this looks bad in the newspapers and upsets the activists at their breakfast, this would be for only one electoral cycle, they could use their base of seats from 2015 onwards to rebuild.

If it comes down to losing 200-400 deposits and having 40 MPs or losing 50 deposits, but only having 20 MPs, we all know which option we’d go for if we were in the Lib Dems shoes. It is easier to rebuild with more MPs than fewer MPs.

You can bet on the number on Lib Dem seats at the next election, the 31-40 band looks appealing. 

Of course this is all predicated on the premise that Clegg and co are like Chard and Bromhead and not the Zulus.




Christine Lagarde is 4-1 to be next President of the European Commission

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Q A   An Audience With Christine Lagarde   YouTube

The battle for Presidency of the EU is hotting up

Yesterday it was reported by Reuters that:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked France whether it would be willing to put forward International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as president of the European Commission, two French sources briefed on the exchanges said.

They said Merkel, Europe’s most powerful political leader, made the inquiry in a private conversation with French President Francois Hollande after European Parliament elections characterised by widespread anti-EU protest votes.

“Merkel raised it privately with Hollande, who did not take a final position but said he did not think it would be a good idea for Europe to lose the IMF post,” one source said.

Emerging nations have said they want to break a long-standing arrangement under which a European gets the top IMF job and an American heads the World Bank.”

Another source said there was no way the Socialist president, under pressure from the far-right National Front, which won the election in France, and the left wing of his own party, could back a member of the centre-right opposition for the top European Union job.

You can back Madame Lagarde at 4/1 with Ladbrokes (as at midnight)

After much umming and ahhing, I’ve decided not to back her, for the reasons listed above, especially given how poorly President Hollande’s ratings are, they are at a post-war low.

I can’t see any markets up yet, PBers may disagree, but it would be wiser to save your money and back her for next President of France.

The favourite for the Commission President is Jean-Claude Juncker whom Nine-in-10 EU voters cannot name.