Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Al Gore – the 150/1 outsider for the Democratic Party nomination

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Could 2016 be Bush v Gore not Bush v Clinton?

You can see how Hillary Clinton’s issue with her private emails turns very messy and denies her the nomination, Joe Biden’s age is becoming a barrier to him getting the nomination, so much so, that’s he reportedly considering standing for only one term to calm those concerns about his age.

The other day it was reported former Vice President and winner of the popular vote in the 2000 Presidential election, Al Gore is considering running, though it has been denied.

I wonder if it is worth backing, purely as a trading bet, Al Gore to be the Democratic Party nominee, some bookies are offering 150/1 but even at 100/1 to 66/1 others are offering. If Clinton & Biden don’t run, and he could appear to be the safe choice, as well as possessing a gravitas that none of the remaining contenders would have.



Keiran Pedley looks at whether Cameron could fight the 2020 general election

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Dave hassled

What’s next for the Conservatives? Could David Cameron stay on and fight the 2020 General Election?

Since the Conservatives somewhat unexpectedly won a majority in May most of the media attention has been focused on who the next Labour leader will be. But what about the Conservatives?

As Labour tears itself apart it is easy to forget that the Tories have problems of their own. The party has never really ‘settled’ the issue of Europe and the upcoming EU referendum promises to be a divisive one for the party. Even more importantly, the Conservatives also face a leadership contest at some point this parliament. When thinking ahead to the next General Election, presumed to take place in 2020, it is easy to forget that it won’t be David Cameron leading the Conservatives into it.

The day after the General Election I put £50 on George Osborne to be the next Conservative leader at 7/1. It’s a bet that I feel quite good about. Osborne is known to possess almost ‘Frank Underwood’ like control over the parliamentary Conservative Party and he will surely make the final two if he wants to. There he will likely face Boris Johnson or Theresa May but with the ‘Cameron project’ in the ascendancy he would surely fancy his chances. It is possible that someone new will emerge but with Cameron and Osborne in such control of the party it is difficult to see that happening. The bookies agree – Osborne is now the 7/4 favourite to be the next Conservative leader with Ladbrokes.

However could David Cameron decide to stay on after all and lead the Conservatives into the 2020 General Election himself?

A few weeks ago Mike blogged on this site about this very idea. He made the valid point that Cameron made his promise to stand down during an election campaign where an outright Conservative victory looked like a fantasy. Now the facts have changed and the Conservatives have their majority it is entirely plausible that he could reconsider.

At the time I dismissed the idea. However with Jeremy Corbyn now favourite to be the next Labour leader I wonder if we should start taking it seriously.  Regardless of who wins the Labour leadership it looks like the Labour Party will spend the next five years fighting internal battles. David Cameron may decide that with his opponents divided the temptation to stay on is too great.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Cameron staying on would be how it looks to the public. Typically voters do not like the idea of leaders staying past their sell-by date.

However, if Labour does take a sharp left turn might Cameron argue that he feels compelled to stay on to confront this ‘new threat to Britain’? More importantly, if he privately calculates that only he can guarantee to defeat such a force – that installing a new Conservative leader who might be unpopular with the country is too risky – then the prospect of Cameron staying on as Prime Minister is not as ridiculous as it may at first appear.

Of course, he may not want to stay on. Indeed, after a bruising EU referendum campaign his party may not want him to anyway. However stranger things have happened. After all, a few short months ago many thought Ed Miliband was poised to form a government yet now we approach party conference season with a Conservative majority government and Jeremy Corbyn poised to be the next leader of the Labour Party. As British politics continues to change might the man at the top remain the same for longer than we expected?

Keiran Pedley is an elections and polling expert at GfK and presenter of the podcast ‘Polling Matters’. He tweets about polling and politics at @keiranpedley



Jeb Bush, 6/4 favourite for the GOP nomination, slips to 7% in the first post debate poll

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Trump up 1 while Fiorina and Cruz the big gainers

Away from the Labour leadership the most intriguing political betting market currently is on who will be the Republican party nominee for the November 2016 Presidential Election.

Last Thursday we had the first live TV debates and today we’ve got the first nomination voting polling since the event. In spite, or maybe because, of all the controversy Donald Trump edges up a point while the only woman, Carly Fiorina, jumps 6% and Ted Cruz 7%.

The interesting numbers are those for Jeb Bush who is down 3 to just 7%. This doesn’t look good an he needs to perform substantially better at the next event in September to keep his donor base happy.

My view is that Bush at currents level is over-priced at the moment and have been laying (betting against) him on Betfair.

Mike Smithson


The Labour leader at the general election betting

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Lab Leader at the GE

Ladbrokes have a market up on who will be the Labour leader at the next general election. This is an interesting market, because you can see scenarios that whoever wins in September ends up being replaced before the next election.

I know the recent precedent is that that Labour don’t remove poorly performing leaders (in fact only replace three time election winning leaders) but this time it feels different for the next Labour leader. If they perform badly, there’s more chance of them being replaced than Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband. Were Jeremy Corbyn to win there’s already been talk about replacing him before the next election.

Burnham, Cooper or Kendall have been deeply unimpressive and uninspiring in this leadership campaign, so I’d be ruling them out were they to lose in September and Labour did change leader before the election.

So it might be worth backing the next generation of leadership contenders, for whom the 2015 leadership election came too soon for them. Stella Creasy. Sir Keir Starmer and Dan Jarvis at 33/1, 20/1 and 8/1 respectively maybe the way to go.

In a few years time it could be with a poorly performing economy, the Tories tearing themselves over the European Union and having replaced David Cameron with a leader who is electorally unappealing, Labour might realise that taking power in 2020 is a distinct possibility, a decent leader might help with that goal.

You can access the Ladbrokes market by clicking here



With just a week to go before voting starts Corbyn is back as favourite

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Hopefully we’ll see new YouGov polling in the next few days

Over the past week Andy Burnham has been making the running in the LAB leadership betting returning for a few days to be favourite.

That’s now changing and this afternoon the money was moving Corbyn’s way an he’s now back as favourite.

What this means I don’t know.

I’m not convinced that the bulk of the new names are necessarily part of the Corbyn camp. Many, I’m told, are former members who have now returned.

Let’s see what the Sunday papers bring.

Mike Smithson


From Ohio, the Nuneaton of US politics, the GOP search for its WH2016 nominee has its 1st official event tonight

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Chart from Ladbrokes

Is Jeb Bush really worth his betting favourite status?

Just as the first TV debate on the Labour leadership was in a seat that the party has to win if it is to succeed in a general election so Fox has chosen Cleveland in the key swing state of Ohio for the first TV debate of the Republican Party White House nomination race.

This is a big moment in the campaign and throse hopefuls who’ve thrown their hats into the ring will want to make the most of the TV exposure. A good sound bite that gets picked up by rest of the media could play a huge part in giving their campaigns the traction it needs.

Making a mark is going to be challenging. There are about 20 declared contenders and to cope with so many Fox is staging two events with the division based broadly on how they are polling.

Given that the race has been totally transformed by the entry of Donald Trump all eyes will be on him and the latest Bush family member, Jeb, to try his hand at national politics

The Ladbrokes chart above shows the current mismatch between the Bush polling and betting odds.

It is said that Bush, former Governor of Florida, has very much lost his touch as a result of being out of front line politics for nearly a decade. Tonight he has to prove himself.

In the 2012 race my betting strategy of always laying the GOP favourite whoever it was proved to be very profitable. I’ve yet to start that with the latest race.

Mike Smithson


When will Dave depart?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Dave hassled

Pulpstar looks at the Dave exit betting

Away from the current Labour leadership election and Mayoralty there may just be one or two political bargains on offer..

In his late March interview, David Cameron announced that he would not serve out a third term. Here I take a look at when he may leave and some associated odds:

2015: 50-1 Sky Bet (Cease to be PM)

I’d put the odds of the PM leaving this year extremely low.

The only ‘event’ which may hasten his departure is of the actuarial variety, and seeing as Dave is in decent nick the 50-1 doesn’t tempt. Perhaps 200-1 I’d think about it but meh.

2016: 14-1 William Hill (Cease to be Tory leader)

Not as crazy a bet as it may first appear is my thought on this. The best price on us staying IN in the EU ref is 1-4 which equates to a 78% probability (10-3 Out). 2016 is 1-3 favourite for the referendum, which implies the probability of an out vote in 2016 is ~ 17%.
Now although Dave has stated that he won’t resign in the event of an [out vote for the EU referendum]*3, it may well be a pre-ref gambit done so as not to give the OUT side more ammunition. Alex Salmond left as leader of the SNP after losing the Indy-ref, and though that was certainly more visceral to the soul of the Nationalist cause than the EU referendum is to the Conservatives, I don’t think it can be entirely discounted that he leaves in the event of an out vote. So 14-1 is a nice price all considered.

Alex also said he wouldn’t go in the event of a “No” too.

2017: 16-1 William Hill (Cease to be Tory leader)

Early handover period…

Perhaps in many ways an unlikely year for Dave to be leaving, but at 16-1 it is coverable. Speculation will be increasing as to the date of his departure following the EU ref, win or lose since there will be a decent sized void for political commentators with nothing coming up.

Tony Blair resigned in 2007, passing over to Gordon. This would be at the same point in the electoral cycle, and a pre-emptive move might wrong foot George Osborne’s opponents for the leadership. If you can get enough on all the options, perhaps cover stake with this one.

2018: 10-1 William Hill (Cease to be Tory leader)

2018 would give Dave’s successor ~ 2 years to the General Election and allow them to find their feet. Further on than 2017, and more time for ‘events’ to take place. Again 10-1 is a fair price without perhaps being the most outstanding of the lot. Autumn conference 2018 may be a decent time to quit for Dave though.

SkyBet have 2017 and 2018 at 9-4 and 2-1 respectively for Dave to cease being PM, which look like very mean prices.

2019: 7-2 Sky Bet (Cease to be PM)

2019 @ 7-2 looks like a great bet for Dave to cease to be PM. It would enable the new leader to take the 2020 GE would be within the ‘honeymoon’ period. With Labour still possibly in a shambles (Some might argue probably or definitely), a handover to George, Boris or AN Other may be a smart move in 2019.

2020: 7-1 Sky Bet (Cease to be PM)

This can win in one of two ways (Excluding the ever present actuarial method) – first the Conservative leadership contest takes place around Spring Conference, although the time frame from that to the GE is VERY short indeed. Second, Dave decides to take on the GE as PM and loses – it is possible that this happens despite Labour’s current seeing as we’re in majority Government, indeed a late 2018 handover could be a ‘double winner’ – but this is unlikely…



The LAB betting is now strongly back with Burnham but does it mean anything?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Punters are flying blind

There have basically been three sources of data for the Labour leadership contest none of which really mean that much at all. The first has been the polling with all but one of the reported surveys being private ones where we don’t even know the name of the pollster if indeed they were carried out professionally.

The second source has been the list of constituency nominations but again it is hard to know whether you can assume but that these represents the views of those who are entitled to vote in this contest. In many areas the CLPs decisions have been based on the views of just a handful of people.

The third strand, of course, have been the betting markets which have become quite lively and active and seen relatively high levels of liquidity.

On top of this the nature of LAB’s alternative vote electoral system with the new structure for trade union votes and the inclusion members of the public prepared to give the party £3 combine to make the process of measurement and predictions becomes even harder.

We do know that AV has changed the outcome in the last two major LAB elections – Harman’s victory in the 207 deputy race and, of course, EdM in 2010. What will it do in 2015?

The ballot packs go out in the next week. I’ve got an all green (I win whatever happens) position with Betfair which I intend to maintain.

Mike Smithson