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How good is the LAB>UKIP bet?

May 14th, 2009

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Should you be spending big in the William Hill market?

For political gamblers there’s nothing like an election in three weeks time to get the juices running for so often the outcomes that we spend hours talking about and debating are such a long way ahead. Not so the June 4th elections.

And the big bookies are getting geared up. William Hill got a lot of punters very excited with their LAB>UKIP market which opened with 7/4 being offered on Brown’s party doing better in terms of numbers of MEPs than UKIP.

Alas I did not get on at that price but have wagered £500 at 6/5. As I write the price has moved in to evens which I think is still great value for money. Why?

No Robert Kilroy-Silk. A key part of UKIP’s appeal in 2004 was the presence of the former Labour MP and talk show presenter who came to personify the UKIP campaign and attracted a lot of the media coverage. In his East Midlands region the party got a walloping 26.1% of the vote compared with the overall GB share of 16.2%.

UKIP expenses scandals This hasn’t been much looked at by the media yet but UKIP’s record on expenses is appalling even when compared with what’s currently going on at Westminster. One UKIP MEP was imprisoned in 2007 for falsely claiming £65,000 in welfare benefits while last month another was charged with false accounting and money laundering over allegations that he misused nearly £40,000 in expenses.

Thus criminal proceedings have been taken against one sixth of the entire party contingent who were elected five years ago. UKIP cannot say a thing about the dominant political issue of the campaign without opening their own massive can of worms and you can bet that the other parties will attack them.

The rise of the BNP The territory that used to be UKIP’s own is being encroached by an increasingly successful BNP who looks set to take seats for the first time. That could eat into UKIP’s potential.

Yes – everybody is predicting a Labour crash and certainly there’s a chance that they could drop below 20% but it’s hard to see UKIP getting close enough to win on seats.

Get your money. The evens is a good bet.

Mike Smithson






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