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Why at a 12% chance Owen Smith is now the value LAB leadership bet

August 1st, 2016

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Betfair 0400 Aug 1 2016

The race is tighter than that

All betting is about making assessments of value. How does the price being offered on an outcome equate to your assessment of that actually happening? If there is a mismatch then you have have value bet. So in writing this post I’m not making a prediction just stating where I think the betting value lies.

    There is very little data on the LAB leadership race and what is available, I’d argue, is from a different political era. Fieldwork for the most recent LAB members’ poll by YouGov started the day after Theresa May first day as PM and all the political focus was on her, the new cabinet and all the other changes she was making.

Remember how on the Monday of that week Angela Eagle had launched her bid for the leadership only to find that all the media walked out while she was speaking because at the same time Andrea Leadsom was announcing that she was pulling out of the Tory race thus paving the way for a May coronation.

In the YouGovLAB  members’ poll those sampled were asked how much they knew about the contenders.

So Smith was an almost total unknown and Angela Eagle’s bid had been totally eclipsed by events in the Tory party.

I’d suggest that this has changed quite sharply in the past fortnight. Eagle as we know pulled out and now we have a straight choice between Smith and Corbyn.

Also at the time of that poll Corbyn had yet to face the new PM in the Commons and we hadn’t seen any new Westminster polling that took into account the new CON leadership and cabinet. As we all know May is currently enjoying a polling honeymoon which looks set to continue for the period leading up to LAB leadership ballots going out.

Certainly Labour’s task today looks more challenging than it did and we need to take into account that that could have an impact on all but the most fervent Corbyn loyalist.

The latest missive by the left wing journalist, Owen Jones, I would suggest reflects a changing mood within the party.

So at current betting prices my reckoning is that Smith has greater than a 12% chance and am betting accordingly.

Mike Smithson