You’ve got to drop to 89 on LAB’s target list to find a seat that Tories are betting favourites to retain

January 4th, 2014

Why’s national GE2015 betting so different from the constituencies?

How I miss the commons seats spread betting markets. This is the first election for two decades where this form of betting has not operated. Here the number of seats the parties will get are traded like stocks and shares and the more you are right the more money you make.

Alas the reverse was true as well. The more you are wrong the more you lose as was the experience of an ex-Tony Blair staffer I had lunch with during Gordon Brown’s honeymoon in 2007. He’d “bought” at £100 a seat LAB at 332. They ended up with 257 so if the bet had still been standing by then he’d have lost 75 times his stake level – £7500.

What was great was that the market prices gave a good picture of where betting sentiment lay which is something we don’t have at the moment.

What we do have are the national prices and, on 39 seats currently, betting on the outcome in single constituencies.

Going down the UKPR list as I did this morning the first marginal I got to where the Tories were quoted as favourites was in Battersea. This was won by the blues in 2010 with a majority of 5977 (12.3%) making it LAB target number 89.

Currently you can get 6/4 with Hills which seems a much better bet on Labour than almost any of the constituency prices.

    If you want to bet on the Tories do it on individual seats. If you want to bet on LAB do it on national outcomes.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble 2004-2014