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The chances of a LAB majority have dropped by 10% since the budget according to Betfair punters

August 1st, 2014

But Labour’s inherent electoral advantages could be being ignored

Exactly 8 months today on April 1st 2015 the formal general election campaign will begin and my intention at the start of every month is to monitor betting prices on the Betfair exchange to see how the mood is changing.

The chart above shows current latest trades on the firm’s GE2015 outcome market and has comparisons with what it was just before the March 2014 budget. As can be seen the big “loser” in the period has been LAB. Then the chances of a major were rated at just under 40% – now that is down to below 30%.

The gainers in that period have been a CON majority and no overall majority.

    But be warned. In 2010 the betting markets overall overstated the Tories and LDs and seriously understated Labour. That might be happening again.

Just before the polling opened in May 2010 the Commons seats buy level on LAB seats was 222. They got 258 producing a nice profit for those who got on.

On the face of it the historical LAB ability to achieve a substantially better votes:seats ratio than other parties doesn’t seem to be reflected in the betting.

I’m really looking forward to the next round of Lord Ashcroft polling which, apparently, embraces slightly less marginal CON held seats than we’ve seen in earlier rounds. Hopefully this will give us better pointers.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble