Monday Call – May 31 2004

Monday Call – May 31 2004


    Soaring UKIP poll ratings affect several markets

UK political betting has been dominated by the UK Independence Party following a YouGov poll showing that that it could beat the Lib Dems for third place in the Euro Elections. In other surveys UKIP has taken 4-5% out of the Tory share of the vote in the main General Election polls as well one on the race for the London Mayor. This affects the General Election, Party Leaders and the London Mayoral Markets.

The big political question is whether the UKIP effect will be long-lasting or will it fade out as happened after the last Euro Election when UKIP’s Jeffrey Titford (pictured above) became an MEP?

1999 Euro Election – UKIP vote share 6.65%
2001 General Election – UKIP vote share 1.5%

If UKIP maintains the polling levels of this week then it could have big implications for Michael Howard’s Tory revival. One factor helping UKIP in next week’s Euro election is the timing of the election with 14m people having postal ballots. For them the election is over once they’ve mailed the ballot envelope – and 90% will, if previous voting experiments are anything to go by, have done this within the next one or two days. So if this is the high point of UKIP support then it will get maximum benefit from it.

Party Leaders Charles Kennedy is the politician most at risk. If , as the polls predict, UKIP beat the Lib Dems into 4th place in the Euro Election then it could spell his demise? His strong point is that the Lid Dems did so badly in 1999 that there is almost bound to be an improvement. The UKIP poll might be a flash in the pan and there could be a recovery. The best option is to wait until the final opinion polls next week. If UKIP is still ahead then a leadership bet against Kennedy would be worth making.

Labour Leader at General Election. John Prescot’s recent comments are making this very confusing but we are not convinced that Tony Blair will be going so DON’T BET in the Betfair and William Hill market. If you think that Blair will not be there, as last week, William Hill’s price is much better.

Mayor of London – person or party. Last week’s poll showing that Livingstone was 14% ahead was almost solely due to UKIP eating into the Norris vote. If, as in 2000, Norris receives the lion’s share of the UKIP 2nd preferences then it will not upset his chances too much. Interestingly the same poll showed the Tories 6% ahead in the London Aseembly election that is held at the same time. We’ve always said that this is the key figure because all the evidence is that Tory voters will go with the party for the Mayor and won’t switch to Labour.

Treat with great caution the pollsters report that 57% of Londoners are saying they are “certain or very likely” to vote. Last time the polls were also predicting turnouts at well over 50% – on the day it was only 34%. Most of those who did not vote were declared Livingstone supporters. Will the same happen this time? This is a punt but we think that at the current price Norris remains good value. BACK.

White House Race 2004. Again the tightness of the race is not being reflected in the UK prices. The latest round of polls either have Bush and Kerry level pegging or Kerry just ahead. Kerry at 2.1 or more is really good value. This will surely move downwards. BACK KERRY.

Date of General Election. A new market this week and one which confuses many people outside the UK. Surely, they say, you KNOW when the next election will be. Well we don’t – it all upto the Prime Minister who, admittedly, has to get “permission” from the Queen. The hot favourite is April – June 2005 though at 1.4 this does not offer good value. A change of leadership, events in Iraq, or a whole whose of things could impact on this. We’ll watch this market carefully to see if value situations develop.

Party winning most seats at UK General Election. The UKIP poll rise at the expense of the Tories has seen prices slip a little back. Our CALL is to wait until after the June 10 elections. Provided the post-June 10 opinion polls are showing Tories leads of 6% or less then backing Labour should be a good value bet. The Tory success in the 1999 Euro Elections had no impact on subsequent opinion polls or the 2001 General Election.

Spread Betting on Commons seats. The Spread Betting price has eased to:-

LAB 322-332 seats
CON 248-258 seats
LIB 52-57

The magic number of seats to for a Commons majority is 324 – so in spite of everything punters are not confident about Labour’s chances. Wait until after June 10 before betting. There is no value here at the moment. DON’T BET.

  • NOTE: Due to the fact that GSM mobile phones do not seem to work in Vermont there will only be a limited service on this week
  • NOTE: When we make a call we are stating that we believe that the chances of something happening are better than the odds that are available. All prices quoted are as at time of posting. We endeavour to ensure that material is accurate when posted. However can accept no respnsiblity for the information on the site or opinions expressed. Users make bets entirely at their own risk.

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