Blair staying at 1.53 looks good value
After yesterday’s move by William Hill to offer the best price on Labour for the General Election the bookmaker is beating the betting exchanges in another key General Election market – whether Tony Blair will be Labour leader on election day.?
The mood has moved back to Blair in recent weeks and this has been reinforced by comments from Gordon Brown that the Prime Minister would stay until the Euro referendum at the earliest. This looks set for 2005 – or after the General Election. The Willian Hill price of 1.53 is ahead of Betair – which does not usually happen. For many political gamblers the exchanges offer other advantages but it is striking that on the two key political propositions – Labour to win and Blair to be leader – they are behind.
Before placing any bets it always pays to check what’s happening across the markets.
Labour has called two quick by-elections in Midlands seats where it had huge majorities in 2001. At the last general election in Leicester South, Labour came first with 22,958 votes, Tories second with 9,715 and the Lib Dems third with 7,243. In Birmingham Hodge Hill in 2001 Labour won with 16,901 votes, the Tories again came second with 5,283 and the Lib Dems third with 2,147.
We think that Leicester South looks like the interesting battle and let’s hope we can bet on it.
The General Election spread market has moved slightly back into alignment following our post yesterday that Sporting Index had raised the levels on Labour and the Lib Dems by two seats each but had only taken two seats off the Tory position. The prices are:-
LAB 330-340: CON 237-247: LIBD 55-60
There’s been no clarification on the Scotland boundary changes so punters BUYING LABOUR will almost certainly find that they are at least ten seats short because the overall House of Commons is being reduced by 13 MPs from Scotland.
We would be urging punters to take advantage of this by SELLING LABOUR – but even with the 10 Scots seats factored in we do not see value in the current spread price. Only if punters are planning to BACK the TORIES anyway would we suggest the SELL LABOUR option.
NEW MARKET – NEXT EU PRESIDENT
Paddypower has now weighed into the the “who will be next EU President” market and marks the Irish Premier, Bertie Ahern, as strong favourite. This is a crazy one to follow because of the ability of the big powers to exercise their veto. We have no view.