Monday Call – July 5 2004

Monday Call – July 5 2004

Updated 1235
betting slip

    Online by-election betting now available

The Government’s tactic of giving the minimum possible notice for the Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill by-elections has meant that the media, and the bookmakers have yet to wake up to their huge significance. But William Hill now have markets on both by-elections available online.

After an intensive week of campaigning many Lib Dems are now talking about a double – taking both seats. This would have huge consequences for both Tony Blair and Michael Howard. A bet on the Lib Dem Birmingham-Leicester by-election double might be worth making. At current odds a £50 bet would produce wininngs of £210.

UK GENERAL ELECTION. The only reason to be putting bets on at this stage, so far ahead, is if you think that the prices are going to change. If not then hold onto your money and give yourself more time to see what happens.

Events coming up that could affect the General Election markets are the by-elections on July 15 and the publication of the Butler report the day before. Both could probably be bad news for Blair and might push Labour out and the Tories in. On the other hand if the Tories do badly as well a poor result for Blair might harden the Labour price. Our call on the main market remains with Labour but wait until there are better odds.

For the same reason the spread-betting prices do not offer much current value. They are:-

LAB 330-340 seats: CON 237-247: LIBD 55-60 (No Change)

The mathematician, Martin Baxter, meanwhile, has put out his latest General Election prediction showing a Labour majority of 86 on less than a third of the votes. His seat distribution based on the weighted average of last month’s opinion polls is:-

LAB (33.2%) 366: CON (31.7%) 191: LIBD (20.7%) 58.

Given the huge down-side risks of the spreads we much prefer the seat markets that are starting to emerge. The Bet365 prices of last week are no more but the bookmaker’s market is still worth keeping an eye on to compare with the main General Election prices. Oddly Bet365 does not include its General Election seat markets in the information it provides to the betting odds search engines although they are available online.

PARTY LEADERS. It now appears to be all sweetness and light between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and the talk of an early change of Labour leader has receded. Unless the Butler report and next week’s by-elections are a total disaster then Blair looks pretty secure for the General Election.

The same goes for Charles Kennedy as Lib Dem leader in the “Party Leaders” market. Betdaq have 5/8 on Labour led by Blair being the election outcome. This looks like a good bet and much better than Labour alone.

White House Race. We stick with our call on John Kerry. If he has a good convention in Boston at the end of the month then prices might tighten.

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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