The money piles on Bush
Whether this will help Tony Blair or hinder him the polls and betting continue to move in the way of his war partner, George W. Bush, in the race for the White House. In recent days the President has been attracting big support in betting markets on both sides of the Atlantic and now the best conventional price you can get in the UK is just on 1/2.
It’s the reverse with John Kerry for who William Hill have just pushed the price out to 2/1. How this contrasts with prices just after the Democratic Convention in Boston at the end of July when both contenders were on the same level.
This is being driven by the polls where the last nine surveys have shown Bush leads of 0% to 12% although a recent one putting the two level is the best position for Kerry in three weeks.
In spite of all of this prices on the Iowa Electronic Exchange continue to have the two contenders very close – currently within 1%. in the vote share market. For the overall winner it’s currently about 59:41 in favour of Bush. These are markets where “political futures” are traded as if they were stocks and, in the past, have been a reasonably good guide to what is going on without the big fluctuations of the main betting prices.
Our call since mid-May to back Kerry is hard to sustain in view of the current polling numbers. UK betting prices are often slow to respond to changes in the US and new polls do not affect it very quickly.
We do not think there is value with a Bush bet and it might be wise to keep out of the market until trends becomes clearer.
The question in the UK is whether Tony Blair will do better or worse in the General Election if Bush is re-elected. Our view is that the Prime Minister will adapt very quickly to any change in Washington and would be helped by a Kerry victory. Bush’s continued occupancy of the White House would be an ever-present reminder of the defining decision of Blair’s premiership.