Upheaval for Labour punters in Commons seat markets
Big changes are going on in the Commons seat spread markets to take account of the reduction in the number of Scottish seats at the next election. Two markets have been suspended and another has seen big changes to take account of the new House of Commons which will have 13 fewer MPs.
This follows our warning last April when we advised punters that the spread betting bookmakers and those operating other seat markets seemed to have got their sums wrong over the number of seats that will actually be fought at the General Election. The Government made it clear as long ago as July 2003 that these changes were going ahead.
Since then some punters will have been working on the old numbers, which give Labour 10 extra seats, others on the new
They were ignoring the reduction in Westminster seats from 659 to 646 in a Boundary Commission review to bring the size of Scottish constituencies into line with those in the rest of the country. This is a long overdue reform that could have a big impact on the final result.
It’s estimated that of the 13 seats that are going Labour will lose ten and the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Tories one seat each. So its only punters who bet for and against Labour who are really affected. All our advice on Politicalbetting has been based on the new reduced numbers – indeed we have regarded this as a profit opportuity.
Yet for more than six months this seemed to pass the spread bookmakers by in spite of constant warnings by Politicalbetting. They now seem to have woken up to the change.
Yesterday the IG prices assumed that the three main parties would get 628 seats between them – that’s down to 624. These are the price changes. LAB 340-348 (-2): CON 208-216 (-1): LIBD 66-70 (-1): UKIP 1.2-2
Thus four seats have disappeared and they will need to round down a bit more to ensure that they are in line with the seats that are actually going to be fought at the election. We’ll have to see how Sporting Index handle it when their market re-opens.
Will the new prices reflect the Scottish changes – will Labour drop by ten?
The correction probably won’t move fully in line with the seat reductions but the main beneficiaries from this will be punters who took our advice to bet on Labour getting 335 seats or less or those selling Labour when the spread price was 346-354 – the highest level it has been in the six months. The losers will be those who bought at 354 thinking that the market was operating on the old basis.
Image – http://www.scottishsociety-sa.org/piper.jpg