Who’s going to make the longest conference speech?
Another new political betting market – the fourth in two days – on which speech by the leaders of the three main parties is going to last the longest. The prices are Michael Howard 5/4: Tony Blair 6/4: Charles Kennedy 2/1. Unlike the latest William Hill bets this market, from PaddyPower, is online.
Acording to the BBC Kennedy’s speech today lasted for an hour so that’s the one to beat. The question is whether Blair or Howard will last longer.
This is a crazy market which is hard to call and a lot depends on how long the orchestrated bouts of “spontanenous” applause by loyal activists located at the front of the hall go on for.
Given that Blair is probably in most trouble with his party and that the Labour organisation leads by a mile when it comes to stage management our money would be on the Prime Minister.
But Michael Howard, at his first conference as leader, could go on for longer but he does tend to be more economical with words and we think that Tony Blair will beat him.
Whatever all the speeches will feel as though they’ve gone on for far too long.
SPREAD BETTING UPDATE
SportingIndex have resumed their spread market on Commons seats at the General Election and they still have not recognised that there will be a smaller Parliament next time. The latest prices are:-
LAB 340-348: CON 212-220: LIBD 67-71
Taking the mid-points this assumes that the three main parties will take 629 seats in the next House of Commons leaving just 17 seats for all the Northern Ireland parties, the SNP and PC , UKIP and any independent. By our reckoning they are 8-9 seats over.
The IG price mid-points assume that the three main parties will take 624 seats. Their prices are:-
LAB 340-348: CON 2o8-216: LIBD 66-70: UKIP 1.2-2
As we explained on Tuesday boundary changes in Scotland will see 13 less MPs from north of the border after the election. It’s estimated that Labour will lose 10 seats.