The Hartlepool Verdict – political gamblers vote with their wallets.

The Hartlepool Verdict – political gamblers vote with their wallets.


    The money goes on the Lib Dems

The initial verdict from the betting markets to the Hartlepool result is that it’s the Lib Dems who will benefit most at the General Election.

The spread markets on Commons seats are:-

SportingIndex – LAB 337-345 (nc): CON 210-218 (-2): LIBD 70–75 (+3)
IG Index 336-344 (+3) : CON 206-214 (-6) : LIBD 71-75 (+3)

The next House of Commons will consist of 646 seats so a party needs 324 to be sure on an overall majority. On these figures the market is forseeing a Labour majority of 20-30 seats. As we’ve noted before SportingIndex seems to be operating on a larger House of Commons than IG. This will sort itself out in time but you need to be careful where you put your money.

The Labour SELL price is still eight below what it was after the July 15 contests when the market moved perversely.

Another market to change has been on which party will come second. The price on the Lib Dems has halved from 12/1 to 6/1. We do not think there is value here. The electoral system makes it so challenging for Charles Kennedy’s party to make big seat inroads even if it is equal with the Tories or Labour on vote share.

Very interesting looking back at last night at how the betting reflected what was going on. At the start of the day there was nothing to go on and punters piled money on Labour. Then as reports from the ground showed things were quite positive for the LDs after lunch the price tightened dramatically. Then, as we suggested in a posting yesterday, the 6pm information coming from both contenders was crucial and accurate. It led to a hardending up the Labour price. Once the count was taking place the price moved further and further to Labour.

    For those of us trading – backing and laying a party – this provides a good model for the future. Lay the favourite in the late morning – back the favourite in the afternoon and try to get on as much as possible after 6pm when a clear trend is shown.

This forum proved to be a great place for information and we had 4,700 unique visitors in the final five hours – our busiest time by far and three times bigger than July 15.

Thanks to you all for contributing.

Mike Smithson

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