Are there any good General Election bets?

Are there any good General Election bets?

blair votingbbc

    Is the best bet not to bet?

With the UK General Election perhaps only seven months away it’s becoming harder and harder to find any good value bets.

On the main Who’ll get most seats? the best that can be had on Labour is 1/5. It’s hard to call for any other party but if the pollsters are exaggerating Labour by as much as they were in 2001 then it is just possible that the bet might be a loser. The risk is too high to wager £100 to win £20 – DON’T BET.

When it comes to Commons seats there has, as we predicted two weeks ago, been a slight movement back to the Tories. The latest prices are:

SportingIndex LAB 338-346: CON 208-216: LIBD 72-77
IG Index: LAB 338-346: CON 202-210: LIBD 70-75

With a Labour margin of only 2.2% on Martin Baxter’s rolling “poll of polls” things are very tight. The vote shares are: – LAB 34.2: CON 32: LIBD 23.7 . You’ve then got to work out how the votes will convert to seats and there are two very different views of the world.

Baxter Uniform National Swing. LAB 366: CON 190: LIBD 60
Cooke Tactical Vote Unwind: LAB 322: CON 248: LIBD 47

So the big deicsion for punters is whether they back the uniform national swing view of the election or tactical unwind. Amazingly there is no consistent market view from the spread prices on which of these calculations is best rated by the punters.

  • The Labour spreads are closer to the tactical unwind view than the other parties. For either buy or sell it is hard to call. The current level is 8 seats down on where the party went after the July by-elections when we felt it was a good sell. When the LAB SELL price returns to 346 – SELL.
  • The Tory spreads, are much closer to the uniform national swing view than the tactical unwind and the money appears to be going on them suffering more from the Lib Dems than Labour. This might be a wrong analysis driven by the party being more vulnerable than the others to adverse press comment. At these prices, however, it is too risky. If the CON BUY price drops to 200 – then BUY.
  • The Lib Dem spreads are much higher than either of the seat calculations – reflecting the party’s proven success at targetting. But the current BUY levels of 75 & 77 are just too high. If it moves down to 68 seats BUY.
  • Several bookies are now in the When will the election be? markets but it’s hard to call anything other than May 2005 and the prices are not worth the risk.

    The only good bet about is backing Blair to go by the end of 2005 which is still at 3/1.

    On the party leaders markets we are getting too close for any move to change now and barring an accident Kennedy, Blair and Howard look like the three contenders.

    Once the effect of Hartlepool and the party conferences are out of the way the end- October polls should give a firmer steer about what might happen. Until then keep you wallet in your pocket.

    Comments are closed.