Would handicap betting make the General Election more interesting?
A common practice whenever an event seems a foregone conclusion is to introduce a “handicap” element to make the betting on the second or third favourite an attractive proposition.
With most of the polls showing Labour 4-5% ahead it’s very hard to see what Michael Howard will be able to take out of the General Election for the Tories. Even allowing for the pollsters’ proven tendency to always over-state the Labour margin, 6.6% in 2001, there needs to be clear blue water between the Tories and Labour for Howard to be even scenting victory.
But how about a betting market that the Tories could conceivably win? One possibly would be on what happens in the 529 English seats.
At the 2001 election these split LAB 323: CON 165: LD 40 IND 1 from vote shares of LAB 41.4%: CON 35.2 LD 19.4.
So it is just feasible that Michael Howard could end up as top dog south of the border. A betting market on this could be very attactive – certainly when compared with the best price of 1/6 that’s currently available on Labour in the main Commons seat market.