Although the main issue of which party will win most seats is almost a foregone conclusion there are a number of bets about where the chances of it happening are better, in our view, than the odds being quoted by the bookies.
Lib Dems to get more than 70 seats. Charles Kennedy’s party poll rating is a third to half better than it was at this time before the last election and all the experience is that they will pick up more during the campaign. The LDs have a great record of focussing resources on target seats and we’ve been impressed by recent comments of from people we believe are menbers of the party’s national campaign team on our forums. The best price on this is 6/4 with Tradesports – the Dublin betting exchange. Great value. Other Lib Dem seat prices can be found here.
Turnout to be 60%+. With the election looking tighter than last time and with a much higher level of rancour between the main parties we expect turnout to be more than the 59% of 2001. There’s also in many areas been a lot of work tidying up the electoral register reducing the overall number of names thus boosting the turnout proportion. Turnout prices have dropped to evens on six weeks ago when you could get more than 3/1 on 60% or more. A better bet is the 5/2 that available on Betfair on 65% or more. Good value for the price. IG Index’s spread is 58-60.
Tories to get more than 200 seats. This is the target that many commentators believe that Michael Howard needs to reach if he is to survive as leader. The Lynton Crosby Tory campaign has shown that it is more than a match for the once all-conquering Labour team and targets in excess of 200 do not seem out of reach. The spread prices have edged now to above this figure although they might drop back a little in response to Wednesday’s budget. Tradesports currently have 205+ at 11/4 which looks great value. This compares with 15/8 on Skybet and 10/11 with Bet365 on them getting 201 or more.
Tony Blair to go before Jan 1 2006. The 4/1 price covers a whole range of eventualities. His health, a coup in the party or even Labour not winning. Great value.
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Â© Mike Smithson 2005