Would you risk £1,000 a seat selling Labour?

Would you risk £1,000 a seat selling Labour?

    How will the betting markets look after the budget

Just seven weeks to go to a May 5th election and the contest has started to attract the attention of serious punters. One high roller on Monday “sold” Labour at £1,000 a seat at 350 seats – IG Index’s biggest General Election bet so far. If Tony Blair’s party does as well as last time then this punter could lose (400-350) * £1000 = £50,000. On the other hand if Labour only get 320 seats then he’s in for a £30,000 windfall.

This bet caused IG to revise their prices resulting in some Tory sellers being attracted to the new 200 seat sell price. It seems that this is one of those psychological points punters are looking at. As we argued on Monday we think that the election might look different after the budget speech. Gordon Brown, surely, is not going to disappoint and should push the Labour seat price up a notch or two – so this punter, perhaps, should have waited until this afternoon.

For the record on this budget day the various spread-betting companies have:-
IG IndexLAB 349-354: CON 200-205: LD 68-71: SNP 5.5-6: PC 4.5-5: RESPECT 0.5-1: UKIP 0- 0.5: DUP 7.5-8: SF 4.5-5: UUP 3-3.5: SDLP 1.8-2.3

SpreadfairLAB 351-352: CON 200-202.9: LD 68.5-69: SNP 5.5-5.8: PC 4.2-4.6: UKIP 0.3- 0.6

SportingIndex LAB 350-355: CON 200-205: LD 67-71: SNP 5.5-6: PC 4-4.5: RESPECT 0.5-1: UKIP 0.3- 0.8

In anticipation of the increased level of betting IG and SI have reduced the size of their spreads thus offering better value. Although Spreadfair, because it is an exchange, has tighter spreads a commission is deducted from any winnings.

The main betting market on which party will win most seats has seen a tightening of the Labour price – the best is now 1/10 although there’s been a fair bit of money going on the Tories with Betfair and the price there is 15/2.

Skybet has now launched a range of Wales-only markets and you can get 5/1 on the number of Tory seats there remaining at zero.

For news of all the political betting markets from conventional bookmakers click the link.

© Mike Smithson 2005

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