Gamblers keep their money firmly in their pockets
In spite of all the headlines and media coverage reaction on the betting markets to Howard Flight’s unguarded comments and his subsequent sacking the reaction of political gamblers has been very limited. Whatever else the affair has produced it has certainly not led to punters rushing to risk their cash by backing Labour or betting against the Tories.
The most senstive barometers are the Commons seat spread-betting markets where punters buy or sell Tory, Labour or Lib Dem seats as if they were stocks and shares. So if you buy Labour at 358 seats and they end up with 378 you’ve made a profit of twenty times your stake level. If they only get 348 seats then you lose ten times the amount. Like all markets the buy level is always higher than the sell and the bookmaker makes his profit from the “spread”.
In the past 24 hours IG Index has been unmoved with the Tories on 199-204 seats. Sporting Index lowered their Tory spread to 198-203 seats yesterday morning but by mid-afternoon is was back to 200-205 seats. At Cantor Spreadfair the day started with the Tories on 200-204 but is currently marked at 206-212 seats.
On the huge range now of conventional betting markets it has been the same story of very little movement.
The balance of money is still on a Labour majority of 60 seats.
The next scheduled opinion poll should be from Communicate Research in the Independent on Sunday tomorrow. There might be other polls in the Sunday papers but we’ll probably have to wait until next week for surveys that take into account the Flight affair.
The one reasonably certain thing you can say about the Flight case is that it has increased interest in the election.