Spread-betting markets: Labour lead just one percent

Spread-betting markets: Labour lead just one percent

    Is there money to be made backing the pollsters?

Spread-betting gamblers are ignoring the recent opinion polls move to Labour and are putting their money on a Labour lead of just 1% in the popular vote on May 5th.

The mid-points of the spreads on the IG Index popular vote market are: LAB 36.5: CON 35.5: LD 20.75 and the only movement in the past week has been towards the Lib Dems.

    If the latest NOP and ICM polls showing a Labour margin of 6% have this right then there’s money to be made selling the Tories.

This could be even better because IG is operating on an all-UK basis rather the GB-basis which inflates the Tory figure by at least one percent. So there’s even more of a gap between the current spread price and the 32-33% that the two phone pollsters are showing.

The popular vote could become very important in the post-election environment especially if Labour wins most seats, as seems a near certainty, but is second to Michael Howard’s Tories in terms of votes. What could make this more likely is if the party’s voting pattern is similar to four years ago when it managed to get ELEVEN votes in its marginals for every TEN votes it got elsewhere on the national performance.

The best opinion polls in 2001 tended to reflect what happened in the marginals – not the overall national figure.

Mike Smithson

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