Make money on a Labour vote slump in South Staffs?

Make money on a Labour vote slump in South Staffs?


    Evens on 30% or less looks great value

With less than a month to go before the electors of South Staffordshire get their chance to vote in the 2005 General Election more betting markets have now opened on the poll, incorrectly being described as a by-election, that had to be moved back from May 5th because of the death of the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Even in the 2001 landslide the veteran Tory MP, Patrick Cormack, retained the seat with more than 50.5% of the votes ahead of Labour on 34.2% and the Lib Dems on 11.6%. If ever there was a seat that looks a Conservative certainty it’s this one although there would be nervousness if South Staffordshire was ever the subject of a mid-term by-election.

With Labour nationally having lost one seventh of its 2001 vote three weeks ago and the Lib Dems starting so far behind it is hard to see anything other than an easy Conservative victory. The betting exchange, Betfair, has not even felt it necessary to list Charles Kennedy’s party as one of the options in its market on the outcome.

So the main betting interests are on the size of the majority and how well Labour and the Conservatives will do. Skybet offer these options on the Tory vote share: 55%+ 5/4: 50-55% 13/8: less than 50% 5/2. The evens price on Labour getting a less than 30% of the votes looks really good.

  • If South Staffs follows the May 5th national swing then Labour would end up with 29.5% and you win.
  • On General Election day Labour saw its biggest vote drop in places where it did not matter – like South Staffs.
  • With no prospect of victory the party is going to find it very hard motivating its supporters and even the 29.5% May 5th projection looks optimistic.
  • Labour might be vulnerable to the Lib Dems which saw its 15.1% share in 1992 drop four points in the 1997 and 2001 landslides when the anti-Tory vote tended to concentrate on the party most likely to beat them. This could unwind.
    • All told the chances of Labour getting below the 30% level are much much better than the current odds and we think there’s money to be made. If you want to go for a higher profit at a slightly higher risk take the 5/4 against the Tories getting 55% or more.

    Whatever there are profits to be made. Bet now before the price tightens.

    Mike Smithson

    Comments are closed.