Is the 2.9/1 “Tories getting a majority” price worth taking?
In the thread yesterday Marcus Wood, one the PB.C’s most long-standing contributors and pictured above when he stood for the Tories at Torbay in 2005, posted the following comment:-
+++ BIG NEWS +++
I have broken the habit of a lifetime (no betting)and just opened an account on Betfair and placed a bet on an overall Con majority.
I have to say to anyone not having done it before it was a doddle.
It was the Luntz show that made me finally put my money where my mouth is.
I assume he was betting in the Betfair “Election Outcome” market which was opened a couple of months ago after representations from people on the site.
Unlike the other market, available from a number of bookies, on which party will win most seats this offers the options of Labour or the Tories winning an overall majority and there being a hung parliament.
Because the bar is higher the current price on Marcus’s bet is 2.9/1 compared with the 1.16/1 that’s available on Cameron’s party leading on seats. The Labour price is 2/1 against the 0.89/1 in the most seats market while the favourite is a hung parliament at 1.4/1.
Whilst I admire Marcus for putting his money where his mouth is I think that he is going to lose.
We have discussed many times here how the Tories are going to need a very substantial vote margin over Labour even to come top on seats. To take the party over the “overall majority” line requires a move to the party that, so far at least, is not being seen in the polls.
Labour have a formidable fighting machine and even without the master strategist, Tony Blair, are not going to give up power easily. It is also very hard predicting how things will look when Labour has a new leader.
Will Gordon Brown, assuming that it is indeed he, give the party a boost as most of the polls, up to six months ago, seemed to suggest would happen? Or could his succession be like that of his fellow Fife MP, Ming Campbell, for the Liberal Democrats who has hardly made an impact?
What I take from the polling and the Luntz metering is that the public respond well to Cameron. I expect him to have a good General Election campaign with his party, unlike 2005, seeing increase in support in the final month. But the 6-7% lead needed to be certain of government seems too big a hurdle.