Will the market moves be reflected in post conference polls?
The latest best price on Labour winning most seats at the next General Election has now eased to 6/4. The online bookmaker offering the odds, Corals, has also tightened the Tories to 1/2. So a winning Â£100 bet on Labour would produce a Â£150 profit while a Tory backer making a similar sized bet could only look forward to winnings of just Â£50.
For the potential wininngs on the Tories to be a third of that for Labour is quite remarkable. These are the tightest Tory prices and longest Labour ones for the ensuing General Election since 1992 and probably for years before that as well.
The odds in this market, it should be emphasised, are for the party winning most seats not on who wins a majority. Most predictors suggest that Cameron would need a lead on votes of more than 4% for this to happen – a margin which is considerably greater than current poll standings.
Bookmakers are not philanthropic and clearly Corals has priced the market to balance its books. For anyone considering backing Labour with a conventional bookmaker these odds look like a bargain. The current Betfair Labour winning most seats price is about 1.3/1.
I don’t quite know who actually bets in these markets so far out from a General Election and if you did you would normally expect to do better on a betting exchange. Unlike a conventional bookmaker your stake is locked up right until the result is known. On a betting exchange you can take part or the whole of your stake out if prices move in your direction.
Although the Corals move is quite large it is part of a general trend this week for the Labour General Election price to ease. Maybe it reflects how punters have seen the party conferences. We’ll see if this is right when the first batch of post-conference polls come out. In the meantime I’m keeping my money in my pocket.