Are the Tories set to become favourites again?

Are the Tories set to become favourites again?

Chart GE most seat 2005-2007.JPG

    The changing view of punters since May 2005

The chart shows the changing fortunes of the two main parties since last time on the main general general election market – who will win most seats. The betting prices are represented as an implied probability rather than the actual odds because it shows trends better.

This is not about whether the Tories or Labour win an absolute majority but on which of them finishes up with the most seats.

This is not a market I play because it involves locking up cash for considerable periods – although on a betting exchange you might be able to take part of your stake out if your prediction has been right and prices have moved in your direction.

What I find interesting here is the time-line. Although David Cameron became Tory leader in December 2005 it was not until after the May 2006 local elections that punters finally put the Conservatives into the favourite slot.

That continued until the arrival of Brown at Number 10 and the extraordinary poll bounce that he experienced right until this month’s the Tory conference in Blackpool. Just over a month ago, after Gordon’s conference speech, the Labour price tightened to nearly 1/3. It’s now at 0.97/1 heading towards evens.

The Tory prices are almost a mirror image of Labour’s and you can currently get 1.04/1 on Betfair. One bookmaker is still offering 11/10.

After the next round of polls it might look completely different.

Prime Minister’s Questions thread This will be published at 11.45am in time for the noon start. If you are not near a TV this can be viewed on the live BBC News 24 feed.

Mike Smithson

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