Remember when Gord looked like this?

Remember when Gord looked like this?

gordon smile.JPG

    Will the honeymoon bets come to the aid of the NH losers?

Quite a few regulars took a battering in the betting on the New Hampshire primary and I note that Peter the Punter reported losses of £1300 – ouch!.

This has prompted me to look over outstanding bets and I discovered one that was very popular amongst PBers in late June and early July at the start of the Prime Minister’s extraordinary media honeymoon.

For it was not only the expression on Gordon’s face the appeared different then but the political outlook which affected the betting. One of the offerings was hugely popular amongst PBers, including Peter.

William Hill put up a series of options of things “that might happen first to Brown” among them – calling a general election, withdrawing fully from Iraq, having another child or seeing Raith Rovers win promotion. On top of that at a price of 10/1 there was the option that Labour would lose a parliamentary by election.

This was immediately before July’s Ealing and Sedgefield by elections and a lot of people put money on hoping to profit from those contests at what appeared to be favourable odds. Labour, of course, held on but the bet, as far as I am aware, still stands. I’ve got £100 on and if Peter had a bet a similar amount the £1000 profit could come in very handy.

Clearly for a Labour by election defeat there has to be a by election and in recent times fewer MPs have died in office. Also Gordon is hardly going to appoint a Labour colleague to a position inconsistent with being an MP because of the by election risk.

Given the Tories by election record (last gain in June 1982) the biggest challenge must come from the Lib Dems, even in a seat where they came in third in 2005.

If there is by election then even with the recent increase in Labour’s position in the polls a defence could be very tricky.

I would put the odds of the bet at about 2/1.

Mike Smithson

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