Why not be like Boris and get two for one?

Why not be like Boris and get two for one?


    The betting markets move against the Tory mayoral contender

On the face of it the 2008 race for the London mayor has everything. Two candidates who are known simply by their first names as well as a high profile Lib Dem; what looks like quite a tight contest and the knowledge that voting takes place in just 16 weeks time so you won’t be locking up your cash for long.

Yet compared with the 2000 and 2004 elections punter interest appears to be quite low. Less than £28,000 has been matched on Betfair and the Spreadfair market has seen very little activity.

Of course political punters have been transfixed by the US primaries though it it perhaps pointing out that those who have made wagers on who gets the nominations will have to wait until September before they get their winnings. If you get the London mayor right then you’ll be paid in the first week in May.

And, in my view, there’s great value to be had on Boris. The latest Betfair price has him now at 1.94-1 which is just about as good value as it has ever been.

    Following the YouGov poll that had Ken just one point ahead I thought we would see a rush to get on Boris who was then 1.5-1. Now that’s moved out even more this is a betting bargain.

Labour are trailing by 10% in the national polls, Tory voters have higher turnout rates, and the chances of him winning are much better than the odds suggest. Ken is a formidable operator but not that formidable. Boris at these prices is great value.

Mike Smithson

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