Who’s the best bet: Boris or Obama?

Who’s the best bet: Boris or Obama?


The current odds-in favourites in the two most active betting markets are Obama for the Democratic nomination and Boris for the London mayoralty. The former is at 0.4/1 and the latter at 0.68/1.

    I think that the prices are the wrong way round and that Boris has a substantially better chance of making it than Obama does.

Of course with Boris everything depends on how Londoners vote on May 1st while with Obama the majority of state battles have taken place and he has a significant, though not overwhelming, delegate count.

But the Democratic process has more variables and, just maybe, ending up with most pledged delegates might not be enough. Hillary could just conceivably end up top dog in the popular vote which which give her an “in” with the super-delegates who could decide the thing.

What persuades me about Boris’s position is the polling – not only the latest survey from YouGov but the fact that Labour has not given any details of its latest private polling. Last month their MORI poll was published to defuse the YouGov survey that had Boris ahead for the first time – in March there has been silence and silence is very telling.

A new bit of detail from YouGov reinforces my confidence. Unlike the 2000 and 2004 contest Boris is holding onto the Tory vote. Four years ago, it will be recalled, a significant proportion of party supporters in the GLA election on the same day switched to Ken for the mayoralty. This time that is not happening. A total of 87% of those surveyed who had previously identified themselves to YouGov as supporting the Tories are sticking with their man on May 1st.

That compares 68% of Labour supporters staying with Ken and just 38% of Lib Dem identifiers saying that Paddick is their first choice.

The big challenge for Labour will be to get its vote out and my guess is that with Ken being seen to be in trouble they will do quite well.

    But there is one number that should give the Livingstone campaign pause for thought – more than one in five Labour identifiers with YouGov say they are voting for the Tory.

I don’t normally bet big on such tight favourites. I am with Boris. On Obama I have lowered my exposure hand have a healthy positive position with Hillary.

Mike Smithson

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