Should we be taking the SNP at 13/8 before it gets tighter?
In the past few days the price on the SNP in next Thursday’s Glasgow East by election has been steadily tightening and now the best bookmaker price you can get is 13/8.
I had been holding back my personal betting but I’ve now come to the conclusion that current prices might not last and have put a few hundred on the SNP. Although I still make Labour the marginal favourite I rate Labour’s chances of success at no more than 55% with the SNP on 45%.
So the current price appears to be good value.
Journalists who have been watching the campaign on the spot have told me how impressed they are with the SNP campaign team and the sheer scale of their volunteer effort. They are said to be out-gunning Labour by some degree – a factor that could be key given the relative lack of campaigning activities over a long period in the seat.
There is also the possibility of a seepage of Labour votes from parts of the large Roman Catholic community because of the party’s stance on the embryology bill. In addition there could be voter confusion because the Scottish Socialist Party candidate is also called Curran and will appear higher up the ballot. Quite what the scale of these factors will be is hard to estimate but a few hundred votes could be crucial.
But I prefer hard numbers to anecdotes and speculation and I cannot just ignore last weekend’s ICM poll which had Labour 14% ahead. If it wasn’t for that I would be happy to place wagers at odds-on. As we have discussed on the site there are reasons to think that the outcome will be narrower than that margin.
Alec Salmond himself is known to like betting – it would be interesting to know whether he is backing his man there.