What price will the SNP move out to?

What price will the SNP move out to?

    When is the best time to get your bet on?

I have no idea who is going to win the Glasgow East by election on Thursday. The latest poll at the weekend gives it to Labour by a whopping 17% margin but comes from a pollster that is not a British Polling Council member and so far has ignored my written requests for the data and the detail on how the survey was carried out.

The failure to provide PB with information does not mean the firm is wrong but it does not inspire much confidence.

The poll did take place last week and so will be old by the time its gets to election day. There’s a long record of things tightening in high profile by elections as we get closer to the actual voting and also a strong tendency for support to be polarised between the two most likely candidates. Thus it’s possible that those voters who oppose the SNP on independence might come round to backing the party just this once in order to give Gordon a good kicking.

I still rate Labour’s chances at about 55% against 45% for the SNP. The question for me as a punter is how do I get the best value? And unless the Labour price suddenly eases towards evens that means my betting will be on the SNP.

The plan, and I realise that sharing it here might make it less likely to happen, is to wait until Thursday itself. There’s a long history in election betting for money to follow the odds-on favourite on polling days and for the price to tighten considerably. This is generally because punters with less of an interest in politics but like a bet come onto the market and are attracted by the prospect of a quick profit – even if the prices are tight.

As the day goes on then we might start to see movement as those on the ground start to get a sense of the outcome. It’s usually not until about 6pm that trends become clear. So my betting will probably be in the morning. In the evening I’ll be watching very closely and if I get sense that it’s going one way or the other then I’ll bet again.

In the meantime I’m staying well out.

By-election betting – live latest prices

Mike Smithson

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