How many will fall to the Tories on election day?
I was right – Obama running mate betting was a mugs’ game but one, alas, that I found irresistible. This betting disaster has cost me dear and it’s perhaps time for me to fall back on what so far has proved profitable in the past – the next UK general election where if you can anticipate the way market sentiment will change you can go in, then get out and make a profit which you can pocket there and then.
Many non-gamblers find it hard to comprehend that you can pick up profits like this even though it might be nearly two years before the election takes place. But you can.
The latest spread prices from Sporting Index have a buy price on the number of Tory seats at 348 which if they got would mean a majority of 46.
So what are the key seats are we talking about if Cameron is to achieve and maybe go above this level?
Earlier in the month one of the most vociferous back-bench critics of David Miliband’s alleged move on the leadership was Geraldine Smith – the MP for Morecombe and Lunesdale who is sitting on a majority of 495 and holds the first seat that Cameron has to take if the Tories are to return to power.
For, based on the notional 2005 result to take into account boundary changes, the Tories need to pick up 111 seats to push them above the level where they have a Wesminster majority – and seat 111 is Geraldine’s.
Reproduced above from UK Polling Report are Tory targets numbers 111 to 136 for the general election. If you are comfortable that most of these will fall and beyond then the current spreads offer good betting value. If not then you should be selling the Tories and buying Labour.
The list is based on a uniform national swing and does not take into account regional variations or, as we have seen can be very important, the impact of incumbency. Also included are several Lib Dem targets where the main CON-LAB might not apply and a couple of Scottish seats where it might be much harder for the Tories.
But overall, given the massive gap between the seat projections based on current polls and the prices, there does seem to be value.
My main concern is that that there is not a lot of confidence out there amongst Tory backers and Labour sellers. So the time to bet is if and when you detect market movement.
Until that happens I’ll be watching things very carefully but not risking that much.