How a “losing” Labour bet could be a winner

How a “losing” Labour bet could be a winner

Is Paddy Power’s the best Labour bet about?

The Glenrothes by-elections and the narrowing of the gap in the latest Populus poll has renewed interest in betting on the outcome of the next general election – but the possibility of confusion has arisen over how you define “winner”.

Most bookies and Betfair use this format – “Which of these parties will win the most Parliamentary seats at the next UK General Election?”. That seems simple enough though you could see arguments over the Speaker in the case of a tie.

Paddy Power has introduced a different form which creates a completely different bet althogether. For it is saying it will settle the “general election win” market on the basis of “The leader of which Political Party will be the Prime Minister after the next UK General Election.”

Now that is a totally different thing for it is quite likely that the Tories could end up with most seats but Labour, presumably Brown, could cling onto Number 10 for weeks or even months. How will Paddy Power deal with that?

The seat calculator projection on yesterday’s Populus poll had the Tories on 302 seats, 23 short of a majority, but with Labour just ten seats behind. In that situation I could see Brown carrying on with a minority government with or without the support of other parties. The big question would be whether the Commons would approve the first post-election Queen’s speech.

My reading is that in this situation a Labour bet with Paddy Power – currently at 5/2 – would be winner and, as such, looks like the best Labour general election bet about. You’d get paid even though on seat totals Labour lost.

Live general election betting prices.

Mike Smithson

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