Should you be taking the 5/1 on a Labour majority?

Should you be taking the 5/1 on a Labour majority?

Will opinion harden behind Gord or Dave?

On the thread the other day the question was posed as to whether in the build up to any other general election had there been so many turns.

My recall is that while there have been shock results, most notably 1970 and 1992, we haven’t quite had the twists that we have seen in the period from May 2005.

It’s perhaps worth repeating that on only one occasion since 1945 has a party with a workable majority at Westminster been replaced by another party with a workable majority. That was at the shock election of 1970 when Edward Heath’s Tories ousted Harold Wilson’s Labour.

At all other elections when there has been a change of government the outgoing party had lost a workable majority (1951, 1979 and 1997) or the incoming party did not get enough seats and another election followed soon afterwards (1964 and February 1974). It’s also worth noting that elections leading to hung parliaments are a rarity and since the war this has happened only once – February 1974.

    I think that in the run-up to the election opinion will harden up behind either Labour or the Tories and one of the parties will be returned with a working majority. Until the last few weeks I thought it would be a clear-cut Tory victory – now I’m not so certain though I do believe that the outcome will be decisive.

The electoral mathematics mean that Labour could hang on to a majority even if they are behind the Tories on votes.

In terms of the “overall majority” betting the value bet seems to be that 5/1 on Labour. If the hung parliament price gets much tighter than that might be worth a lay on Betfair.

Like all these things this is not a prediction – but an assessment by me of where I think the betting value lies.

Mike Smithson

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