Would they be better off on Nick Clegg at 1/7?
On a day when the over-payment of some state pensions is making the news I’ve just been asked by a retired solicitor in his mid-60s whether I could recommend a “sure-fire” political bet that would given him a better return than the miserable two and a bit percent that he now gets on his savings – but was also as risk-free ask you can get.
Well I certainly wouldn’t, as in Marf’s cartoon today, put too much on a 2009 general election. The polls are better for Labour but they are miles from a situation where could could go into a campaign with some certainty of coming out on top – if only in a hung parliament.
Labour needs to see the Tories back into the 30s from almost all the pollsters. Maybe the picture will change with the ICM poll due this evening but there isn’t enough there to suggest that this is going to happen.
But what of a bet for my solicitor friend who is looking for a return on his savings? Well my suggestion is the 1/7 that you can get on Nick Clegg holding onto his seat in Sheffield Hallam. Not great odds, I agree, but Â£1,400 invested there would give you a pretty certain return of Â£200 within the next seventeen months – if not a lot earlier. And, unlike his savings, there would be no tax to pay – a measure punters can thank Gordon Brown for.
There are Tory hopes in Hallam but I don’t give them a chance. Leaders get so much exposure during the campaign period that almost irrespective of how their parties do nationally they almost always get a good result on their own patch. Clegg, when he gets the chance, seems to come over well and he is getting more confident.