The final 12 hours of betting on Richmond Park
Above is a chart showing the Betfair exchange prices on the day of December’s Richmond Park by-election. As can be seen those who were following the betting for their inspiration would have got it wrong until about 11:30 p.m.
At that point, it will be recalled, the TV news programmes started reporting that Labour campaigners were suggesting that the Lib Dems had gained the seat by majority of about 2000. As it turned out that was a slight overestimate but the prediction of which way was correct.
Those who had followed betting before that time and had assumed that somehow the market knew what was going on ended up losing money.
I publish this as a warning to punters betting on today’s by elections in Stoke central and Copeland. Nobody really will know anything until at least an hour after polls have closed at 10 o’clock.
The turnout figures could be a good pointer but early guesses and what they mean could be be misleading.
Longstanding PBers might recall the February 2006 Dunfermline by-election. The final price matched on Betfair seconds before the returning officer announced the result had LAB with an 83% chance. The red team lost.