Johnson starts debate day with punters rating his chances of a majority at 66%

Johnson starts debate day with punters rating his chances of a majority at 66%

My betting strategy for tonight

One thing’s for sure – tonight’s debate will either confirm or raise doubts about Johnson’s chances of leading his party to an overall majority on December 12th. There will be a lot of betting on this market tonight.

The Tory record with debates is not that strong. Cameron was taken aback by Nick Clegg being deemed to “winner” of the first TV debate in April 2010 and this prompted the betting market to mark down sharply the chances of a Tory majority.

In 2015 the judgement on the night of a multi-party debate was split between Cameron and Miliband but the incumbent PM went onto to secure an overall majority something that came as a huge shock on the betting markets.

At GE2017 TMay decided that she wasn’t going to face Corbyn in a debate and this became a huge campaign issue in the closing days. Many suggested that her decision not to be there cost her party her majority. It is no doubt the memories of the last three general elections that have guided Johnson’s approach. Yes to TV debates against Corbyn but don’t risk involving the LD leader.

As the chart of the Betfair majority betting shows the Tories are in a commanding position and at a 66% betting chance only a touch down on this week’s peak.

I’ve decided to lay (bet against) a CON majority on this market. My reasoning is that a Johnson debate victory is almost priced in and if that’s what happens I’ll be able to get out at little cost. On the other hand what’s deemed a draw or a Corbyn victory could raise doubts about Johnson’s ability to secure a majority which will send the price down. If that is how it turns out I’ll be able to get out at a profit.

Mike Smithson

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