You might need a brave heart for this Scottish bet

You might need a brave heart for this Scottish bet

Betting on Scottish matters has been an enjoyable and very profitable area for myself and many other PBers, from seeing Iain Gray’s collapsing ratings in 2011 indicating the SNP was going to achieve what the voting system was designed to stop, to 2014 referendum, to the SNP tsunami in 2015, the SNP losing their majority which was tipped at 10/1 and 8/1 on the day of the 2016 election, and the 2017 Scottish Tory surge, perhaps it is distance and the lack of a vote that helps lend perspective and wisdom?

In some respects May’s Holyrood election is a bit of a non event, it is 1/100 with Ladbrokes that the SNP win the most seats in this election but there maybe some decent value elsewhere, and I think that might be in the SNP constituency vote share market that Ladbrokes are offering.

Covid-19 may have an impact on this election on a practical level, apart from us political and electoral geeks, just how many people will go out and vote in May’s elections whilst the entire adult population hasn’t been fully vaccinated by election day? Since the formation of the devolved administration turnout has been lower in these elections than turnout in Scotland for the preceding UK wide general election, put it bluntly, Scots don’t consider these Holyrood elections as important as Westminster elections, so there’s a well of apathy to be drawn from.

A substantially lower the turnout, the higher the chances of an unexpected result, so given the recent contretemps between the current First Minister and her predecessor has had an impact in the polling and ratings of Nicola Sturgeon indicate something is up. Whilst she does retain a decent lead over the other party leaders, a fall in ratings does eventually filter through into the voting intention figures as Iain Gray can affirm.

On that basis I believe 8/1 on the SNP receiving 40%-45% is value, and I also think the 25/1 on the SNP is worth a small nibble as well as a saver if the dispute between Sturgeon and Salmond cranks up to 11 before now and election day.

The last Holyrood election was in 2016 and the SNP has led in every Holyrood poll conducted since then, the smallest lead in the constituency section has been a ‘mere’ 11% whilst the largest was 39%, and the lowest SNP vote share in the last year was 47%, albeit in the latest poll. I do expect the SNP to easily win the Holyrood elections in May but my assessment is that the value is backing on the SNP underperforming expectations.


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