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Bookmakers’ odds: wise political gambles

Mr Ladbrokes goes to bed every night weeping tears of shame at the amount of money I’ve taken off of him over the years. I must be at least a hundred pounds up, and he’s not a man to forgive easily – if he even exists.

As the election approaches it’s worth taking a quick peek to see what the Bookmakers think are the likely outcomes in the electoral battles ahead.


European elections

You won’t be surprised to learn that the betting shows it’s between Labour (evens) and UKIP (5/4) for the top spot of most votes.

It’s worse than evens (6/4) that the Lib Dems will get 3 or more seats – which essentially means the bookies think the Lib Dems will be utterly, utterly trounced. Perhaps no surprises there either, but it’s still satisfying to say.

Right now there don’t seem to be any odds on the Green results (or to that matter the No2EU slate of candidates that may, or may not, decide to announce on their website where they are standing and who their candidates are). Quite possibly a sign that the bookies have absolutely no idea if the Greens can improve on their current two MEPs, or a sign that no one has tried to place a bet on them.

Rufus Hound though, with all the star dust that comes with a celebrity candidate, does get odds. He’s 33/1 to be elected as an MEP for the National Health Action Party in the London region.


The 2015 General Election

Right now Labrokes has Labour and the Greens at neck and neck at evens a piece to win Brighton Pavillion, the only seat the Greens are likely to actually win in 2015. Having said that you could get 8/1 on the Greens winning Norwich South, which is exactly the same odds as you’d get for the Lib Dems retaining the seat.

National Health Action have 8/1 to take Wyre Forest, or is that retake? It would be the same candidate so let’s say retake, although frankly it sounds like the bookies feel safe in thinking it isn’t going to happen.

The bookies seem to think Respect’s George Galloway is unlikely, on balance, to keep Bradford South making Labour the favourites at 4/9 with Respect trailing at a still strong 7/4. If that happens it will force Galloway to unexpectedly win another random by-election just as everyone thinks he’s disappeared from politics forever.


What about UKIP?

Ladbrokes have UKIP at 2/1 to take Eastleigh from the Lib Dems, which is pretty impressive. While William Hill have Farage winning any seat at all at 2/1, and 5/4 for UKIP to win any seat, which must please the race baiting toss pots no end.


And the specials…

Interestingly at Paddy Power you can get odds on some form of Proportional Representation will be introduced in the UK by the of 2020 giving odds of 11/2, but don’t expect it to happen any time soon as they also give 1/12 odds on it not happening, which feels as close to a certainty as you get in betting circles.

William Hill has 8/1 that the UK will leave the EU by 2020. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that is optimism or pessimism.

Ladbrokes certainly seems to feel that the NO campaign will win the Scottish referendum with a no vote at 1/3 and yes at a surprising 9/4, meaning if you think they yes camp will win then this is probably the best political bet on offer right now.

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