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Is a turnout bet good insurance for Boris backers?

April 30th, 2008


    The 11/8 on more than 43% seems like value bet

As can probably be gathered from the content of recent posts I am quite long on Boris. My reading of the polls it that he stands a very good chance of winning on Friday and I’ve been betting accordingly.

The only circumstance I can foresee of him not making it is if there is a very high turnout. One senior Labour spinner told me yesterday that he thought Ken would romp home if it got to the 50% level. I think there is something in that.

So to part cover my Boris win bets I’ve been betting on a high turnout. You can get 11/8 with William Hill that it will be 43% or more which seems like good value.

Last time the turnout was just under 37% but that race was never really seen as being close and was certainly not getting the media attention that we have seen this time.

One factor that could impact on turnout levels are the registered voter numbers. Last night’s story about the high level of people who are not on the roll could actually boost the proportion – which will, of course, be the number of votes cast divided by the total number who are registered.

So if you are long on Boris give Billy Hill a call.

The joy of the position is that both bets could come up.

UPDATE: Ipsos-MORI have produced a fascinating presentation on the impact of turnout on the final result. Their main conclusion based on the data from their final poll is that 40% is the critical level. Below that it is Boris – above Ken.

Mike Smithson






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