Archive for October, 2016

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Dramatic developments in the White House Race as FBI announces new moves on Clinton’s emails

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Hillary’s position on the betting markets slips



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Zac ahead 56%-29% in first Richmond poll and seems to be getting backing of the Standard

Friday, October 28th, 2016



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There could be double trouble for the markets if Trump does manage to win

Friday, October 28th, 2016

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Adam Jepsen on how markets might reaction to Trump doing it

At the moment, it looks like Hillary Clinton is firmly priced-in to be the next President and that might be a reasonable assumption. However, the markets appear to be far too complacent with regards to the risk of Donald Trump becoming President.

In fact, during the whole campaign the markets have been unfazed by the Republican.

While the US dollar did strengthen after Clinton had a solid first Presidential TV debate there hasn’t been a great deal of movement.

Looking back at the nominations, the markets didn’t bat an eyelid as Trump worked his way through the other Republican contenders.

Two Key Short-Term Trading Problems with a Trump Win

The markets view a Hillary win as the best result. Therefore many investors will have two immediate problems if the Trumps get the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Firstly, with Hillary looking to be firmly priced-in, a Trump win would mean that many positions are going to be quickly unwound.

There could be some quick selling of the dollar, Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ as investors get out of, or even reverse, their positions.

Secondly, investors also have to react to what the new Presidency actually means. Trying to gauge a Trump Presidency is like looking into an opaque crystal ball.

Given that the markets can be skittish and short-term-ist at the best of times they won’t like this high level of uncertainty. The selling could be somewhere between brisk and panic.

Not All One Way Traffic

Of course, because the markets can be rather short-term-ist, even if Trump wins, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to do too much damage in the immediate-term.

Therefore, even if the markets sell off, and depending upon his ‘winning’ rhetoric, it’s easy to see the markets make a significant recovery within one or two weeks of the election.

The Bookmakers and Polls Do Get it Wrong

There are certainly trading opportunities coming up but investors need to think about the risks, particularly if the markets take flight.

Anyone long of the dollar or US stocks should be very careful. There is a genuine risk of a rapid sell off.

Again, it looks like we’ll have another Clinton in the White House but Trump is not dead and buried.

The bookies have him at 5/1 and that’s a tempting price in a two horse race.

It’s a particularly large price when Trump is only 3-6% behind in most of the polls and the same polls often show 5-10% of voters are still undecided.

Also, we should not forget that UK referendum was a similarly close and contentious two horse race.

On 23 June the bookmarkers offered up to 9/1 on the UK to vote for Brexit. Anyone putting £10 on Brexit would have won £90, and got their £10 back, when the UK voted to leave the EU.

As always, investors need to assess the risks and their downside before they trade.

Adam Jepsen is Founder of FinancialSpreads.com



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Local By-Election Preview : October 27th 2016

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Rhyl West on Denbighshire (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2012): Lab 18, Ind 12, Con 9, Plaid 7, Lib Dem 1 (No Overall Control, Lab short by 6)
Result of ward at last election (2012) : Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 378, 361 (43%)
Conservatives 106, 99 (25%)
Independent 142 (17%)
Plaid Cymru 125 (15%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 23,955 (46%) LEAVE 28,117 (54%) on a turnout of 69%
Candidates duly nominated: Les Harker (Con), Alan James (Lab), Keith Kirwan (Lib Dem), Norman Shone (Ind), Mark Webster (Ind)

Collington (Ind defence) and Darwell (Con defence) on Rother
Result of council at last election (2015): Con 31, Ind 4, Lib Dem 2, Lab 1 (Con majority of 24)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 23,916 (41%) LEAVE 33,753 (59%) on a turnout of 79%

Collington : Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 1,309, 1,220 (40%)
Conservatives 973, 847 (30%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 417 (13%)
Green Party 282 (9%)
Labour 280 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Andrew Burton (Con), Deirdre Earl-Williams (Ind), Michael Phillips (UKIP), Sara Watson (Lab)

Darwell : Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,419, 1,213 (42%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 574 (17%)
Liberal Democrat 564 (17%)
Green Party 510 (15%)
Labour 347 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: John Barnes (Con), Antonia Berelson (Lab), Edward Smith (UKIP), Mary Varrall (Lib Dem), Andrew Wedmore (Green)

It may have taken me a long time, but with help I have managed to calculate the notional map of the House of Commons for a 600 seat House, therefore tomorrow there will be a summary of all the local by-elections in October, over the weekend the new shrunken House of Commons (and a view as to who the biggest losers are), the next set of local by-elections on November 3rd and then the weekend after that USA 2016, the Congressional Battleground. After all, the real question now is “Can the Dems retake the House and the Senate?”



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Labour’s “cunning plan” for the Richmond Park by-election

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

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Don Brind says its to inflict misery on Zac by helping him get re-elected

“The man’s a disgrace. His office is just along the corridor from mine and I never see him. He obviously doesn’t want to be an MP.

The thoughts of a veteran MP provide the perfect justification for Labour fighting the Richmond Park by-election despite the call from an interesting trio of young MPs for Labour to stay out of Zac Goldsmith’s “vanity project”  Shadow Business Clive Lewis, shadow Treasury minister Jonathan Reynolds, and backbencher Lisa Nandy argue in Labour List the Tory could be unseated is Labour stay don’t contest the west London seat.

Theresa May has sought to neutralise Goldsmith’s protest against the Heathrow decision by not putting up a Tory candidate and the Labour trio argue “the fight will come down to a two way contest between him and the Liberal Democrats, whose vote will be split with the Greens and Labour, “If there is any chance of kicking Goldsmith out of Parliament, the vote against him must not be split. That’s why we think Labour should consider not standing a candidate in this by-election.”

There is a special contempt for Goldsmith within Labour ranks following his nasty and divisive campaign against Sadiq Khan for the London Mayoralty. As the New Statesman’s George Eaton memorably observed “There’s one thing worse than losing, it’s losing with dishonour.”
But for Goldsmith now the one thing worse than losing is winning – but with a dramatically reduced majority. He would denied to freedom his fellow old Etonian David Cameron has achieved for himself by quitting Witney. He would be a lame duck MP, the modern equivalent of Peter Griffiths, who won Smethwick for the Tories with a racist campaign in 1964. He was branded by Harold Wilson as “a parliamentary leper.”

The idea of a “progressive alliance” with Liberal Democrats and Greens favoured by Lewis, Nandy and Reynolds is, for the moment at least, a minority cause within Labour. The Liberal Democrats are scorned for their role in Coalition with the Tories and it’s noted that some leading Greens backed the green-tinged Goldsmith for Mayor.


    The problem for Goldsmith, of course, is that his stance on Heathrow is matched by Lib Dem opponent Sarah Olney but her anti Brexit views are much closer to the almost three in four local voters who backed Remain.

So Labour’s “cunning plan”  is for her to lose but not by much. And it looks like a reasonable bet Expect to see Lewis, Nandy and Reynolds given top billing in her election material.

The famous Baldrick line was deployed by Jeremy Corbyn used at Prime Minister’s questions — Theresa May’s cunning plan, he said was to have no plan. As May observed Baldrick was played by Labour supporter Tony Robinson who supported Owen Smith for the leadership. Robinson tweeted he is still a Labour member. “Haven’t left, active member for 40 yrs. But if David Davis needs any help with Brexit Baldrick stands ready to serve.”

Donald Brind

Catch up on the latest PB/Polling Matters podcast



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The big hope for Trump now is that there will be a polling fail as large as in the UK at GE2015

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

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But the signs from US early voting seems to back up the polls

Twelve days to go before the US elects Barack Obama’s successor and so far at least the polling both national and in the key swing states suggests a return to the White House after a gap of 16 years for Hillary Clinton. This time, of course, as President not as First Lady.

Following the wobble in August and September ahead of the first TV debate her polling position has looked strong. Extraordinarily she has been the betting favourite to be next President ever since the markets were opened immediately after Obama’s re-election in 2012. Now she is rated by punters as an 85%+ chance.

Of course polling can be wrong and we all remember that night eighteen months ago when Ed Milliband looked as though he might be taking a trip to the Palace the following day. It was not to be and interestingly the polling under estimate of the Tory position then was almost exactly the same as the gap now in the US national polls.

All the post election reports of GE2015 suggested that the postal voting was running strongly for the Tories. Information on this is very restricted in the UK and, indeed, it is illegal to reveal what data there is.

That is different from the US where we are getting quite a lot of news from various states which broadly back up the polls. It’s estimated that 40% of the votes in this election will have been cast before polling day.

But I’m not ruling anything out. I’ll only believe that Trump has failed when sufficient numbers are in on November 9th.

Mike Smithson




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The PB Polling Matters TV Show & Podcast: Brexit, Zac’s by-election, UKIP’s leadership and whether LAB has a polling floor

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Detailed analysis of the issues and the numbers

A huge amount has happened in UK politics since the last show two weeks ago and joining Keiran Pedley (@KeiranPedley) are Asa Bennett (@AsaBenn) of the Telegraph and Leo Barasi (@leobarasi) of noiseofthecrowd.com

BREXIT still totally dominates UK politics and the programme seeks to look at its likely impact in the by-election and, of course, the impact on the differents part of the UK.

Another area for analysis is Labour’s polling plight and whether there is a floor. Also in the show is a look at the UKIP leadership fight and the prospects for a Stop Brexit party.

Update – The audio only version of the podcast is available below.

Mike Smithson




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In betting terms the Richmond Park by-election is one of the tightest races in decades

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

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Currently the bookies make Zac the favourite by a whisker

I can’t recall the opening 24 hours of a political betting market where the outcome has appeared so tight. First the opening odds all made Zac the favourite. Then that moved to the LDs until news came through the the Tories would stand aside. That led to the Zac price tightening and for a short while you could get the LDs at longer than evens.

No more. The best you can get with the traditional bookies is evens on the LDs and 5/6 Zac.

An intriguing development has been the suggestion by three senior LAB MPs that the party should also stand aside.

The peg for this is the continued bitterness against Goldsmith for the manner, said to be racist, in which he ran his failed campaign for London Mayor earlier in the year. The efforts to try to portray Sadiq Khan as an extremist were clumsy and are going to feature a lot in the coming weeks. How he handles that could be crucial.

I don’t think that Labour would go so far as not putting a candidate up but, no doubt, Team Yellow will pick up some of the comments which will feature in specific appeals to LAB voters.

There’s also a suggestion that the Green party might also stand aside which might seem odd given Zac’s ecological background. Where he’s deemed to have gone wrong was backing LEAVE in the referendum.

The Tory exit from the race will make this even more a referendum on Goldsmith himself. For the moment my money, at odds of up 6/4, is on the LDs. They are the form team at the moment.

Mike Smithson