Archive for July, 2018


BoJo’s resignation speech – some reaction

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

It certainly wasn’t up to the Sir Geoffrey Howe standard


PB Video Analysis: Brexit – What Does “No Deal”Actually Mean?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29th 2019. With Mrs May’s Chequers deal rejected by the Commons, and no obvious alternative on the table, leaving the EU with No Deal and previous little preparation is looking increasingly likely.

In this video, I ask ask what the consequences would be. Would food become scarce? Would the economy collapse? Or is this just another example of Project Fear?

(And please click the funny YouTube button above to subscribe!)

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’


The big post-Helsinki polling question is will Trump’s ratings recovery be hit?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018


Judging by the US media there’s no doubt that Helsinki was bad for Trump. But was it? Will he still retain the support of his base? What will be the electoral impact of yesterday.

US polling uses leader ratings much more widely than the experience in the UK and the first post meeting ratings numbers are eagerly awaited.

As can be seen from the chart he has been enjoying something of a recovery. Will that be sustained or will he fall back.

Mike Smithson


Another day goes by and still 48 CON MPs have not sent letters demanding a TMay confidence ballot

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

If its like the IDS ousting the first signs will be on Betfair

Since the Conservative Party introduced its new leadership roles while William Hague was in charge the procedure for getting rid of the incumbent has only been used once. That was, of course, the ousting of Iain Duncan Smith in October 2003.

What was intriguing about that dismissal was that the events behind closed doors in Westminster were largely being reflected on Betfair. Like now there were two markets – whether he would survive and then, of course, in the betting on who would succeed.

Even before we heard the news that thought that the requisite number of MPs had requested a confidence vote there were signs of Betfair that something was afoot. The odds on Smith not being there by the end of the year started to tighten.

While the confidence ballot was taking place there were two developments: firstly in the Smith survival market and at the same time there was a rush of money going on Michael Howard. The latter, of course, secured the top job without having to be troubled by facing a members ballot.

Given the problems that Theresa May is facing following last night’s Commons vote you would have thought that there’s a possibility she would be in trouble. Not so. She remains on a 38% chance to go this year or a 62% chance that she will survive.

The difference between now and 2003 is twofold: firstly the Tories are in power and we’re talking about a new prime minister and, of course, there is no agreement about who should be her successor.

It is that latter factor that I believe has prevented a move taking place against her. There’s no point in moving into the unknown unless you’ve got a pretty clear idea who you think will be the one to win the ensuing contest.

Mike Smithson


At a 70%+ chance the betting markets are surely over-rating Trump’s chances of being the WH2020 GOP nominee

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

The best post-Helsinki bets?

Judging by the reaction in the US overnight Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin has gone down like a like a bowl of cold sick most strikingly within his own party. He’s been damaged.

There’s no point in me repeating here the wide coverage that we’ve seen but question for punters, surely, is what are the best Trump bets.

There are, as we know, many markets.

Will he complete a full first term? (Betfair 74%)

What year will see him leave the White House? (Betfair after 2020 80% chance)

Will he win the presidency in 2020? (Betfair 40%)

The bet I like most because it covers more possibilities is whether he will be the Republican nominee for 2020. The Betfair Exchange currently has this at 70%+ chance which to my mind, giving everything we now know, overstates his chances.

So I have just laid (bet against) Trump being the Republican nominee at the Betfair exchange level of 1.42 – which equates to a 70% chance.

My guess is that that this will ease in the aftermath of his talks with Mr. Putin and possibly offer short term trading opportunities.

Mike Smithson


Trump appearing deferential to Putin isn’t going to help him win WH2020

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Given the initial US media reaction, even that from Fox News, the President isn’t getting good coverage for his historic meeting with Putin.

This was from former Republican cabdidate and current Senator, John McCain:

Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world….

No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

Petty damning stuff from a respected figure in the party.

Quite how this will play out in the leader ratings and November’s midterms we’ll have to wait and see but there’s no doubt that this has been a pivotal event.

Mike Smithson


TMay caves in to the Brexit Taliban over Chequers plan

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Moggsy now appears to running the Brexit show

Mike Smithson


LAB takes clear leads in the GB polls but Scotland remains a problem

Monday, July 16th, 2018


Just 8 years ago it won 41 Scottish seats – latest polls have that down to 1

The two GB polls over the weekend from Deltapoll and Opinium were both very good for LAB showing clear leads which weren’t down to its share increasing but the biggest shares for UKIP since GE2017.

Certainly based on these figures if there was an early general election then Corbyn’s party would be in a strong position to become top party although an overall majority might be more of a struggle.

An issue, which I’ve raised before is that Scotland remains a massive problem for the party. We don’t see many Scotland only polls but the Survation one that came out at the end of last week was very much in line other surveys – the SNP progressing, the Tories in second place with Labour in third.

Even at GE2010 when LAB lost its UK-wide majority 41 of the 59 seats north of the border returned Labour MPs. The Scottish seat projections based on the latest polls have this down to a single MP. What used to be a certain stronghold is in danger of being wiped out.

In a House of Commons of 650 seats Corbyn’s LAB really needs to get closer to the LAB 41 seat GE2010 haul in Scotland. Unless it can do the swing needs to be higher in England and Wales.

Also we are just under four years away from the next general election and it is hard to see TMay, or her successor, using the processes laid down in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act to go early.

I don’t buy the argument that a new CON leader would press the general election button even if the blue team returned to double digit leads.

Mike Smithson