Archive for the 'Betting' Category


On Betfair a March 29th UK EU exit now just a 15% chance whilst the 2nd referendum betting moves more to NO

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Live Betfair exchange odds monitoring from


Punters now think it is even less likely that the UK will leave the EU on March 29th

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

To my mind the most significant thing to come out of the catastrophic defeat for the government on its Brexit deal was the statement by Theresa May that she’ll look to consulting with other parties.

I just wonder if that is paving the way for a second referendum. Clearly the other main parties, LAB after its likely confidence vote failure tomorrow, the SNP, the LDS, PC and the Green are all committed to a second vote.

    It would be politically easier if the the decision to go to the country again was a joint one. The move would also a less difficult time getting through the Commons.

One thing that TMay has been saying repeatedly which is surely right – rejecting the deal makes Brexit happening at all less likely.

It is hard to conclude otherwise that the ERG’s strategy has not been very smart.

Mike Smithson


On the spread betting markets the number of Brexit deal “ayes” for TMay’s deal slips five during the afternoon

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

For me the most satisfying, if risky, form of political gambling is on the spread betting markets where the more you are right with your prediction the more you win – with, alas, of the converse being the case.

So on SportingIndex this afternoon there has been a lively market on who many MPs are going to vote “Aye” in the voting that starts in less than an hour.

At 3pm you could have “sold” the number at 222 MPs – that’s now slipped to 217.

If you bet at that level and the outcome was, say, 210 MPs then you would win the difference between the actual outcome and your bet – in this case SEVEN, times your stake level. The worse it is for Mrs May the more money you would make.

If you think that it is not going to be as bad for the PM then you “buy”.

Because of the open-ended nature of the outcome spread betting is only for those comfortable with taking big risks.

Mike Smithson


On the eve of the big vote political punters now make it 79% that the UK won’t leave the EU by March 29th

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Chart from showing trend on what is currently the busiest political market on the Betfair Exchange.

The general view is that TMay is heading for a defeat tomorrow night when MPs are at last given a chance to vote on the deal. Assuming that happens she then has three days to come back to the house with another proposal.

Quite how that shapes up is hard to read but punters are gambling that the UK won’t be leaving on the due date.

This could be significant if true:

Mike Smithson


The weekend polling suggests that Trump is losing voter support in the battle of “The Wall”

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Now he’s in negative territory amongst non-college whites

With the US government shutdown continuing and 800k federal workers not getting their salary cheques on Friday there’s no sign of an end to what is totally dominating US politics. Basically Trump has shut down large parts of the federal government to put pressure on the Democrats to provide funding for a wall along the whole of the Mexican-US border. This was a key Trump WH2016 campaign pledge when he said the Mexicans would pay. That, as you’d expect has not been forthcoming.

The polling suggests that Trump is losing the battle for public support. A Washington Post/ABC News poll on the government shutdown finds 53% saying Trump and the Republicans are to blame with 29% saying the Democrats. Those are not good numbers for the incumbent in the year before a presidential election.

In the US between elections the big polling numbers that matter for a first term President are his approval ratings and these are the ones that get highlighted by the media. So any sizeable shift gets attention.

A new CNN poll has the President’s approval rating at 37% approve to 57% disapprove. Disapproval has risen five points since December, while his approval number has held roughly the same. CNN reports that the detail suggests he’s now struggling with his core base.

“The increase in disapproval for the President comes primarily among whites without college degrees, 45% of whom approve and 47% disapprove, marking the first time his approval rating with this group has been underwater in CNN polling since February 2018. In December, his approval rating with whites who have not received a four-year degree stood at 54%, with 39% disapproving. Among whites who do hold college degrees, Trump’s ratings are largely unchanged in the last month and remain sharply negative — 64% disapprove and 32% approve.”

There’s no sign that either the President or the Democrats are going to give way and at some stage key public services like airport security look set to get hit. Already there are reports of many federal workers calling in sick and you can understand their feelings. It is not their fault that they are having to bear the brunt.

Key to the politics of this are leading Republicans who have largely stuck with their President though there are signs of dissent.

From Trump’s point of view the shutdown does detract attention from the wide range in probes into his dealings and whether there was collusion with Russia.

Mike Smithson


If the Article 50 exit date gets deferred it could raise doubts about whether the UK ever leaves

Friday, January 11th, 2019

A deferral on March 29th could lead to similar calls once the extension ends

Lots of talk today about the possibility of the March 29th Brexit deadline being deferred because the UK Parliament does not have the time left to enact the required legislation.

Apparently six bills would have to complete the parliamentary process before the article 50 deadline of March 29 when the country is due automatically under the legislation that allowed the Article 50 notice to be given.

A deferral has a number of implications the first of which is that the country might have to participate in the forthcoming European Parliament elections which take place in May. Clearly if the UK is still in the EU then its representatives will have to be elected in the May elections.

One of the issues here is that the remaining 27 countries have already carved up the UK seats that should become available once the country leaves and candidates have been selected.

A more important element is that once you have delayed the process for a first time then you can see the same issue raising its heads against again once the extension period is over.

Maybe you could even have a situation whereby the UK is permanently in the EU and permanently trying but failing to set up the institutions and other issues that will be required for an actual exit to happen in order to meet the terms of the referendum outcome.

The betting on the Betfair exchange has moved even further towards the UK not leaving on March 29th. It is now a 75% chance that it doesn’t.

Meanwhile a hedge fund manager is betting big that the UK won’t leave.

Mike Smithson


On the Betfair exchange its now a 69% chance the the UK WON’T exit the EU at the end of March

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

And a 35% chance that 2019 will see a Brexit referendum

Mike Smithson


Kamala Harris – my WH2020 66/1 pick from two years ago – set to enter the race a week on Monday

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Now joint favourite for the Democratic nomination

This is from my post under the heading “My 66/1 long-shot bet for the 2020 White House race: Democratic Senator Kamala Harris from California” from January 18th 2017 – two days before Donald Trump was inaugurated as President.

“..With Trump’s inauguration taking place on Friday there’s been a flurry of betting activity on the newly elected Senator from California, Kamala Harris, for the next White House Race in 2020. This followed a lot of coverage of her part in fighting against Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

In November she became the second black woman and first Indian American elected to serve in the Senate. She’s a former Attorney-General for California and is the daughter of an Indian-American mother and Jamaican-American father…

My reading of the Democratic party 2020 race is that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will simply be too old to contemplate running. Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren (15/2) is currently favourite and she’s likely to play a big part in her party’s opposition to the incoming president. She was strongly tipped to run last year but didn’t. Maybe 2016 was her best chance.”

That was written nearly two years and it has aged well. Harris was only then starting her first term in the US Senate and has made a big mark. She featured a lot three months ago during the process to validate Judge Kavanagh’s appointment to the Supreme Court. This is from The Hill.

“Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will formally announce her bid for the White House on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sources told KCBS Radio, a station in her home state of California.

Harris has long been considered a possible frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination and speculation that she would enter the race continued to mount this week when she launched a book tour and media blitz to promote her memoir that was published Tuesday…”

My reading of her is that she’s better equipped for a battle with Trump than her Senate colleague, Elizabeth Warren, who put her hat into the ring on New Year’s Eve.

Mike Smithson