Archive for the 'Betting' Category


My 270/1 shot for the White House indicates that he might run

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Watch out for John Hickenlooper – Governor of Colorado

Back in early April I reported that I’d backed Governor John Hickenlooper for the presidency at odds of 270/1 on Betfair.

One of the things about super long-shots is that you generally don’t know when you place your bet whether your man/woman will actually make a bid. So today’s strong indication that he is considering putting his hat into the ring is a big step forward.

I’d first noticed Hickenlooper a couple of years ago when he was being tipped as Hillary Clinton’s running mate and I liked what I saw. He appears to be everything that the Trump isn’t lucid, self-deprecating, intelligent and someone who comes over well. He’s also appears to have a strong sense of public service and has a good record in Colorado and Denver where he used to be mayor.

At this stage he’ll be assessing whether a bid is feasible – will he get the backing of key figures in the party and donors? My guess is that the most important thing the party will be looking for is someone who appears as though he/she could be competitive against Trump.

Today’s comments are exactly what you would expect from a potential runner at this stage. Even though WH2020 is more than two year away the battle will start in only about nine months.

Mike Smithson


Away from the Commons pairing row the betting gets tighter on whether Brexit will happen on time

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

I’ve been glued to the Tour de France coverage this afternoon and haven’t really been following the pairing row.

The chart shows the changing views in the “Will UK leave the EU by March 29 2019” betting and shows it getting tighter. Clearly the politics are so much harder to read.

One other development that hasn’t been much reported on is the growing movement within Momentum to call for a new Brexit vote as reported here in this FT video

If LAB’s position shifts then that could make things even harder for the Government.

Mike Smithson


BoJo moves to joint next CON leader favourite with Moggsy following his resignation speech

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

With so much up in the air in British politics at the moment there’s been a lot of movement in the next CON leader betting. It is beginning to look as though Theresa May will survive until the autumn at least and maybe beyond and the question is who will actually replace her?

Yesterday, of course, the ex Foreign Secretary secured a lot of coverage for his resignation address to MPs. Although it was nothing like the dramatic event that some were predicting, it got him media attention and reminded us that he is still a force to be reckoned with and he is strongly on the hard Brexit side of the party.

He’s also going to be returning to his Daily Telegraph column something which gives him a platform that can be influential within the Conservative Party.

Whatever it is still extremely difficult to work out who will make it once Theresa May goes whether she’s pushed or does it voluntarily.

My view remains that there is not going to be immediate contest simply because there is such a division within the Tories on who would be the successor and nobody wants to risk a contest unless they are confident that their man or woman would make it.

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


TMay caves in to the Brexit Taliban over Chequers plan

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Moggsy now appears to running the Brexit show

Mike Smithson


The Tory leadership – an alternative view

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Ian Whittaker on why Esther McVey might be the one to watch

David’s piece yesterday was very insightful on the mechanics for how a new Conservative leader could be elected. I wanted to add a few thoughts on what has happened over the past week, and what are the betting implications on the political front.

    First of all, standing back, the last week has been, objectively, a disaster for Theresa May. That may seem harsh and it puts me odd with David and Mike. But, logically, there is no other conclusion.

In increasing order of importance, she has lost two Cabinet Ministers, seen the President of the United States give succour to Brexiteers, whatever his later comments, and clear signs those who support Brexit, the bedrock of Conservative support, see the Chequers plan as a sell out, with the Conservative vote down 6pc in the Optimum poll today with UKIP rising to 8pc. Also, ominously for May, while Remainers have praised the plan and Brexiteers have condemned it, the middle of the Conservative Party has largely kept its mouth shut, suggesting a “wait and see” attitude. If May was hoping the World Cup and the Trump visit would distract from the Plan, she has been disappointed.

Secondly, I don’t think this is the end of the resignations for May. Ironically, the lack of Brexit related resignations over the past couple of days should probably worry May more. It suggests discipline on the Brexiteers part, realising that announcing resignations when England were playing in the World Cup Semi-Final and Trump was visiting would annoy its supporters ( in fact, The Sun’s front page on Tuesday was effectively a warning not to do so). These events are now over.

And any future departures and actions are likely to be well planned to create maximum harm on May. The most important departure has not been David or Johnson but that of Steve Baker, the arch-Brexiteer. Anyone who read Tim Shipman’s magnus opus on the Brexit vote will know how effectively Baker can coordinate effective guerrilla warfare against the Government. And they are likely to play clever. For example, do we really believe Suella Fernandes staying in Government is because she is convinced of May’s plan or more a way for the Brexiteers to be kept in touch with Government thinking?

What does this mean for the likely course of events?

To me, and I run the risk of being completely wrong, the course is clear. May’s Achilles Heel is not the Brexiteers like JRM but that the priority for most Conservative MPs is keeping their seats. The chances are there will be a continuing deterioration in the Conservative poll position, especially as the EU pushes for further concessions and the likelihood May will give further ground. As that happens, those MPs will become more fearful.

What makes this situation even worse for May is the unusually high number of seats in this Parliament with wafer-thiin majorities. It does not take that many voters to switch sides or abstain for the Conservatives to be looking at its seat tally rapidly falling. And as its pro-Brexit base see May as betraying true Brexit and giving in to the “Remoaners” with some determined to punish the Tories by going for “Anyone but May” that is more than plausible. Both MPs and constituency chairs will turn their thinking to how May is putting their jobs at risk and damaging the Conservative position. And the Brexit rebels will, as that happens, find more recruits to their cause.

Hence, In effect, a re-run of what happened with Thatcher in 1990 over the Poll Tax looks likely with May trying to cling on but the party deciding she is too much of a liability and she needs to go to save their seats. Re the betting implications, I think this makes it more likely May will face a challenge (and go) in 2018, probably towards the end of the year. Several have pointed out here that the unintended consequence of the challenges to Brexit is that, in the event of no-deal being reached, then hard Brexit on WTO terms is the default. That is the “promised land” to the Hardliners. So, the logical conclusion now for the hardliners would be to feed the “Stab in the back” storyline, see the Conservative vote fall further in the polls (helped by rebellions on their part), pull in more MPs who fear for their jobs, and then strike at an optimal point in time when it would become impossible to agree any sort of deal with the EU with the timeline involved. Anytime in 2019 risks being too close to the March 2019 date that the party shirks from a contest. Striking around the time of the Party Conference or afterwards makes more sense.

What about the next Conservative leader? David made a very important point about the rules being more fluid around a contest. If a contest is triggered on the above circumstances, then the 1922 and party machine will be very aware that a selection where only Remainers or soft Brexiteers are put forward as candidates to the membership would lead to open mutiny in the party and would not solve the problem. Thus, as well as speed, the Committee will want to ensure breadth. Don’t expect either of these two groups to win machinations to rig the final selection.

So a more hardline Brexiteer has to be favourite. Who are the candidates? One of the positive aspects of the Chequers result from the next leader betting market is that it has narrowed the market considerably. Any Remainer is obviously out. Those Remainers turned Brexiteers like Hunt, Javid and Williamson are also out as they will be deemed to have put career above principle and will not be trusted. Gove has burnt his bridges by so openly supporting the deal. Mourdant and Fox are out for the same reason as is Raab.

Who does that leave? I think the next leader will have to Cabinet experience because of the tasks facing the Government. So I don’t expect JRM. Davis has ruled himself out. Boris is the obvious one given his resignation but two factors will play against him, firstly he is so associated with London, which may not play well outside the capital, and, less commented on, his seat is not exactly safe, which could be a risk.

Who is left? Notice two minor Cabinet members who have kept quiet on Chequers but who have ambitions. Liz Truss was a remainer but has reinvented herself as a low tax, smaller state, pro Brexit Conservative. For me, though, Esther McVey is the one to watch. She is a Brexiteer and her Northern Working Class roots are likely to appeal to the more Working Class Tory supporters who they are losing now. While she has not resigned, she has not vocally backed Chequers, unlike Mourdant (a mistake on the latter’s part) so may be more open to being “forgiven” on the issue. The NAO issue does not seem to have gained traction. She is 100/1 on Ladbrokes for next PM.

A few other points. If the scenario above plays out, expect 2019 as the election year. A new leader will want to claim authority and Corbyn will be keen to fight. More to the point, a hard Brexit will need to have been seen to have been supported at the polls. Secondly, I don’t understand why there is such a major difference in the odds between the next Conservative leader and the next PM (Esther McVey is 66/1 on the former, 100/1 on the latter). The transition from Cameron to May showed that the two moves are linked and, unless a new leader loses the support of the DUP, it is hard to see how they would not be the next PM.

Ian Whittaker


Rees-Mogg moves back into the favourite slot for next CON leader

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

With the pressure on Mrs Mays leadership there has been renewed interest in who will succeed her and a change in the favourite on the Betfair exchange.

The previous long-term favourite, who was edged out by Javid, Rees-Mogg is now back there as the one the punters most fancy.

A lot of course depends on when a contest takes place and it has been interesting that Moggsy’s hard brexit faction has not been ready to “press the button” on a confidence motion in the Prime Minister.

The party rules mean they have, in their own words, “only one bullet” and the last thing they want to do is move a vote of no confidence and for Theresa May to be hanging on. They could then have to wait for a year before any movement was possible.

I agree with David Herdson’s assessment on the previous thread about this actually being a good week for Theresa May. She has coped with a huge number of difficult circumstances and apparently come out of it recently level-headed.

I still think that Moggsy’s problem is what it has been and that is securing enough backing from MPs to be in the top two on the members ballot.

He’s a very divisive figure and needs to put forward a coherent plan for Brexit not just his “vassal state” sound bite.

A problem for gamblers is that the longer Mrs May stays there in apparent impossible circumstances then the chances are that she can hold on.

Mike Smithson