Archive for the 'Betting' Category


Welcome to Article 50 day as the UK steps into the unknown

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

The big day arrives

So we are here and Theresa May will meet her self imposed target of formally invoking the extraction process from the EU before the end of March. The signed letter invoking Article 50 will be delivered to the president of the EU in Brussels in a few hours.

At home Mrs May is said to be planning to call on the nation to unite behind her and the government as it goes about the task of getting the best deal. If that means that she does not wish to face scrutiny or criticism during the process I think that she’ll be disappointed.

The country remains very divided with few of those who voted remain ready to accept that leaving is a good thing and vice versa.

For Mrs May this will be the defining period of her Premiership. Can she achieve an arrangement with the EU that does not undermine the economy and Britain’s key industries while at the same time satisfying the hard BREXIT parts of her party?

A growing worry for her and her team at this stage is the ongoing investigation into Tory GE2015 expenses in 20 or so key marginals – something that she was not responsible for but she is the leader now.

Only yesterday we heard that another police force, the the West Midlands, was submitting its file to the Crown Prosecution Service who will decide whether and who to prosecute.

From a betting perspective those who got the right timing on when article 50 would be invoked should be able to pick up their winnings later today. I had originally bet on this happening after July 1st. However after the first of the court hearings went against the government the price moved sharply and I cashed out at a nice profit which I should be able to pick up later.

No doubt new article 50 markets will be created for punters.

Mike Smithson


If they hadn’t have gone into coalition the LDs would likely have been favourites in Manchester Gorton

Monday, March 27th, 2017

But at GE2015 the yellows came in 5th losing their deposit

Although the arrival of George Galloway in the Manchester Gorton race has caused a tightening of the Lib Dem odds the position is nothing like as strong as it would have been if the party had not gone onto the Coalition with the Conservatives in 2010.

The chart above shows the extraordinary strength the party had in ward elections in the constituency in the period between the Iraq war and the Coalition. At one stage they held all but two of the Gorton Manchester City Council seats.

But all went pear-shaped following the decision to go into coalition with the Tories in 2010 and they had a terrible 2015 general election result dropping from 32.6% to just 4.2% and fifth place.

We have seen elsewhere that historic organisational strength, like in Richmond Park, can be reactivated particularly if their voter data is good.

A lot depends on how many LAB votes Galloway’s manages to skim off.

Gorton was 72% for remain at the referendum and we do know that those opposed to leaving the EU are probably more motivated than those who aren’t at the moment. Certainly what will be portrayed as Corbyn’s ambivalent approach will be used ruthlessly by the yellows in the next few weeks. Galloway, who announced his candidature on the website of Arron Banks was a strong proponent of Leave.

This last night from the political correspondent of the Manchester Evening News gives an interest slant on morale within Gorton LAB .

The assumption is that LAB will call the by-election on May 4th so that it will coincide with the Greater Manchester mayoral election and the other local elections on that day.

Overall it is very hard to argue against LAB holding on even though they’ve got a fight on their hands on two fronts the Lib Dems and Galloway.

Mike Smithson


If this is accurate, then you might wish to update your Trump impeachment, conviction, resignation, and exit date betting

Sunday, March 26th, 2017




Even at only 1/2, Macron remains the value bet

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

The centrist looks close to home and hosed right now

France is no stranger to revolutions. It’s therefore hardly surprising that there’s a ready temptation – particularly after the Brexit vote in the UK and Trump’s election in the US – to seek both contemporary and historic parallels in the possibility of a Le Pen victory in May. Indeed, it’s so tempting that the odds have come quite out of line with the real chances.

There are only two simple facts to remember: firstly, at virtually no point has Le Pen led in any of the opinion polls, against any of the major candidates. Only in a few head-to-heads against Hollande did she ever breach 50%, and that says as much about the popularity of Hollande and the PS as it does about Le Pen. And secondly, she is highly likely to make the second round, having enjoyed the solid backing of at least a quarter of the electorate for the last four years.

This isn’t to say that she can’t win. It is possible if Fillon could somehow push Macron back into third but it’s hard to see a scenario whereby the French public lift Fillon high enough to make the run-off, only to then reject him. Even now, after the battering he’s taken during March, he still leads Le Pen by about 13 points – and that’s when he’s only polling around 18% as against the mid-20s scores of Macron and Le Pen.

Might Macron suffer his own scandal? In a race in which there’ve already been so many twists and turns, we can’t rule the possibility out but it hasn’t happened so far and even if it did, would it count for all that much against such a flawed field? Not that there’s been much of a sniff of potential scandal anyway, despite this being the time when all candidates – even Le Pen – have an interest in taking him down. (It would be wrong to argue that if she did have some secret folder, she’d be better to wait for the second round: no-one knows how effective a negative campaign will be until it’s run and going early with it produces a more beatable run-off opponent – whether Macron or Fillon – if it works and buys time if it doesn’t).

Could the polls be wrong? Again, we can’t rule it out but not only would they would have to be all wrong by a long way, they’d also need to have the trend wrong. Over the last month, Le Pen has lost the 3-point first-round lead she had and instead, Macron has opened up a 1-point lead of his own. Fillon, by contrast, has drifted from about 20 down to 18, while the main candidates of the left – Hamon and Melenchon – trade blows in the low double-figures. Who is going to come out of the pack to deny the centrist?

There is of course still almost a month still to go to the first round but with Macron eight points or so clear of Fillon and heading outwards, and with him well over twenty points clear in a head-to-head against Le Pen, it would take something truly remarkable to lose it now.

After the experience of Trump and Brexit, commentators are naturally sceptical about being too dismissive of the chance that an electorate will take a leap in the dark. In those cases, however, the odds always overrated the mainstream (as noted on politicalbetting many times). This is different. The structure in France works heavily against the extremes. While odds of 1/2 aren’t terribly exciting, they still represent a 50% return in six weeks, which isn’t at all bad – particularly when the true odds, by my reckoning, are less than half that.

David Herdson


The French Presidency, Manchester Gorton & how long will Trump last – latest betting market round-up

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Macron remains the strong odds-on favourite in France

LAB eases a touch in Gorton but still very strong favourite

Punters think Trump’s got a 50% chance of NOT completing first term

Mike Smithson


BREXIT backer George Galloway enters the race for Manchester Gorton – which voted 62-38 for REMAIN

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

LAB campaigners fear he could split their Gorton vote

The controversial ex-LAB and RESPECT MP, George Galloway has announced that he’s standing in the Manchester Gorton by-election. He’s no stranger to shock by-election victories as we saw five years ago in Bradford West.

On the face of it even in these troubled Labour times Gorton looked a pretty safe bet for a LAB hold. At GE2015 the party held the seat with a whopping 57% majority making it one of the safest seats for the party in the country.

But judging by the response to Galloway’s announcement from Lisa Nandy, who is running the party’s by elections campaign, there’s real concern that he could split the LAB vote which could help the LDs which upto GE2010 had been the main challengers there. Her comments on Labourlist suggest that there’ll be no-holds barred:

“Manchester Gorton deserves an MP who, like the late Gerald Kaufman, will work tirelessly for their constituents and is Manchester through and through.”

“They deserve better than a man who has described the sexual assault of women as ‘bad sexual etiquette’ and accused victims of domestic violence of lying for personal gain.”

“He has already been rejected by the people of Bradford and London, and I’m confident that residents in Manchester will send a clear message that Galloway’s divisive, destructive politics isn’t welcome here.”

A challenge for Galloway is that he was a very vocal advocate of LEAVE in the referendum and Gorton went REMAIN by 62-38% (See Prof Chris Hanratty’s estimates here) The LDs, who got their campaign going nearly a month ago are making BREXIT their key issue. A decade ago the yellows held all but 2 of Gorton’s council seats.

The betting has moved away from LAB. The party is now a 74% chance.

Mike Smithson


First polls give the French Presidential debate to Macron and he remains the strong odds-on favourite

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

It’s been a big night in the French Presidential election with the first major TV debate between the top five candidates. Ahead of the event the assumption had been that the contender most at risk was the young centrist independent and odds-on betting favourite, Emmanuel Macron.

The event went on for a staggering three and a half hours.

An Elabe poll afterwards asked viewers who they though was the most convincing. According to Reuters the split was Macron 29%, the firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon 20%, the Republican and Francois Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen were tied in third place with 19%, while the Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon got 11%.

The event has had almost no impact on the betting with Macron now rated as a 61% chance on Betfair and Le Pen on 21%.

Debate viewers are not representative of the electorate and we’ll have to wait for the first voting intention polls.

The Reuters report noted:-

“Macron, a former investment banker, came under criticism for private donations made to his campaign when Hamon suggested he could fall under the influence of lobbies in the pharmaceutical, banking or oil industry.

Macron retorted that he was the only candidate who was not funded by public money, since his party is new and had not yet benefited from public subsidies. “I pledge to be controlled by no one,” he said.

“The traditional parties, those that have for decades failed to solve yesterday’s problems, won’t be able to do it tomorrow either,” said Macron, who made a name for himself by criticising sacred cows of the French “social model” such as the 35-hour workweek.

Le Pen repeatedly stressed her opposition to the European Union, saying she did not want to see France become a “vague region” of the bloc. “I don’t want to be the vice chancellor of Angela Merkel,” she said, referring to the German leader.”

The first round of the election takes place on Sunday April 23rd with the runoff between the top two a fortnight later.

Mike Smithson


As ICM reports another gigantic CON lead Number 10 moves to squash the “snap election” speculation

Monday, March 20th, 2017

ICM/Guardian poll
CON 45% (+1)
LAB 26% (-2)
UKIP 10% (-1)
LD 9% (+1)
GRN: 4% (-1)

This morning there have been two significant announcements from number 10. Firstly article 50 will be invoked next week on March 29th. Secondly it is being made very clear that there will be no general election. This is how the Guardian is reporting the latter:

“…In the past Theresa May has said repeatedly that she has not plans to call an early general election, but this morning her spokesman was firmer, saying: “There is not going to be one [an early general election]. He also appeared to rule out any election before 2020, the date when the next one is due under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, saying that any election outside the FTPA timetable would be early…

Before the announcement Ladbrokes were offering just 5/1 on a general election taking place on May 4th – day of the local and mayoral elections.

No doubt the prime minister’s team have looked fully into the legal aspect of the fixed term Parliament Act that was part of the Coalition agreement in 2010 to see if there is a way round. But quite simply the prime minister’s power to select election dates has now been taken away although there is a process within the act for creating an early election. The ability of earlier PMs to go to the country when it most suited them is no longer there.

The way that some people have been talking and reporting this suggests that they haven’t quite caught up with the change in the law that took place as part of the Coalition agreement with the Lib Dems seven years ago

The article 50 timing announcement is not really a surprise. This was always going to be the case once the legislation went through Parliament unamended as happened last week.

The ICM poll is simply totally awful for Mr Corbyn’s Labour but no doubt the old stubborn bed blocker, without the self-awareness to realise HE is a large part of the problem, will just stick it out.

We await the May elections to see if the polling is reflected in a substantial number of Labour losses. That might just trigger pressure on the leadership but the way the party is structured these days Mr Corbyn seems secure.

Mike Smithson