Archive for the 'Betting' Category


The Trump Presidency after 200 days and the ratings slump continues

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017


A new CNN/SSRS poll has been published overnight and the figures look even bleaker for the property billionaire who won last year’ White House race. These are some of the findings:

How Trump Is Handling Job as President

Strongly approve 24%
Moderately approve 14%
Moderately disapprove 9%
Strongly disapprove 47%

Is Trump Someone You Are Proud to Have As President?

Yes 34%
No 63%

Trust Most of What You Hear from the White House?

Yes 24%
No 73%

First six months of Trump’s time in office?:

A success 36%

A failure 59%

The betting, meanwhile, edges away from Trump completing a first term. I have yet to be tempted to have a punt.

Politically the big challenge facing Trump is maintaining the support of his party in the run-up to next November’s midterm elections. If those in Congress up for election next year see themselves losing because Trump is dragging the party down then he could be in real difficulty.

Mike Smithson


Amber Rudd moves to joint 3rd CON leader favourite following speculation that she’s got Ruth Davidson’s backing

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

The big unknown is whether there’ll be an early contest

There’s been a flurry of speculation over Amber Rudd’s leadership chances following her trip to Scotland and a private meeting with the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson.

Davidson is seen as a key player in the party election whenever that takes place following the Tory Scottish successes on June 8th. Those gains helped offset some of the losses to LAB in England. This is from James Forsyth in the Sun.

“The 12 MPs that the Tories gained north of the border is what enabled them to cobble together a Commons majority with the DUP’s help. But unlike so many other senior Tories, she (Daivdson) isn’t interested in touting herself as Theresa May’s successor. Her immediate aim is to be First Minister of Scotland, not PM.

Don’t think this means Davidson will have no influence on the coming contest, though. She is, in the words of one of those being urged to run for leader, “the kingmaker par excellence”. Whoever she backs will be halfway to No10..”

Rudd has two big problems. She was a prominent Remainer during the referendum and at the General Election LAB came within 346 votes of taking her Hastings seat. I’m far from convinced that the latter is a negative. Main party leaders generally get a boost on their home turf because of the media prominence they get during the campaign and also some local pride. Her Brexit position, though maybe more damaging.

What is far from certain is whether there will be an early vacancy. TMay looks determined to carry on and does the party have the stomach to provoke what could be a divisive leadership contest at this stage?

In the betting Davis remains favourite as an 18% chance. Boris is at 10% with Hammond, Russ and Rees-Mogg each on 9%.

Mike Smithson


The next election will be decided in Britain, not Venezuela

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

The public is not bothered about Corbyn’s past endorsements (even if it should be)

Unless Theresa May or her successor can overturn over a trend well over a century old, Labour will form the next government. Quite simply, once governments start losing seats from one election to the next, they continue losing seats until they’re in opposition. And not only did the Conservatives lost seats at the last election but the result was so tight that any further loss would make their position impossible.

Defeating that trend will be no small task. It exists for strong reasons. The longer a government is in place, the more responsibility it has to take for the state of the country; the longer a government has lasted, the more people it is likely to have upset; governments tend to promote able administrators while oppositions elevate campaigners, which matters come election time; governments get tired and struggle to renew without undermining what they’ve previously done. So when the public has turned against it (or turned towards someone else), it’s extremely hard to reverse that swing.

Could we see an exception this next election? As always, it’s possible. Politics is a human activity and there are no cast iron rules. Jeremy Corbyn is a highly unusual Leader of the Opposition and the scope for the next Tory campaign to improve on the last one is immense. On the other hand, Brexit – a policy the Tories own for good or ill – will be exceptionally hard to manage on so many levels and if it goes wrong, the knock-on effects on the economy and on any number of other aspects of daily life will be huge. In such a situation, the people are unlikely to blame themselves.

    One factor that doesn’t seem likely to play much of a role, despite the best efforts of the Tories and the right-of-centre press, is Corbyn’s record on support for radical left governments and groups. There are always reasons to think that this time it’ll be different but invariably, it’s not. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the IRA, Hamas, Iran’s Press TV, Venezuela’s government or what, there are an awful lot of people who either don’t believe the stories at all (linked to the source of them), or they don’t believe they’re relevant.

That’s linked to a different comment that I’ve heard more than once since the election (as well as before it): that politicians are all the same. In reality, this is less the case now than for many years but reality is not intruding. The assertion is made not because people have genuinely compared the actions, policies and records but because they want to believe it because that then absolves them of blame: if politicians are all the same, how can a voter be to blame if something subsequently goes wrong? It also means that stories of extremism can’t be true because most politicians aren’t extreme, therefore if they’re all the same, then none can be extreme and attacks on individuals for it must be false.

This much is supposition. In terms of hard facts, what we have are opinion polls that continue to show Labour in front (and while May still outscores Corbyn, the margin is tight rather than the 3- or 4-to-1 majorities she was chalking up in March and April.

Renewed prominence for Corbyn’s warm words towards Chavez and Maduro has not had the slightest impact on voting intention: yesterday’s YouGov actually showed a slight swing to Labour and the local by-elections, while a mixed bag, saw Labour make two impressive gains (alongside a loss to the Tories).

That his comments and his record should affect the public’s opinion of him is beside the point. At the very least they say something about his judgement; they quite possibly also reveal something about what he considers legitimate behaviour from a state in pursuit of a legitimate goal or to counteract opposition. But the natural conclusions to be drawn from such an assessment are so beyond the range which we are accustomed to UK politicians operating in (hence the ‘they’re all the same’ comment, despite the evidence), that they recoil from the conclusions and reject them.

We are in a different world from March and April now. Theresa May cannot undo her election campaign and the public cannot unsee it. The time for fuzzy words and bold claims on Brexit has passed and the time for detail is here. Even if the government were united and fully prepared to crack on with the negotiations, there’d be much for the public to disagree with (see border controls and fishing rights today, for example). And the government is not united nor fully ready.

As things stand, the 4/1 for Corbyn to be the next PM doesn’t look attractive it’s more likely that the Tories would dump May first were a defeat on the cards, she may go of her own accord before 2022 anyway and even if you win, your money could be locked up for near five years. All the same, we should reconcile ourselves to the likelihood of him entering Number Ten.

David Herdson


As Trump’s rating slump even more it’s now odds-on that he won’t serve a full term

Friday, August 4th, 2017


His approval ratings slump following the Obamacare change failure


The innards of the polls are terrible for the President

The big political story in the US over the past few weeks has been the failure of the White House to get the promised changes to ObamaCare through Congress. The proposals would have impacted on millions of Americans who rely on the system that the Democratic party introduced during the Obama Presidency for their health cover.

The efforts to get this through have dominated the news and the big message is that Trump’s controversial initiative has failed. This isn’t good for someone who has been in the White House for little more than six months.

We don’t need reminding that this failure comes at a time when the Republican party controls the House, the Senate and, of course, has Trump at the White House

PoliticalWire had a good analysis of the respected Quinnipiac poll that offers four choices when it asks its approval question. Do respondents approve strongly or somewhat or do they disapprove somewhat or strongly. The normal practice is to add the strongly and somewhats’ together to get the regular ratings.

    The breakdown had 55% of those sampled saying they disapprove strongly with 6% saying disapprove somewhat. This compared with 23% saying they approved of Trump strongly with 10% saying somewhat.

As seen in the RCP polling average chart above Quinnipiac numbers are very much in line with the rest.

Another appalling finding for Trump is that 54% to 26% voters say that they are embarrassed rather than proud to have Trump as president and by 57% to 40%, they say he is abusing the powers of his office.

Looming next year for Trump are the mid-term elections and those will focus the minds of the leadership of his party.

Mike Smithson


Whatever happened to the summer LAB leadership contest which looked all set to be an annual fixture?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

For the first time for years an August without active political betting markets

One of the things about running a website about political betting is that we need events on which we can risk our money. Summer is generally a quiet time particularly in August but over the past couple of years we have had the spectacle of a Labour leadership contest both of which were won by Mr Corbyn. In August 2016, as well, we were less than three months away from the US presidential election.

The summer of 2014 was in the run-up to the Scottish IndyRef which was a big turnover market.

Even though most PBers don’t actually bet the analysis of those that are risking their money add a lot to the discussions.

I must admit that I had thought before we knew the GE2017 outcome that Labour would now be involved in a contest. Alas no. and TMay, the person who lost most in the election, is still in there confounding those who said that the blue team were the most ruthless with leaders who fail.

    William Hague’s much quoted description of the Conservative party as being an absolute monarchy moderated by regicide does not seem to be applying this time.

There is betting on TMay’s replacement but at the moment there is no vacancy and it could be years before there is a contest.

It did look as though the Lib Dems we’re going to have a members’ election but that got spoilt by no other Lib Dem MP being ready to put themselves up against Vince Cable.

There is the UKIP leadership, I suppose, but the party is a fraction of its former self and if you are really interested there are betting markets.

The will Trump survive betting is available but what that makes that unattractive to punters is that you can get barely evens on either side and your stake could be locked up for three and a half years.

Mike Smithson


The betting edges a notch from Trump and now its a 51% chance that he won’t serve the full 4 year term

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017


After what’s been described as Trump’s worst week yet the betting stays with the president surviving

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Chaos and back-stabbing have become the new norm

Based on publicly available betting data the main issue that’s attracted the interest of political punters in the past week has been whether or not Mr. Trump is going to survive as President to the end of a full term. The numbers are in the chart above and show that the UK betting markets rate his chances of remaining at 51%.

So far I’ve not been tempted by the Trump survival betting because I don’t like the betting options that are on offer. How many months that he serves as president would be a good spread market but, alas, the spread firms are far less imaginative than they were in the 1990s when Bill Clinton had all his troubles.

The President’s tumultuous week in which his main legislative objective of repealing ObamaCare failed is well described Peter Baker in the New York Times on the background to the latest White House staff moves.

“.The shake-up followed a week that saw the bombastic, with-me-or-against-me president defied as never before by Washington and its institutions, including Republicans in Congress, his own attorney general, the uniformed military leadership, police officers and even the Boy Scouts. No longer daunted by a president with a Twitter account that he uses like a Gatling gun, members of his own party made clear that they were increasingly willing to stand against him on issues like health care and Russia.

The setbacks came against the backdrop of a West Wing at war with itself, egged on by a president who thrives on conflict and chaos…”

At the moment the Republicans hold the White House, the House and the Senate a situation that might not survive the November 2018 mid-term elections. This should be the period when the Trump administration gets most done.

Mike Smithson


Thirteen Saturdays ago the money was going on TMay’s Tories getting 400+ seats

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

A journalist called me to ask what was the peak position that the Tories reached in the GE2017 campaign.

I dug bag into my historical Tweets and referred him to the one above when Tories were clearing the 400 mark on the spread markets and LAB was struggling to hold onto 150.

That was, of course, after the local and mayoral elections when the the Tories did far better than even the most optimistic party backers were expecting.

The polls carried out over that weekend had the Tories with a lead of about 20%. Survation, the firm that did best on June 8th, recorded a 17% margin in its post local election poll while ICM was at 22%. Was it any wonder that the spread betting levels were what they were.

It struck me that we still don’t know what really happened on June 8th – why most of the pollsters, pundits and participants got it so wrong.

Because the expectation of a big CON victory was so widespread it has been Mr. Corbyn, who has been getting the accolades and goes into the party conference season with little to worry about.

Mike Smithson