Never under-estimate the power of incumbency

Never under-estimate the power of incumbency

ming campbell speech horiz.jpg

    Betting on a leader’s survival is usually profitable

As general rule the best option in the political “How long will they survive” markets is to bet that leaders will go on longer than current perceptions for that’s what they usually do.

Politicians who become leaders of their parties are generally pretty tough and resilient. You don’t get to that rung on the ladder without those qualities and it is easy to underestimate them. The power of incumbency is very strong – apart from, maybe, with the Tories.

At the height of the Monica Lewinsky affair there was a month by month spread market on Bill Clinton which proved to be very profitable for those who believed that the President would survive.

Those who invested in the “weeks of Tony Blair’s third term” when it was launched on Spreadfair are not too far away from seeing their bet turn to profit. The opening spread was 80-89 weeks. Now it’s 100.4-108 weeks even in the current frenzied climate.

So how are we to judge the new market from the Sporting Index off-shoot, BetHilo, on how long Ming Campbell’s term as Lib Dem leader will last?

The current spread is 23-25 months with March 2006 counting as month one. Based on this a “buy bet” would move into profit at the end of April 2008. Every month, thereafter up to a maximum of sixty months, your profits would pile up.

    Barring accidents and Ming’s health – which thankfully looks OK – it is hard to see how he is not going to serve for another two years.

After the trauma of Charles Kennedy the Lib Dems are not, surely, going to get rid of a second leader in such a short time period? Ming will go on to fight the next election and beyond.

There’s clearly a view in parts of the bookmaking community that the new Lib Dem leader is doomed – which might explain the launch last week of betting on his replacement.

Even though you cannot put big stakes on I like the new BetHiLo market because from May 2008 punters should get the enormous satisfaction of watching their profits grow.

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.