Have the betting markets got it about right?
On the first working day of the year I thought it might be useful, as a point of reference to record the latest UK general election betting prices. These seem to suggest that punters believe that the Conservatives will be the top party but will be someway short of an overall majority.
We last recorded the prices like this as a matter of record on June 27th 2007 – the day that Brown took up his position as Prime Minister. Then the mid-point spreadbetting prices on the number of seats the parties would get were CON 275: LAB 284: LD 51 seats.
So since then Labour has dropped nine seats on the spread markets, the Tories have gone up twenty and the Lib Dems are down two and a half. At its peak, during the Labour conference in September, the mid-point Labour spread moved to 329 seats.
These numbers are very much driven by the polls. At the start of December I sold Tory seats at the 306 level – so it has declined a bit since then.
The next major scheduled poll should be the January survey by Populus for the Times which I expect to be out next Tuesday.