What were punters thinking when they bet on the Tories in Chesham at 1/20

What were punters thinking when they bet on the Tories in Chesham at 1/20

As PB regulars will know I spent the last five weeks here saying that the odds available on the LDs in the by-election offered great value for money. What I cannot work out was what those on the other side of the bets were thinking when they took the risk of effectively rating the Tory chances of victory as a 95% chance.

My first bet on the LDs was at 7/1 when Smarkets first got a market up and I assumed that what was happening on the ground would force the odds in. Not so – it move pretty solidly in the opposite direction on it and Betfair effectively had the LDs at 19/1 for all the campaign until polling day itself when it moved in to about 13/1.

It would only have taken a minimal amount of research to find out that the LDs were throwing everything at the seat with hundreds of activists traveling quite long distances every day to help with the campaign.

I could not work out what was happening in the betting and at one stage I thought the Tory odds were being artificially reinforced by someone with pots of money trying to make the blues to appear favourites.

Also anybody who knows anything about UK politics is surely aware that the LDs are hugely effective in such contests when they start in second place behind the Tories. In fact there has been only one occasion in the past three decades when they have failed and that was the Henley by-election in 2008 afrer BoJo stepped down after becoming Mayor.

Anyway a big thank you.

Mike Smithson

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