With just eight campaigning days to go – Tories still strong favourites to take Batley & Spen

With just eight campaigning days to go – Tories still strong favourites to take Batley & Spen

Smarkets

But punters got Chesham and Amersham totally wrong

The chart shows the latest betting on next week’s by-election in Batley & Spen where Labour is pinning its hopes on Jo Cox’s sister to see them home in what could be a tricky contest. This isn’t helped by ex LAB and then Respect MP, George Galloway standing on an anti-Starmer platform.

I’m often asked if betting markets are predictive and last Thursday underlined the fact that they can get it terribly wrong. If that was the case then favourites would always win which, as we all know they don’t.

I was accused of ramping when in the run-up to last week’s election I suggested that the LDs were a great value bet in what for me turned out for the most profitable political bet that I have ever made and that is saying something. Those who took my advice got odds of upto 20/1

My view of Batley is I am much less convinced about how it will go and have only had small bets. I just wonder whether the anti-Tory vote might coalesce around Labour in the same manner that the anti-Tory vote went to the LDs last Thursday so for the moment that is where my cash is going.

Mike Smithson

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