It’s “fill your boots time”
What is it with Mayoral Elections? My favourite bet of 2021 was laying Brian Rose for Mayor of London at single figure odds, despite his literal 0-1% chance of victory. Now 2022 looms and another inexplicable mispricing has appeared on the Mayoral ballots in May. Is this a trend?
South Yorkshire is a very Labour area. It comprises 4 areas, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield. You may recognise those 4 areas as all having Labour-majority Councils (except Sheffield, where they are one shy but still run the show). The same areas return 11 Labour MPs and just 3 other MPs (all Tories).
Those numbers are true today, despite Labour’s performance at the last election being (to use the technical term) ‘awful’. It’s a Labour stronghold. It’s not far off a Labour stranglehold.
Perhaps that’s why the Labour incumbent, Dan Jarvis, cruised to victory in the first election for the Mayoralty. In 2018 he got 47% of the vote. 2nd place got 14.5%. Need I say more?
Well apparently I must, since if you peruse the Smarkets prices for this election you will see Labour are only solid favourites at 2/5, and were 1/2 for a long period. This isn’t a long price generally, but it is for an election where Labour outpolled their nearest rivals by over three times last election.
Why aren’t they 1/5? Or 1/10, really.
It’s not because 2018 was a zenith for Labour which they cannot hope to match. National opinion polls now are pretty similar to May 2018. It’s not because Dan Jarvis, who is stepping down, has a quarter of the region as a personal vote despite general Labour weakness there. It’s not because anyone else is surging so strongly that an upset looks plausible.
On which note, check out the second favourites. Not the Tories, who came (a distant) second last time, but The Yorkshire Party. To their credit, The Yorkshire Party are growing in the wider region. Not South Yorkshire though. In 2021 their best performance in a Barnsley ward was 3rd, in Rotherham they managed a 5th place, in Sheffield a 3rd place, and in Doncaster their high score was 7th!
Whoever Labour choose to replace Dan Jarvis is going to walk it. And The Yorkshire Party have barely a better chance in 2022 than Brian Rose had in 2021 (though, as a small and growing force they aren’t quite as unlikely). These prices aren’t just value, they are ‘Fill your boots’ levels of value.
Pip Moss posts on Political Betting as Quincel. He has bets on Labour winning at roughly 1/2 and has laid The Yorkshire Party at roughly 3/1. You can follow him on Twitter at @PipsFunFacts
Prices correct as of Friday night