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Punter Psychology. Finding the perfect balance of arrogance and humility

Punter Psychology. Finding the perfect balance of arrogance and humility

Picture: 1964 general election odds. There shouldn’t be any value bets, in theory. Every bet we place isn’t just a forecast about an election or other event. We are also making a statement; that the forecast made by the collective wisdom of every previous punter is wrong and that we have noticed before other smart gamblers can put the price right. In principle, every value bet is an opportunity someone else should already have taken. In practice, the market clearly…

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Labour’s Hiraeth

Labour’s Hiraeth

This draft thread header was written in December 2019, but due to pressure of work I never had a chance to send it in. Alterations are shown in italics.  In 1918, Couponed candidates took 20 seats, Asquithian Liberals three seats, and Labour or Independent Labour candidates twelve seats in Wales. I mention this not from any particular desire to talk about 1918 in Welsh politics, but because it marks the last occasion to date when Labour failed to top a…

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A President without precedent: Which record will Biden break in 2024?

A President without precedent: Which record will Biden break in 2024?

No President in the post-war era has not sought re-election*. No President as old as Joe Biden has ever been elected (by a margin of several years). In 2024 one of these records will be broken, and there’s value in betting on which. Last week Joe Biden gave his first solo press conference of his tenure, and was asked whether he’ll run again. He says that “My plan is to run for re-election. That’s my expectation,” which shouldn’t be a…

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It looks like there’s Major Mispricing in the Majority Market

It looks like there’s Major Mispricing in the Majority Market

In 2019 the Conservatives won an 80 seat majority with an 11.5% popular vote lead. Since then their polling lead has floated between 20% to around 0%. Right now it is mid to high single digits, though polls are a bit all over the place at the moment. They will probably win a majority again at the next election. That shouldn’t be a controversial statement, yet the betting markets will give you up to 2/1 on this outcome. Why? The…

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May 2021 election benchmarks

May 2021 election benchmarks

From David Cowling – former head BBC political research Because the 2020 local elections were postponed due to the pandemic, this May will witness elections for incumbent candidates who were, overwhelmingly, last elected in either 2016 or 2017. Both national opinion polls and projections of national vote shares at the time suggest two very different benchmarks against which to measure the 2021 results. Those elections taking place with a 2016 benchmark are: the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senned, London Mayor, Greater…

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Oh dear… ODA…

Oh dear… ODA…

BBC Graphic Charity begins at home According to recent reports Boris Johnson appears to be taking that rather literally. Nevertheless, the sentiment is one that voters share. Voters of all parties suggested the govt was right to cut the foreign aid budget. Foreign aid is an excellent wedge issue for Boris Johnson to divide labour voters from labour politicians. And yet – making sweeping budgetary changes is easier announced than enacted.  The cut from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP may…

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LOST IN THE WOODS: Labour’s Challenge for the 2020s

LOST IN THE WOODS: Labour’s Challenge for the 2020s

Cards on the table – I don’t understand the Labour Party any more. I used to – a quarter century of membership, Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Councillor. Then, like so many long-term Labour voters, I left the party. For an opposition these should be opportune times. A pandemic which has been particularly harsh in the UK thanks to a series of government bungles has not only seen far more deaths than should have been, but needless economic pain as well.  An…

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Stopping the SNP juggernaut – what are the chances for Scotland’s opposition parties?

Stopping the SNP juggernaut – what are the chances for Scotland’s opposition parties?

Analysis of the most recent Ipsos Scotland poll With two months to go until the Holyrood elections, Ipsos MORI’s latest Scotland poll yet again finds the SNP ahead on voting intention – 52% of likely voters are minded to vote SNP for their constituency, and 47% say they will vote for them on their regional list. Both the Conservatives (on 23% constituency, 22% list) and Labour (15%/14%) continue to trail well behind. But as the well worn saying goes, a…

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