If you’ve ever pondered betting on political events but never quite pulled the trigger on any of your wagers, perhaps last night’s general election might be enough to persuade you that the murky world of politics is ripe for the picking as far as punters are concerned.
Coming less than a year after both Brexit (a best price of 8/1) and Donald Trump’s ascent to US presidency (12/1 best price), the UK general election delivered yet more surprises. Jeremy Corbyn, the erstwhile Labour leader, was available at 33/1 to be the next Prime Minister back in May; at one point overnight his price had dipped to odds on!
Many constituencies in the UK are regarded as safe seats for the various parties, and yet the resurgence of Labour and the demise of the Conservatives and the Scottish National Party suggested that thrifty punters really could take advantage.
Take a look at Kensington, for example. Home to the monied elite, this should be one of the easiest seats for the Tories to win. The bookies recognised as such, pricing a Labour victory at 66/1. Fast forward a few weeks….
The astonishing triumph of Corbyn’s army in Kensington was testament to a desire for a change in the status quo in the UK, and even after weeks of campaigning Labour were available at 20/1 to win the chair on polling day. Similar results followed in Sheffield Hallam (66/1), Canterbury (25/1), Stockton South (16/1) and Battersea (12/1).
Clearly, the message when it comes to political betting is to follow the general mood of the nation….even if it feels counter-intuitive to do at times.
So What Next?
Theresa May wanted a mandate from the electorate. No, she needed a mandate from the electorate. She was never elected Prime Minister remember – she took on the role when David Cameron fell on his sword post-Brexit – and so she needed to pass the election test with flying colours if she was to gain the leverage needed to conduct negotiations away from the continent.
What she’s got instead is an absolute minefield.
A ‘coalition of chaos’ was one of her rallying cries, bemoaning a left-wing link-up between Labour, the Lib Dems and whoever else would possibly get involved.
The bookmakers are yet to price up any ‘futures’ markets as far as the next couple of years are concerned, but we are unlikely to have another General Election this year now that a) Theresa May won’t resign and b) she’s secured a majority of sorts courtesy of the DUP. So the immediate future is more fertile ground for punters.
Next Liberal Democrat Leader Betting Tips
Tim Farron has not gone public with his intentions for the future, but after another disastrous campaign for the Lib Dems he too looks to be on thin ground.
He only just retained his own constituency by a fine margin – and that was after a recount, and with the Liberals failing to make any ground nationally despite the rise of left-wing rivals Labour it is perhaps a matter of time before he walks (or is pushed).
Heading the betting to be next Liberal Democrat leader are Jo Swinson (6/4) and Vince Cable (5/2). Both won back their parliamentary seats on Thursday, and while Cable has a lengthier CV in British politics it is the impressive Swinson who appears to be the value.
She became the first UK politician born in the 1980s when she won her Dunbartonshire East seat back in 2011, and while she lost that to the marauding SNP four years later she won back her army of admirers with a healthy majority of 5,000+.
She’s Scottish, which will help to secure votes from a nation that has played a part in the political shake-up in Westminster in the past, and her youth gives her an advantage with a British public that appears to be eschewing stuffy, traditional politics.