General Election Betting

by Carl HarrisIN just under two weeks time, the UK will go to the polls to elect a new government. With the bookmakers offering a plethora of bets, Carl Harris has a look at any betting opportunities.

Firstly, this is non party political, whoever you support or vote for is up to you, this is purely about the betting.

The markets are odd, in so much that the Conservatives are 2/5 to get the most seats, but Ed Milliband is equally long odds on to be the next PM after the election! This is on the face of it contradictory, but the biggest cert it seems is that we are heading for a hung Parliament with no party having an overall majority. (yes insightful or what!)

The market is saying that the Conservatives will have the most seats but Labour will govern in a coalition, seemingly with the SNP. Indeed a Labour minority is the 6/4 favourite. When you listen to the political commentators the one thing you clearly get the feeling is that this could change and change again in the next 13 days. I always think that people in times of uncertainty will stick to what they already have, as happened when John Major won, Neil Kinnock was miles ahead in the polls. A Conservative / Lib Dem coalition, ie what we have now at 6/1 with Ladbrokes is not a bad bet. If the Conservatives get the most seats they will get first dibs on forming a government and if the Lib Dems don’t have a meltdown we could be in an ‘as you were’ scenario.


326 seats are needed for a majority. Presently the Conservatives have 306 and the Lib Dems 57. So what is the likelihood of the existing partners forming another coalition?

Current forecasts show that they are some way short, around 20 seats short. Take a look at the UK election forecast. This is updated daily. I think the phenomena we saw that gave John Major the win in 1992 may well happen again and I have had a small bet on this at 11/2. Only small though!

Ladbrokes are 11/8 that the Tories will get within this band of seats. The forecast is for 283 seats and the momentum is with them not against, so for me this is the best bet of the campaign. Boris Johnson will be mobilized and whatever your personal opinion of him and the Conservatives, Boris is popular and will cement the Conservative seat gain in the 280 to 290 region. 11/8 is superb!  Get the best odds here.

To me this is also a cracking bet. The likelihood is that the two sitting MP’s for UKIP, Carswell and Wreckless will retain their seats and one other, probably Nigel Farage will make 3. This is my personal opinion but I do not think they will win more than 3 seats. Bet365 are 5/4. Nigel Farage is now 1/2 to win in Thanet South.

TURNOUT 65-70% MAX BET 6/4
If you can get the 6/4 offered by Boylesports about the turnout being between 65 and 70% then get on as much as possible, this is almost a certainty!


It is forecast to be 67% in fact and these forecasts are almost always absolutely spot on, this is almost the best bet of the whole campaign! Almost….

The certainty of the campaign is that the Green Party will win one seat. Brighton, held by Caroline Lucas will go green again, but they will not win any other seats. Their leader has polled appallingly in the debates etc and that has blown any chance she had of winning the seat she is contesting. William Hill are 1/2 on only one seat. TAKE IT! The greens were polling for 12 seats just six months ago (see here). They have run one of the most disastrously poor campaigns in election history. I can not find a market on the tenure of Natalie Bennett, but she surely will not remain as leader after May 7th.

My statement is made on the basis of stats, not opinion. The Green’s have gone backwards in this election and their leader is now a figure of ridicule. Forget the policies for a moment, but it is embarrassing to hear this woman interviewed, she is very poor as a politician. Even if you are a Green Party supporter, you would be in despair!

Caroline Lucas is certain to win in Brighton but that is it! 1/2 is short but it is better than you would get in a bank! 2/7 Caroline Lucas is a MAX BET.

I grew up in Rotherham and it is so sad to see what has happened there. It used to be a case that Labour was a certainty and a donkey in red ribbons would win. However the challenge from UKIP means that you can actually get a bet on. Labour have a popular MP in Sarah Champion, and 2/7 is free money, she will win comfortably. I have managed to get £200 on this.

Whatever Happens it is the most uncertain election in modern times. There is still 13 days to go, we will keep our eye on the polls and the news and will update this next week!

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