Oh What a Night, Historic Results!

General Election 2015 Results….

Where do we start? Bookmakers, Pundits, Pollsters all got it badly wrong! So what went right and where do punters go from here? 

If you have followed my betting blog you will have seen I have been enthralled by the General Election 2015 from a betting point of view. I actually had TWO BETS and on a night of complete and utter shock, we will come to that shortly, I am going to pat myself on the back for tipping two good winners and thank my lucky stars I didn’t get more involved. I did think the only certainty was uncertainty and played it safe, but the actual reults were a total shock!

So my two bets, the turnout between 65 and 70% at 11/8 was the best bet of the election and at 66% it is in line with statistical probability. Being from Rotherham originally, the notion that Labour would lose was never a possibility and my £200 at 4/5 on Sarah Champion has collected. I posted these on my blog so no after timing.

I tried not to be biased, on my blog before the election. However I am a lifelong Conservative voter, a child of Thatcherism, and I am delighted at the result, totally surprised by happy. I also think that the twon I grew up in, Rotherham, has the best MP in Labour’s Sarah Champion, for many reasons, but this is a betting blog. I am not in politics and people vote who they want, I am not here to influence anyone’s vote.

But 24 hours ago our expectations were amazingly different, I think everyone’s were, and my predictions of seats, which I did say was a pure guess, was miles out.

However, I am not alone. The big losers of the night were Ed Milliband, Ed Balls, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Vince Cable etc but the biggest losers surely was the polling industry.

The opinion polls were miles out. There inaccuracies are only matched by clerks of the course reporting the going! It is staggering that They were ALL miles out, in fact so far out that they have no credibility at all going forward! They were 50 seats wrong in some cases. Look back through the blog. In fact, is there anyone anywhere who came close to predicting what has happened?

The bookmakers got it wrong, but they work as does the media and politicians themselves on the polls….

“AS I PREDICTED THE 10pm EXIT POLL WAS ALMOST SPOT ON”

When I saw the poll at 10pm I was staggered! Clearly not the only one! Look at Paddy Ashdown and Alistair Campbell. Eating hat and kilt as we speak…

The biggest losers must be the credibility of the pollsters. I genuinely wish I was in a position to study political betting patterns, I think it will be fascinating to find out what happened. Why did the Lib Dems get wiped out, 8 seats, what drove the SNP to win 50 seats. It is amazing.

As a betting market, look how wrong it was. On Wednesday I posted the latest Betfair Predicts forecast…

betfair

All the final polls and predictions were all along the same lines but they were around 50 seats short for the Tories and 35 or so for Labour. 21 short for the Lib Dems. The odds on a hung parliament was 1/10. Ten to one on! This is utterly astonishing!

So for those, like me who like betting on politics, there are plenty of opportunities thrown up by this. Already this morning Nick Clegg has resigned, Nigel Farage has resigned, but says he may run again in September and Ed Milliband has now also resigned. So there are leadership battles to be had.

Only one Labour leader in the last 6 who fought an election has won, the centre, PR friendly Tony Blair, three times.  Who will be next?

EU REFERENDUM NOW A CERTAINTY….
You may recall David Cameron made a pledge to the electorate, if I win a majority I will hold a referendum on the membership of the EU, a straight YES or NO question, so that will be a market, which of course the polls will probably be of no use whatsoever if true to form.

What a night, no doubt this is historic. The Lib Dems wiped out, Labour will question how they can ever govern again and the big question of Scottish Independence will surely raise its head again.

The voting system will also come in to question, the SNP have 56 MP’s from 1.4m actual votes. UKIP had around 4 million votes and get 1 MP.  There will be radical changes to parliamentary procedure now. The Lib Dems will get no questions in PMQ’s yet when they were in opposition they had two every week, so now the SNP have more seats than they had prior to 2010 so Mr Salmond will be able to put the Scottish case forward.

Thoroughly intriguing but I think the one lesson we can all learn, even the cleverest people in the UK using their sophisticating polling methodology just can’t second guess the Great British Public!

Wild Variations In #GE2015 Forecasts + Predictions…

Today, the day before the General Election the various media and polling organisations have published their final seat forecasts, and they are unusually different! Usually there is not a cigarette paper between them.

The first poll I saw was the BBC Newsnight poll of polls, which had the Conservatives well on top….

bbc newsnight

BBC Newsnight Poll of Polls

The Conservatives comfortably ahead with 281 v Labour with 266. This would justify the market price for the Conservatives to win the most seats presently 1/5. That was published at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Shortly afterwards there was movement in the betting markets with David Cameron to be the Prime Minister after the General Election. They are 10/11 joints now. Best odds here.

Momentum seemed to be with The Conservatives, but remember to govern with a majority 326 is officially required, however the real number is 323 because of The Speaker and The Irish MP’s who do not attend.

However Wednesday the picture has become much murkier! As more seat forecasts are published. YouGov are one of the leaders in polling and they are way off the BBC seat forecast…

yougov

In polling terms this is a huge difference. If this is anywhere near correct UKIP will get 14% of the vote, around 4 million people for ONE SEAT! So what are the betting markets / bookmakers saying with under 12 hours to the polls opening….

betfair

More on less in line with the Poll of Polls from the BBC. Election forecast UK is also along the same lines…

election forecast uk

There are polls coming at all angles and they vary so widely! The only thing I can say is that no one seems to know what is happening.

The Exit Polls were 100% Right in 2010….

Though no good for betting purposes the exit polls is 2010 were almost 100% correct. So we will get a better idea when the polls close at 10pm on Thursday. I am going to make my guess, and let’s face it that is all we can do right now, about the outcome of the election…

  • Conservatives 280 seats
  • Labour 265 seats
  • SNP 46
  • Lib Dems 25 seats
  • UKIP 2 seats
  • Greens 1 seat

I think there will be no mathematical coalition for 2 parties. In short it will be a mess! What happens next, we will have to watch and see! Here are some other predictions.

  • Sarah Champion will win Rotherham for Labour, 2/7 earlier in the week.
  • Nigel Farage will win, just
  • Nick Clegg will win, just
  • Danny Alexander and Douglas Alexander will lose their seats
  • One of the MP’s who defected from Conservative to UKIP will lose their seat
  • The Greens will win in Brighton, and that is it
  • The SNP will have over 50% of the vote in Scotland
  • The turnout will be between 65 and 70% nationwide.

This is an election like no other! It will be interesting to say the least! If you have not had a bet as yet, it may be best to sit it out and watch!

Whoever you vote for, it is up to you, but PLEASE VOTE, I think that is the most important thing, we live in a fair democracy, a luxury many around the world do not have!

 

MIlliband Will Have To Make Some U-Turn to be PM

The other day I questioned why Ed Millband was so much shorter than David Cameron in the markets to become the next PM given he had ruled out ANY form of deal with the SNP. Well now a statement he made 5 years ago on election night may have sealed his fate….

I saw this on Twitter, posted by Guido Fawkes, probably the number 1 political blog in the UK. It is a right wing blog, which makes Ed Millband is as popular as Sir Alex Ferguson would be on a Liverpool Football Blog, I am sure there are better football metaphors but I know less about football than I do about rocket science.

There is no dressing up what Ed Milliband said though. He said that in the event of no overall majority, the constitution dictates that the incumbent PM gets “first crack” at forming a government. So there you go, no debate, Ed made it clear five years ago!

As I understand it there is no written constitution in the UK, and certainly there is nothing documented covering this particular scenario, so Mr Milliband, speaking as a Labour minion back in 2010 in a bid to keep Gordon Brown in power, may have inadvertently shot himself in the (other) foot, after ruling out any form of  deal with the SNP. He has gone down a country lane with a dead end in front and a heard of cattle behind. He has well and truly nowhere to go, if of course the pools and forecasts are correct.

Surely Cameron is now a MAX BET to bet the PM after the Election?

The odds have narrowed. William Hill are currently 10/11 joint favourites. Indeed at the best prices on odds checker, Milliband is best 10/11 and David Cameron Evens. The momentum with only a few days to go is with the boys in blue it seems. But I do not understand why Milliband is the market leader. Well I do, the market is saying they do not believe his rhetoric!

So let’s Recap what the Betting Markets are Saying….

The Conservatives are long odds on to have the most seats (best 2/9) but a hung parliament (no overall majority) is as short as 1/8. It appears almost a certainty. The Conservatives still think they will get a majority, but there is not one poll that gives this any chance at all. This looks a dead cert!

I still think we will end up with a CON / LIB DEM government, but it may be a minority government. Certainly Ed Milliband will have to allow the PM to have first crack at forming a government (assuming the conservatives get the most seats), he has stated that is the right of the sitting PM, constitutionally. He has also said no deal of any kind with the SNP, even if it means missing out on becoming PM. These are quotes he has said on camera, no grey areas, he said them, and he could not become PM by going back on that surely?

It would be some U-turn, but this is politics and would it surprise you? Would it at all? I wouldn’t be at all surprised, but I think even Alistair Campbell would struggle to spin it if he did! If he does go back on his categorical statements, he would have no credibility as PM and would have a short lived career in politics afterwards.

There is a fixed term parliament act in place, but that can be repealed by Parliament, so I would not be too concerned about that. I think a good long term bet is for another General Election in 2015. Bet365 go 5/2 on a second General Election in 2015. 

Thankfully only a few days remain. It is getting a bit tedious now, or is it just me? Mind you it might be a right mess by Friday it might all start all over again!

 

No Deal With The SNP Even If I am Not PM

Ed Milliband has said he will NOT be PM with ANY form of deal with The SNP, the markets think otherwise….He said on BBC last night, 1 week before polling day….(CLICK HERE TO VIEW)

So let us be clear here, this is what Mr Milliband said…

“If the Price of having a Labour Government is having a deal with the SNP- it is NOT going to happen!”

So a week today, the likely outcome of the General Election will be a HUNG PARLIAMENT and the only mathematical majority is LAB + SNP. The markets, prior to BBC Question Time on Thursday had Conservatives long odds on to have most seats, yet Ed Milliband favourite to be PM. Surely after this categorical statement, NO DEAL OF ANY TYPE WITH THE SNP, Mr Cameron would have regained favouritism to become the next PM. Errr….NO!

Ed Milliband remains the 8/11 Fav to be the next PM. But without the SNP he can not have a majority, the Con / Lib Dem alliance would have enough to form a minority government. So why is David Cameron not the Fav ?

Could it be that the market do not believe what Mr Milliband has said? Surely if he went back on this he would be PM, but he and the Labour party would be completely annihilated, next time round, which may not be in five years time? Surely He can not be so adamant and in a week’s time do the opposite.

My guess is the market is expecting him to do just that! I suspect the rhetoric will be along the lines of….

” Well I wanted a Labour Majority and I don’t want to do a deal with the SNP, but the UK has spoken and I must keep the cost cutting Tories out of Downing Street”

I do wish you could get odds on that! But we all live in hope, Ed Milliband could be a politician that says what he means, and means what he says! If he does, Simon who asked this question will become quite famous!

It is going to be interesting. For me, NO BET!

One Week To Voting Day #GE2015

On May 7th the UK goes to the poll for the General Election 2015. That means in 7 days from today we can all go out and vote.

It is a “cert” that no one will win. To me it is like a greyhound race….The Labour Party wear the red jacket in TRAP 1 and the Conservative Party the blue of TRAP 2. So we know that the red or blue will get furthest, but unless the polls are dramatically wrong neither will finish the race!

In the mythical 2015 election greyhound race both will get to about the third bend. 326 seats is what is needed for a majority and to govern the UK. Estimates are that the Conservatives will get the around the 280 mark and Labour 265. This is what Betfair Predicts puts the state of play at with a week to go…

Political Betting from X22

Political Betting from X22

So looking at some basic maths, the magic number is 326. So to be PM Cameron needs 47 more on these number. The Lib Dems will lose half their MP’s and the current coalition is still 19 short on these numbers. Even with UKIP and the DUP they can’t make it!

So the market has an odd look, Conservatives are long odds on for most seats but Milliband, The Labour Leader is odds on to be PM. But for all the talk of an SNP / Labour deal, which he has publicly ruled out categorically (yeah right) they still are only past the fourth bend, they do not get to the winning line!

It is a race no one is going to finish and if the polls are right we will have an election to decide nothing! If racing terms Trap 1 and Trap 2 will get to the third bend, then will try and talk the other four runners in to a stitch up! Whatever happens it looks a dead cert that the election will only make everything totally unclear! The result will be a complete mess. There is NO WAY at all any of the sides can govern with a majority.

Best guess…well I have a feeling that the undecided will have a HUGE SAY, as happened with John Major, in uncertain times they revert to the devil they know. I think that we may end up with a CON / Lib Dem minority.

I have no idea how Milliband having categorically said no deal with the SNP could then do one. But in politics nothing will surprise me! The ban on cigarette advertising in sport that Blair gave F1 an exclusion was staggering. Clearly nothing to do with the £1m Bernie Eccleston had previously donated to Labour ! I am not picking on Labour, they are all in the say one thing do another bracket! The Conservatives are even promising a law so they can’t break their promises not to raise taxes.

So as Iain Dale pointed out on Twitter,

iain

Are they saying then, ‘this is a real promise the rest are not really’ ?

From now on we should ask is that a legally binding promise or not a real promise! The parties are so desperate that every day it is a give away as to what they will do, I can’t believe people still believe what politicians say to be honest!

So we are all waiting for a race we are fairly sure no one will win. If things turn out as predicted we will end up with one big fat mess!

Oh and don’t forget that whatever happens we are stuck with it for the next five years thanks to the fixed term parliament act brought in as part of the 2010 coalition agreement!  If you think this election has gone on too long, wit until next week, you aint seen nothing yet!

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.

David-Cameron-and-Nick-Clegg

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!

MAX BET CONSERVATIVES 276-300 SEATS 11/8
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.

MAX BET UKIP 2-3 SEATS 5/4
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!

Image1

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….

GREEN PARTY – ONE SEAT CERTAINTY
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.

ROTHERHAM LABOUR WIN 2/7
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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