Just after 11am on Tuesday, Theresa May made the shock announcement that a snap general election would be held on June 8th and our first instinct at Betting Gods was to work out if any money could be made from the betting markets. We published our initial predictions to the Betting Gods blog along with a poll asking readers to share who they’d be voting for.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at what we’d recommend placing bets on based off the results of this poll.
Why the Betting Gods Poll?
There’s Survation, YouGov and Ipsos MORI who all specialise in polling, who do it day-in-day-out and who aren’t half bad at it. So why should we focus on a Betting Gods poll? Well it’s not the first time we’ve used polls here at Betting Gods. In the past, readers of the Betting Gods blog have correctly predicted the outcome of the 2015 General Election, the EU Referendum and the US Presidential Election.
Not a bad track record, right?
It’s why we’re going to use the Betting Gods poll, and only this poll, combined with stats from the 2015 election, to base our predictions.
The Poll Results
After 268 responses, we’re left with the following percentages:
57.5% – Conservative
16.0% – Labour
8.2% – Liberal Democrat
6.3% – UKIP
5.2% – SNP
2.2% – Green
4.6% – Other
Obviously, it’s not as clear cut as that so we’ll need to delve a little deeper into a few areas where we can make a few safe predictions.
Scotland and the SNP
Our poll didn’t focus on any given part of the UK so the SNP getting 5.2% in our poll doesn’t tell us a lot. The 2015 election saw the SNP’s huge surge in support which resulted in a gain of 50 seats putting them on 56 seats with Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all on one seat each.
On June 8th, could Labour or the Lib Dems win back a few of their previously held seats. It’s unlikely. We do predict the Lib Dems gaining a few of their previously safe seats such as Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk or North East Fife but it’s unlikely they’ll do much damage to the SNP.
There are also rumours that the Tories might see a boost in Scotland but this is pure speculation so for now we’re going to assume they retain the single seat they current hold in Scotland.
In Scotland, we’re therefore predicting 54 seats for the SNP, 1 for Labour, 3 for Lib Dems and 1 for the Conservatives and we’re expecting the SNP to be just under a 50% vote share.
The Green Party’s Single Safe Seat
The First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system hinders small parties like The Green Party. They gained Brighton Pavilion in 2010, held it in 2015 and we suspect they’ll hold it in this snap election.
The Distribution of UKIP’s Support
In the Betting Gods poll, UKIP gained 6.3% of all support which is below the poll averages but is still a substantial number for a party which is unlikely to pick up a single seat. UKIP has support, but their support is simply too sparsely spread across the country for FPTP. You might think that’s unfair but it’s the electoral system we currently have.
If we’d have written this post 24hrs ago, then we’d have said having a punt on UKIP getting over 0.5 seats was worth a shot. But Farage has since ruled himself out of standing which makes their chances of gaining a single seat pretty slim. Perhaps they’ll shock everyone and win a seat in the Northern former Labour heartlands. But it’s clutching at straws a bit.
Seats in Northern Ireland
With 17 seats up for grabs, 2.62% of the total number, it’s quite easy to simply brush Northern Ireland aside as they’re not going to affect the overall outcome of the election. However, they will have an impact our poll results and that’s why it’s important to know that 17 of the available seats are for Northern Ireland.
Now that we’ve taken a look at all the elements of this snap election, it’s time for us to make our predictions based on these and the poll results so here goes:
In Scotland, we’ve already predicted the SNP will have 54 seats, Labour and the Tories will hold their single seats and the Lib Dems will end up with 3 seats.
In Northern Ireland, none of the 17 seats will go to the major UK parties.
In Wales, we expect Plaid Cymru to hold their 3 current seats.
In England and the rest of Wales, of the remaining 571 seats, we expect the Lib Dems to take an impressive 47 seats (including their 3 seats in Scotland), a gain of 39. This wouldn’t quite match their 2010 performance but will certainly prove their critics wrong and re-enforce their resurgence.
We then move onto where everyone is focussing: Labour. In 2015, they won 232 seats under Ed Miliband. But now they’ve found themselves with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm who knows how low they could really go. Whether you like Corbyn or not, there’s no denying that he lacks leadership and authority and his ideals are extreme for many who would have previously voted Labour. It’s why we’re predicting Labour to end up with around 124 seats. Yes… We said it.
Finally, we come to the Tories who are the clear favourites by a country mile. We’re predicting them to win 404 seats which would give them a hugely comfortable majority. We’re aware this is a bold prediction but with the current position that the country and its politics is in and based on the Betting Gods poll, that’s our prediction.
So that means we have:
Conservative – 404 Seats (up 74)
Labour – 124 seats (down 108 seats)
Liberal Democrat – 47 seats (up 39)
UKIP – 0 seats (down 1)
SNP – 54 seats (down 2)
Green – 1 Seat (no change)
Our 2017 General Election Betting Tips
There is simply no point is us recommending a bet on the Tories winning the election because at the time of writing, the best odds available are 1/8 (so a £10 bet would return £1.25 profit). So, instead, let’s take a look at some of the more obscure markets and here’s what we’d recommend backing:
Lib Dems 36-40 Seats – 1pt @ 6/1 with Bet365
Lib Dems Over 40 Seats – 2pt @ 11/2 with Bet365
Labour 100-149 Seats – 2pt @ 5/2 with Sky Bet or Ladbrokes
Conservative Vote Share 45.01%-50% – 1pt @ 16/5 with Betfair Exchange