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Predicting The UK 2017 General Election

Published on April 19, 2017 by Darren @ Betting Gods

Towards the end of 2016, some bookmakers reduced the odds slightly on a general election being called in 2017. These narrowed from around 6/4 to 6/5, but no election was still favourite. However, as time passed and we moved into 2017, the consensus from virtually all those seen as experts in the field, was that no election would be held.

Then, the podium suddenly appeared outside 10 Downing Street, letting the world know that an announcement was imminent. The biggest clue that ‘something was up’ was the fact that no government insignia was on the front of this podium, meaning that it was a Conservative Party, rather than an official government, announcement.

Why The U-Turn?

It’s a famous phrase, coined by the previous female Prime Minister, but it certainly applies in this case. In the autumn of 2016, Theresa May was quite clear that there would be no election over Brexit – but this one can’t be about anything else.

There will be ongoing speculation about the reasons, but it may have as much, if not more, to do with Conservative backbenchers than a feeble-looking opposition. With a small majority, the hardest of Brexiteers could hold their own government over hot coals to get more of what they want.

However, if an election produces a substantial Tory majority – and many bets will probably be placed on the size that this is likely to be – then the Prime Minister might find herself better able to hold off the more extreme of views about what the ‘Brexit Deal’ should be.

Incidentally, it appears that many government ministers were not aware of what was about to happen well into the morning the announcement was made!

Are All Bets Really Off?

Of course not! It’s certainly likely that, should you want to bet on a Labour victory, then generous odds – for a two-horse race – are likely to be offered. Some may already be looking to wager on the name of the next Labour leader, going with a general assumption that Jeremy Corbyn is going to suffer a crushing defeat. It is likely then that betting will be heavier on the margin of victory and the number of seats which each party will gain.

Three Places To Look To Punt

So, within the overall context of the election, there are likely to be wide ranges of betting opportunities. Here are a few areas to look out for.

Scotland

With the SNP holding all but three of Scotland’s Westminster seats, then it is probably going to be difficult, although certainly not impossible, for them to retain every one. Scottish Labour don’t yet seem to be in a position to gain much; but it will be an interesting bet to consider the number of seats the Scottish Conservatives might gain. Their leader, Ruth Davidson, has a fairly positive public profile. Add into this volatile equation the request, lying on Theresa May’s desk, for a second devolution referendum. If the SNP vote decreases more than marginally, or if they were to lose a reasonable number of seats, then this could be slightly less of an immediate worry for the PM.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is, as always, a completely different kettle of fish. With no functioning Assembly, after their recent vote, and an electorate that seems pretty fed up with all NI politicians, who knows? The total nationalist vote came very close, in that recent event, to that of the unionists. Gamblers might like to consider really close constituencies as an option for picking those elusive winners.

Wales

Wales has a more varied collection of MPs. With the main parties all represented, punters might consider whether Plaid Cymru could gain some disaffected voters, and which constituencies these results are most likely to come from.

There’ll Always Be An England…

… but, politically, what colour will it be? No matter how their leader performs, there are still many safe Labour red seats out there. It might be an interesting bet if you see them holding on to a few more than many experts might predict. Another interesting gamble would be on UKIP. Are they likely to sustain their challenge, especially in some Labour seats in the north-east and north-west? Or, will their vote fall away, as voters see the in-fighting but also consider that UKIP’s job is done? Current odds see them holding no seats as a warm favourite.

Another interesting bet could be on the seats gained by the Liberal Democrats. Last time, they paid a huge price for being part of the coalition. This time they may place themselves as a moderating influence, as many thought they were in government. Therefore, looking at key seats across the south and south-west, and in the border country between Scotland and England, may offer some good wagering opportunities for an increase in the number of seats they will represent after the vote. With at least one bookmaker, the clear expectation is for them to hold a dozen seats or more.

Early Betting Trends

Right at the start of this campaign, and not surprisingly, a Conservative majority is hugely odds-on, every other outcome offering generous odds. Even a hung parliament, and any combination of possible two or three party coalitions, are not fancied.

Final Thoughts

The 2015 General Election traded £28m across all the markets; low compared to Brexit’s £127m. To what level this election catches the betting imagination remains to be seen, but there will be many options available. Recent occasions suggests this is a growing betting market, with the number of seats gained likely to be just one of many popular flutters. You’ll certainly also get pretty good odds on Jeremy Corbyn surviving into 2018.

If you want a fun flutter, it might be worth looking at the possible candidates for the next Speaker of the House of Commons. Even if John Bercow chooses to remain into the new Parliament, it’s hugely unlikely that he would see out the full term. Another interesting bet, if you are in it for the long haul, is to guess when Labour might next form a majority government in the UK. The current favourite appears to be between 2021 and 2025!

Whatever your choice of bets, there is little doubt that this will be a bitter campaign, with many feeling that an election should not have been called at all. Recriminations might even begin before any votes are cast! And, by June 9th, Theresa May will know how hard or soft a path she is likely to walk along towards Brexit.

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    1. I don’t think Labour will win, but I like the idea of spending money on other things that are needed in this country other than nuclear weapons. If we had a nuclear war who would win? Nobody!!

      Reply
    2. If the Tories get in then the “Brexit” negotiations will be definately geared to the Tory rich and party bckers. It will leave the workers without rights & the sick, disabled and OAPS with cuts in money. The NHS will disappear under the proposed Candadian Health Care Co. deal that May wants to sign but can’t while we’re still in the EU

      Reply
    3. michael pickering

      I urge the 48% and OTHERS to stop Mayhem and her evil mob , we must all pull together on this otherwise ordinary people are doomed but the super rich will get richer at our expense and no NHS that we know now !!!

      Reply
    4. Vote for the Tories at your peril .let’s not forget they are the nasty party and if you vote Tory you will see how nasty they are.

      Reply
    5. all the people who voted to stay in the EU are probably rubbing there hands together thinking if they can get labour in power then a 2nd referendum will be called. it probably would and all you idiots would be taking us one step closer to an European superstate,more restrictions on our way of life,have any of you heard of adolf hitler or read George Orwells book 1984,if not I suggest you read up on them before you condemn your children,grandchildren to a life in chains.!!!!!!!!!.think before you vote,don’t just look at your empty purse or wallet,think of future generations.!!!!!!.

      Reply
      • If you vote for Nasty party you are inflicting austerity and poverty on millions of ordinary working people
        Meanwhile help the rich get richer
        I COULD NOT have that on my conscience
        Could you?

        Reply
        • The conservatives are pushing austerity on us all, squeezing the money in our pockets and reducing the budgets on almost all public services. Here is the news – it has to be done. You cant live a £100k lifestyle earning £30k for ever. You will go bankrupt. I for one do not want to leave a country on the verge of depression to my children. A country where there would be NO healthcare, NO jobs, NO police because there would be NO money. Vote Labour and for Mr Corbyn would simply set us on course for this future. Sure it would be great for a few more years, there would be free education for students, a nurse for every patient and a bobby on every street corner, but all that would need paying for and there simply isn’t enough money being paid to do this. Mr Corbyn’s idea of raising corporate and high earner taxes would simply drive away the business and individuals who are the key to national growth. Without the businesses employing people we all have NO jobs, without the high achievers the businesses don’t have the skilled workers to enable them to innovate and grow. We all need to pay our debts and we all need to support and encourage the gifted…it is they who will make the national economy grow. Your vote on Thursday will shape the future, don’t let short sighted desire for today ruin the prospect of a future for our children.

          Reply
    6. I am a Labour voter who voted Leave EU (neo-liberal capitalist organisation).
      Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister of a free Great Britain.

      Reply
      • Vote UKIP None of the others can be trusted to deliver what the people have decided including May. UKIP all the way!

        Reply
    7. I will not be voting. Politics is a rigged game. We got to stop playing this silly game and look after each other. Read up on Peter Joseph and the Zeitgeist Movement for a glimpse of how we could live in harmony and abundance for everyone.

      Reply
    8. Jeremy for Prime Minister seriously for all the hot air of Labour they are far more likely to bankrupt the country with their Left Wing agenda you need evil capitalism to generate jobs and taxes

      Reply
    9. Since you are using this site to voice your opinions I assume almost all of you like a gamble. Do you not understand that a Labour victory would lead to a new tax, a BETTING LEVY tax. If you do not want this then vote Conservative, the nice party.

      Reply
    10. I think this will give the Labour party the kick they need, Corbyn who seems to be a good guy but not a leader, will lose and then they will replace him. There is no great challengers to the Tories at the moment and the amount of debt the country is in means we cannot spend what is needed on the country. I don’t know how they are going to do it but they need to start investing in the NHS. I think the Tory party needs the five years they will get from a win to enable them to sort Brexit and then stabilise the economy and the pound. Hopefully in that time we will get some stronger opposition in that will keep them on their toes. I would rather be in the position we are in rather than the Greeks and Europe once we leave, they are going to be in a real mess.

      Reply
    11. The Labour MP’s need to get behind Jeremy Corbyn, instead of the continual sniping. We need a left wing government, the problem we have, is the Blairites, they need to p*** off.

      Reply
    12. I’ve seen four Labour governments in my lifetime. Each time they got voted out of office, unemployment was up, taxes were up, benefit seekers increased and the economic situation was left in tatters. No brainer…..don’t vote for losers!

      Reply
    13. What no political party has the guts to say is that we cannot afford the NHS in its present form. When it first came into being it was to make people
      well and prolong life. Now people live much longer thanks to modern technology but fewer people are paying for it. A grown up discussion from all
      political parties is required and not scoring political points.

      Reply
    14. labour will bankrupt this country of course it attracts people who want free stuff but the younger generation will be paying for labours spending when labour got kicked out in 2010 they left this country with 150 billion and more in debt , that’s why this would happen all over again don’t forget this is hard working tax payers money he is not botherd he only earns £130,000 a year but he is not rich so he says think before you vote labour

      Reply

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