General Election Preview – Boris poised to batter split opposition

This article first appeared at on 2nd November 2019. Whilst the analysis still applies, I must update developments. I’ve added the following two bets which counter-act the No Overall Majority position. (In a dream scenario, both the Tory seats bet and No Overall Majority could win!) Also, the Brexit Party are set to run in every seat so an official pact with the Tories looks highly unlikely. It remains to be seen to what effect – I’m sceptical they’ll make much headway.

After months of speculation, we finally have clarity. At least regarding a general election date of December 12th, if not when or whether Brexit will happen. Political betting has just become even more interesting, if that’s possible.

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson starts the campaign in a commanding position.

Polls show the Tories leading by up to 15%. A prize for getting a Brexit deal and bombastic early leadership, rather than punishment for failing to leave the EU as promised today.

Tory Majority remains a tough ask

That is good news for those who got on at 4/5 on the Tories to win the most seats, as they’re now best-priced at 1/6 with Coral.

A closer market – and more significant regarding the Brexit process – involves whether the Tories will win an overall majority. If falling well short – say 15 seats – they will be in no better position than now to finish Brexit or avoid a second referendum.

In this case, the market has moved against my previous position on a snap general election – 4/6 about No Overall Majority, now widely available at 11/10 with the political betting sites. On today’s polls, I’d agree with that assessment but there is everything to play for. Whilst I am confident they will indeed win the most seats, their trajectory has a greater potential downside than upside from here.

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