UK General Election Betting – Too early to assume Farage has landed a decisive blow

The last five years of madness have seen one political betting upset after another. One month out from the election, outsider backers have another to consider. The Conservatives are available to lay at just [1.07] to win Most Seats. Labour are 18.0 to back.

The reasons are obvious. They’re double-digits behind in the polls and, as Max Liu reported earlier, Nigel Farage has withdrawn the Brexit Party from the 317 seats currently held by the Tories.

Tory majority now rated more than 60% likely

Following that news, betting signals moved markedly in their favour across all lines – an overall majority is now odds-on at [1.62]. That is built on the assumption that the remnants of a shrinking Brexit Party vote share will switch to the Tories, in order to deliver their priority. It remains to be seen whether that is a reliable assumption or produces a negative counter-effect.

In truth, this hasn’t significantly altered my calculations. This possibility, tactical voting or equally a total collapse in the Brexit Party share, was already factored in when backing them to beat the 317.5 seats target at [1.8] nine days ago. I reckon the current lines are about right but there is still everything to play for. If anything, this may be a good time to take a counter-intuitive stance.

First, remember what happened in 2017. Polls were similarly bad for Labour at this stage. The opening week of this Tory campaign was just as bad as Theresa May’s start. It didn’t get any better, Labour took control of the narrative, fuelled by mass rallies and an army of social media activists from their huge base.

Can Labour manifesto spark another surge?

As I recall 2017, the Labour surge only really took off once their manifesto was launched. At the moment, due to their own poor presentation and the opposition’s dodgy calculations, Labour’s platform sounds like an idealistic wishlist. The official manifesto will narrow it down to a more digestible retail offer. Their policies are generally popular.

Moreover, any assumption that Brexit would define everyone’s vote fell flat in 2017. Politics is about much more. Party or ideological affiliation runs deep. Despite the UKIP vote collapsing everywhere, the Tories advance into Labour’s Northern heartlands failed abysmally.

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