Jon Vine on betting on Britain’s 2017 General Election
The General Election is just days away and bookmakers are experiencing a surprisingly stronger than usual uplift in interest from political betting punters. After Theresa May called an election back in April, the United Kingdom is going to the polls three years earlier than expected and bookmakers have unsurprisingly made her party, the Conservatives, huge odds-on favourites to win the most seats and an overall majority.
Political betting has become big business over the past few years and bookies expect millions to be wagered on this year’s election. One firm alone, William Hill, took £3 million on the last General Election in 2015 and £5 million on last year’s US presidential election.
With six days to go until the election takes place, the Tories are just 2/9 with bookmakers to win the most seats, and 1/4 to win with a majority. It’s a general 6/1 at time of writing that Labour win the most seats, with a Labour majority 10/1 with some firms.
However, although the Conservatives are the bookmakers’ favourites, momentum appears to be with Labour, and their election odds continue to be trimmed ahead of polling day.
Mrs May’s lead over Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on YouGov’s ‘Best PM’ tracker has dropped massively in recent weeks, and punters can expect more twists and turns over the next few days.
In-play betting on the 2017 General Election is expected to be more popular than any previous election, and betting on a range of election markets will be available on 8th June itself, with ‘in-play’ General Election betting expected to be live with a number of major bookmakers even after voting ends and right through the night until a result is announced.
Polling booths will open at 7am on Thursday 8th June and voting will take place until 10pm. Counting of votes will only begin when the polls closed, and by the early hours of Friday, June 9th, the result of the 2017 General Election will likely be known.
Betting is available on candidates in 650 individual constituencies, and live election odds are available on such sites as BetOnPolitics.co.uk website.
For BetOnPolitics.co.uk, editor Phil Lowe commented:
“The decision to call an election caught everyone by surprise, although, looking back, there were a few signals that the PM was up to something – a big one being the omission of a date in the political calendar for the Queen’s Speech”.
“Despite the polls coming out in recent days, Mrs May and the Conservatives will still be confident of victory on June 8th and the betting still suggests this will be the case. The initial talk of a ‘landslide’ victory for the Blues may have died down, but although the markets got the result of the EU referendum wrong, and were also wrong with the US election, all signs still point to a defeat for Labour”.
Alan De’Ath, Labour Party – 25/1
Bill Cashmore, Green Party – 400/1
Greg Hands, Conservative Party – 1/500
Louise Rowntree, Liberal Democrats – 250/1
Lady Borwick, Conservative Party – 1/50
Emma Dent Coad, Labour – 50/1
Annabel Mullin, Liberal Democrats – 14/1
James Torrance, Independent – 100/1
Keith Angus, Liberal Democrats – 20/1
James Clark, Conservative Party – 40/1
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party – 1/200
Knigel Knapp, Official Monster Raving Loony Party – 250/1
Lord Buckethead, Official Monster Raving Loony Party – 250/1
Tony Hill, Liberal Democrats – 33/1
Pat McDonald, Labour Party – 33/1
Theresa May, Conservative Party – 1/500
James Airey, Conservative Party – 13/5
Eli Aldridge, Labour Party – 200/1
Mr Fishfinger, Independent – 200/1
Tim Farron, Liberal Democrats – 1/7