Nigel Farage’s Grand National Tip: Soll at 20/1


We offered a charity bet to all of the main party leaders, and the only one to take us up was Nigel Farage. He’s had his £500 on Soll at 20/1, with any proceeds going to the RNLI.

Funnily enough, that was the horse I was planning to back. Not sure whether to be pleased or not that Nigel agrees with me. I ought to point out that I don’t remember backing a Grand National winner since the 1980s.

For political science groupies, the selection has to be Bob Ford at 50/1. I don’t think the horse was named after Manchester University’s Rob Ford, co-author of the excellent UKIP study Revolt on the Right, but I could be wrong.

If you fancy a bet, you can find the latest odds on the big race here.

Labour just two seats behind on latest Ladbrokes forecast

One of the consequences of Wednesday’s Ashcroft constituency polls was to see Labour move into favouritism in the key marginal of Harrow East.


That, in turn, meant that Labour moved in to within two seats of the Tories in the live Ladbrokes forecast, based on the current favourites in each of our individual seat markets.


The so-far encouraging poll news for Labour today might see them cross back over into the lead, if subsequent surveys back up what looks like a slight shift away from the Tories.

You can find election betting maps for every seat, as well as the live forecast on our microsite.

How many seats will UKIP win?

Matthew Engel in the Racing Post today tipped up a bet for UKIP to win just one seat on May 7th. That was 9/2 and is now 4/1 with Ladbrokes.


Looking at the individual seat by seat odds, we can produce a UKIP Win % for each seat showing the chances of them being successful in each seat.

Rank Seat UKIP Win %
1 Clacton 84%
2 Thurrock 58%
3 Thanet South 56%
4 Castle Point 46%
5 Rochester and Strood 45%
6 Boston and Skegness 44%
7 Great Grimsby 40%
8 Thanet North 28%
9 Cannock Chase 28%
10 Rotherham 26%
11 Dudley North 24%
12 Sittingbourne and Sheppey 24%
13 Louth and Horncastle 23%
14 Great Yarmouth 21%
15 Wyre Forest 20%
16 Basildon South and Thurrock East 20%

So, Carswell looks very safe in Clacton and UKIP are also clear favourites in Thurrock and Thanet South. However, in the latter two seats, confidence in the betting markets has been waning slightly in the last couple of weeks. Similarly, in Rochester & Strood, Mark Reckless was favourite a few weeks back, before sentiment moved in favour of a Conservative re-gain.


You can find the latest odds and election betting map for every seat on our dedicated microsite.

The Liberal Democrats’ chances seat by seat

Rob Ford wrote an interesting round up of the Liberal Democrats’ prospects for Sunday’s Observer. I thought I’d compare his summary to the latest odds in each seat.

In the table below, I’ve converted the odds into an implied “win chance” for each of the 57 existing Lib Dem seats. If you check his article out, you’ll see what each of the “Ford Ratings” is about

Seat Win Chance Ford Rating
Westmorland and Lonsdale 86% SAFE
Norfolk North 80% SAFE
Orkney and Shetland 80% SAFE
Twickenham 79% SAFE
Colchester 76% SAFE
Lewes 74% SAFE
Bath 73% OPEN
Thornbury and Yate 73% SAFE
Carshalton and Wallington 71% LOCAL
Hazel Grove 70% OPEN
Yeovil 69% SAFE
Cambridge 68% URBAN
Southport 65% LOCAL
Cheltenham 63% LOCAL
Kingston and Surbiton 63% LOCAL
Leeds North West 62% URBAN
Sutton and Cheam 62% LOCAL
Bermondsey and Old Southwark 61% LOCAL
Eastleigh 61% SAFE
Eastbourne 58% LOCAL
Brecon and Radnorshire 58% HEARTLAND
Sheffield Hallam 56% URBAN
Ceredigion 56% HEARTLAND
Ross, Skye and Lochaber 54% LOCAL
Cheadle 53% HEARTLAND
Birmingham Yardley 51% URBAN
Bristol West 47% URBAN
Cornwall North 47% HEARTLAND
Torbay 47% HEARTLAND
Berwick-upon-Tweed 36% OPEN
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 35% LOST
Portsmouth South 33% LOST
Devon North 32% HEARTLAND
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross 31% LOST
Chippenham 30% LOST
Hornsey and Wood Green 30% URBAN
Wells 28% LOST
Bradford East 26% LOST
Taunton Deane 26% OPEN
Fife North East 25% LOST
Cardiff Central 24% URBAN
Dorset Mid and Poole North 23% OPEN
Somerton and Frome 23% OPEN
Dunbartonshire East 22% LOST
St Austell and Newquay 22% HEARTLAND
Solihull 21% LOST
Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine 18% LOST
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 16% LOST
Burnley 16% LOST
Gordon 16% OPEN
Edinburgh West 15% LOST
Brent Central 10% OPEN
Manchester Withington 10% LOST
Redcar 10% OPEN
Argyll and Bute 8% LOST
Norwich South 7% LOST

So, we mostly agree with Rob about where the safest and most vulnerable seats are. The betting says that Eastleigh is the most precarious of Rob’s “safe” category, with a 39% chance that the Lib Dems will lose it. On the flip side, the odds say that Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk might not be the lost cause that Rob suggests – we give them a 35% chance of holding on there.

Looking at his list of possible surprise Liberal Democrat gains, we agree on Montgomeryshire and Watford as being the top two prospects, but the betting has a few above his third choice of St Albans:

Seat Gain Chance
Watford 34%
Montgomeryshire 28%
Maidstone and The Weald 20%
Truro and Falmouth 16%
Winchester 15%
Oxford West and Abingdon 15%
Cornwall South East 14%
St Albans 11%

Is Farage in trouble in Thanet South?

Over the past couple of weeks, the odds of Nigel Farage winning Thanet South have drifted from 1/3 to today’s 1/2. So, whilst he is still favourite, the betting market is becoming less certain that he’ll win. In particular, that’s been accompanied by an increase in the prospects for a Labour gain, the odds of that falling from 10/1 into 5/1.


If you want to check out the odds on any constituency via our new betting election map, head for Ladbrokes new dedicated election minisite.

It’s hard to tell yet whether Farage’s performance in the debate will make any difference to his chances. The last poll of the constituency was in February and showed Farage on 39%, with an 11% lead over Labour just in second place.

Courtesy of The Spectator Coffee House Blog

Courtesy of The Spectator Coffee House Blog

Debate Reaction from the Betting Markets: Meh.


So, on the YouGov poll that Ladbrokes used to settle the winner, Sturgeon got it. If we’d have gone with other pollsters we’d have paid out on a different winner, mostly Miliband. She was 8/1 at the start, came in for a little bit of support during the first half but then her odds really tumbled in the last 20 minutes, and she was 2/1 when it came to a close.

It was interesting to see Farage’s odds come in very dramatically, very early in the debate. About 20 minutes in we were taking money on him at 2/5, which seemed odd, given that he was putting on a decent show in his normal style and no more than that.

The Buzzword Bingo winners that we identified were

  • The British People 1/5
  • Long Term Economic Plan 1/2
  • Rubbish 2/1
  • Australian Points System 5/4

There were a few other close ones, but nothing exact, as far as we could tell.

The inconclusive nature of the polls meant that nothing much changed in the overall general election betting markets. If there is any impact, I would guess that the event may have done Miliband a bit of good. His adequate display might help boost his terrible approval ratings somewhat.

The more significant development last night was a startling YouGov poll, which would have been conducted before the debate.

An incredible combined score of 72% for the big two parties, which does reflect a general trend apparent in other recent surveys. Given that Labour and the Conservatives only got 66% between them in 2010, it does put into context all the talk of new party systems, fragmentation and the like that we’ve heard a lot of recently.

Hell, Yes, you can have a bet on the debate


After months of wranglings, here we are. 8pm tonight on ITV.

Ladbrokes have odds on who will win the debate as well as who finishes last – we base both of those on the snap YouGov poll which we should get quite shortly after the debate finishes. You can even bet on the debate winner “in-running” as we’ll have odds active throughout.

Naturally, we’ve got a Buzzword Bingo market as well – just pick a phrase and if any one of the seven leaders uses it tonight, you are on a winner. The most popular selections so far have been:

  • 6/4 Hard Working Families
  • 9/4 Tough Decisions
  • 10/1 Not Up To The Job

You can find all of the latest odds on our website, mobile or tablet apps. Plus, if you’d like a bit of analysis from Ladbrokes’ political desk in podcast form, you can listen in below.