Top Tipsters go for Leanne Wood in Leader’s Debate

Two top political betting tipsters both tipped the outsider to win on Thursday, Leanne Wood for Plaid Cymru.

Mike Smithson of and Matthew Engel in the Racing Post both liked her chances at 50/1 and a flood of money has seen her odds come into 20/1. You can find the latest odds on our site, here.


We’ll settle the winner as declared by YouGov’s snap debate poll on Thursday night. The tricky thing about backing Wood (or indeed Sturgeon) is guessing how likely it is that many English voters will pick one of the nationalists as the winner. At the odds, I think I’d prefer to back Nicola Sturgeon.

Farage remains favourite; he demolished Nick Clegg in their two pre-Euro Election debates and has a pretty easy hand to play. He’ll probably say that everyone else on stage is part of the cosy Westminster club, or pro-EU lefty elites, and he can easily make a very distinctive pitch that will appeal to a lot of viewers.

Ladbrokes have released their Buzzword Bingo odds today, featuring a few of the standard clichés. If anyone has any suggestions for others we can add to the list, post them here and we might add any good ones to the betting. Remember, one of the seven leaders has to mention the exact words or phrase for it to be a winner.


Nate Silver takes Ladbrokes to the cleaners

I was lucky enough to meet Nate Silver today, in our shop in Bury market. He’s filming a Panorama programme about the election, which should be going out in the last week of April.


That’s him with Richard Bacon, who’s doing the presenting. 

For a bit of fun, he had a tenner on the 4.35 at Kempton on a horse called Ninjago at 8/1. It won. He then re-invested his winnings on Wales to beat Israel in the football at 13/5. They won 3-0.

£288 return from his original £10.  Ladbrokes will be glad to see the back of him. 



Cameron announcement: The betting reaction

Cameron’s not going to serve a third term – headline news for the media but a resounding shrug of the shoulders from the betting markets. It’s hard to see how it will make any difference to the result in May.

Still, we did shuffle our odds on exactly which year Cameron will leave the post of Prime Minister:


The odds on a 2020 departure haven’t altered; the betting had already worked out that it was unlikely he’ll even get that far. The main change we made was to cut the odds of a 2017 exit from 7/1 to 4/1. If he is still in place after this election, the next key point in his premiership is likely to be a 2017 EU Referendum. Win or lose, it looks like the perfect opportunity for him to step aside.

Dave also nominated Osborne, May and Boris as possible successors. No surprise there, they were the front three in the betting anyway.


The Ladbrokes’ Election Forecast – Tories just ahead

The Ladbrokes’ Election Forecast is produced by looking at our odds in each of the 650 constituencies and simply adding up which party is favourite in each seat.


The full breakdown and changes since we last published on March 5th:

  • 277 Conservatives (+1.5)
  • 273.5 Labour (-1)
  • 42.5 SNP (nc)
  • 30 LD (nc)
  • 3 UKIP (-0.5)
  • 3 PC 
  • 1 Green 
  • 1 Respect
  • 1 Speaker
  • 18 N.Ireland

The half-seats occur in constituencies where we have joint favourites.

A very small shift since two weeks ago, and one that doesn’t really change the post-election maths. It’s going to be very hard for David Cameron to remain as PM with a result like this.

Budget reaction: Tory Majority odds cut.

As soon as the Chancellor stood up on Wednesday, we started seeing a lot of money on the Tories, in particular on them gaining a majority.


Several four figure bets forced the price in from 5/1 to 9/2. We also had a shop customer in Wiltshire turn up with £4,500 in cash this morning to back Tory most seats at 4/9.

Normally, one might expect a budget to produce a short term polling boost for the governing party. I don’t think this budget was really dramatic enough to create a very big effect, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few modest Tory leads in this weekend’s polls. Then, as some of the attack lines get traction and people just forget, the polls will revert back to something close to the previous position. If the net effect were to leave the Tories a point or two better off than before, that would be great news for the Chancellor. My guess would be that it won’t make that much difference.

In one sense, that would be very positive for Labour; the clock keeps ticking down and, if the polls stay in roughly the same area, Ed Miliband can feel increasingly confident about becoming Prime Minister. I’m still of the opinion that the betting markets are over-estimating the prospects of a Conservative victory.

You can find all of the latest election betting here.


Budget Betting Winners and Losers

Well, we dodged a bullet with “Hard Working Families” (Osborne went the more inclusive “Hard Working People”) but the Chancellor couldn’t resist putting in a “Two Kitchens” gag. That was a 10/1 shot when we opened up the betting, was backed into 5/1, and cost us enough to pay for a few ancillary kitchenettes.

On the bright side, we only took a couple of bets on a Grey tie (6/1) as the gamble on Blue (Evs) was thwarted. The speech went over the 55min line, which was a small loser for Ladbrokes.

We make it a shade of odds on that Osborne doesn’t deliver the 2016 Budget. Even if the Tories are still in government, there is a lot of talk that he might prefer to get out of the Treasury, possibly to the Foreign Office instead.