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.