Clegg behind in the polls, still ahead in the betting

Some more fascinating Ashcroft polling out today which, overall, doesn’t look too bad for the Lib Dems.


The one big exception is Nick Clegg’s situation in Sheffield Hallam, with another poll showing Labour on course to take his seat. Before this new poll electionforecast gave Clegg an 83% chance of holding on whereas the Polling Observatory‘s last forecast had him at 14%. The Ladbrokes’ odds this morning rated him as a 71% chance.

Clegg’s odds have drifted from 2/5 to 4/7 as a result of today’s poll. That works out to suggest he still has around a 57% chance of winning.


The other big movers in reaction to today’s surveys:

  • Tories in to 1/8 from 1/2 to retain Camborne & Redruth
  • Liberal Democrats go from 10/11 to 1/3 to hold Cambridge

You can find all of our betting on every single UK constituency here.

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.