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.




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.


Ladbrokes make Farage favourite for new TV debate format

We won’t actually have any real odds available just yet, but if the seven party leaders all turned up, we think the betting would be something like that.

I suppose there must be some doubt as to whether Wood for PC or Sturgeon for the SNP would be their party’s representatives. I imagine Sturgeon would do very well, although I’m not sure whether many English viewers will declare her the winner. In my opinion, it will be much more difficult for Clegg, Cameron and Miliband to make an impact in this sort of contest.

If these go ahead (let’s hope so), we’ll settle the “winner” as whoever comes top in the first post-debate YouGov poll, where they tend to ask respondents who they thought won the debate, or something similar.