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.

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.

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

Top Kipper Tipper predicts six seat wins for UKIP

Matthew Goodwin, co-author of Revolt on The Right, gave an overview of UKIP’s prospects at a Ladbrokes hosted event today. His headline tip was for UKIP to win six seats, which is a 10/1 shot with Ladbrokes at the moment.


He was extremely bullish about Nigel Farage’s chances in Thanet South, speculating that the Tories and Labour might be quite close to winding down any real attempts to stop a UKIP victory here.

We also heard a fascinating analysis of the Green surge from James Dennison who was very confident that Caroline Lucas would hold on in Brighton Pavilion. He predicted that Bristol West would be the focus of most other resources from the national party and, consequently, a gain in Norwich South was extremely unlikely.

You can see a short summary from Matthew, James and myself here:

UKIP now favourites in seven seats

Seat 2010 Winner UKIP Win %
Clacton Conservative 84.4%
Thurrock Conservative 57.9%
Thanet South Conservative 57.3%
Boston and Skegness Conservative 57.0%
Castle Point Conservative 52.7%
Rochester and Strood Conservative 51.7%
Great Yarmouth Conservative 39.9%

Above are the seven constituencies in which UKIP are now outright favourites to win, according to Ladbrokes latest odds. The UKIP Win % is the implied chance of them winning the seat based on our odds in every single constituency in Britain, which you can find here.

The most recent move has been in Rochester, where Mark Reckless improved from joint to outright favourite today. The immediate betting reaction to their by-election win had been that the Tories were likely to take it back in May – that’s no longer the case.

Although UKIP are narrow favourites in Great Yarmouth, their chances are rated at less than 50% as this looks like a tight three way marginal; we’ve seen a little bit of money for a Tory hold in recent days.


How many seats will UKIP win?

Fancy trying to predict exactly how many seats UKIP will win at the general election? Ladbrokes have issued some odds on their exact number of constituency wins.


If you go through our individual constituency odds for every seat in Great Britain (available here) you’ll find that UKIP are favourites in five seats. I’ve also shown the probability of them winning each seat, as implied by our latest odds:

  • Clacton (82%)
  • Boston & Skegness (56%)
  • Thanet South (56%)
  • Thurrock (56%)
  • Great Yarmouth (40%)

So, Douglas Carswell looks like a certainty in Clacton, but after that it’s much more difficult for them, which helps explain why 1 seat only is the favourite. Interestingly, the betting markets currently think that Mark Reckless is unlikely to hold on in Rochester & Strood (he’s given a 38% chance).

Some other forecasting models are producing the following totals:

Good Luck!


The Top 10 Labour seats under threat from UKIP

Lots of talk today about which party will be most affected by UKIP in next year’s general election. The Evans & Mellon article above suggests the Tories still have most to worry about, but I thought I’d have a look at which Labour seats are most at threat, as indicated by Ladbrokes’ latest constituency odds. The UKIP Win % is their chances of gaining each seat, as implied by the latest prices.

Seat Region UKIP Win %
Great Grimsby Yorks & Humber 32.9%
Rotherham Yorks & Humber 28.5%
Dudley North West Midlands 17.9%
Newcastle-under-Lyme West Midlands 15.1%
Rother Valley Yorks & Humber 15.0%
Walsall North West Midlands 12.9%
Heywood and Middleton North West 10.2%
Walsall South West Midlands 10.1%
Hull East Yorks & Humber 10.1%
Plymouth Moor View South West 10.0%

So, UKIP are not (yet) favourites to win a single Labour seat, whereas they are outright favourites in five Tory held seats (we’re including Clacton in there). It’s worth mentioning that seats like Thurrock and Great Yarmouth, which are among those five, might very well have had Labour as favourites to win if it were not for an expected strong UKIP showing.

Of UKIP’s top 20 most likely wins overall, 16 were won by the Conservatives in 2010. So, as far as the betting markets are concerned, this is still more of a problem for David Cameron than it is for Ed Miliband,