Bookies Corner – Final Take on UK 2019

Just one day of campaign shenanigans remains as the UK electorate heads for General Election 2019 polls on Thursday 12 December. How confident are bookmakers of their market readings, as polls and punters anticipate a Conservative majority outcome, or will  Britain be hung out to dry on its Brexit election… SBC gets the bookies lowdown.! 

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Katie Baylis – Betfair

SBC: Entering the final days of campaigning, a conservative majority is trading at 1/4. Have the markets underestimated the British electorates ability to ‘flip the script’? Is there one more twist in this Xmas Election tale? 

Katie Baylis (UK/Euro PR Manager – Betfair ): Just two days out from the Election and the Tories are at their shortest odds for an overall majority since the market opened two years ago on Betfair Exchange. With polls and many political experts predicting a comfortable win for the Conservatives, the market is reflecting the overwhelming view right now and with not long till the country goes to the polls we would have to see something very significant from the Tories or Labour to see that change. However, we will still watch with interest of course as the exit polls and first seats come in on Thursday night as clearly nothing is ever a done-deal in politics, particularly in this current age.

Mat Shaddick – Ladbrokes

SBC: Campaigning in an election fought on multiple variables, what key metric have bookmakers been paying attention to? 

Matt Shaddick (Head of Ladbrokes Politics): Based on the betting in individual seats, it was fairly clear early on that the Tories might do a lot better in the two most Remain-y areas of the UK than some people were thinking. To date market,  money suggests that they will hold on to most of their Scottish seats and they might even make gains in London constituencies too.
If that is the case, they probably don’t have to go far down the list of Labour-held seats in the Midlands and the North to get a majority. There is no sign that they will have any problems picking up enough of those.
Sarbjit Bakhshi – Smarkets

SBC: Ahead of Thursday polling, what are the bell-weather constituencies for GE 2019… How should punters read the UK’s disrupted political roadmap to Number 10?

Sarbjit Bakhshi (Head of Politics – Smarkets):All polls are predicting a Conservative majority, however, with the lack of support amongst Conservatives for Johnson’s Withdrawal agreement, Labour’s strong ground game and the impact of social media not yet understood, I’d be prepared for some surprising results on the night.
Dartford has been the bell-weather constituency for the General Election since 1964, with the constituency always represented by the party of Government, this constituency is currently trading at 97% to the Conservative Party on Smarkets. Since 1974, Loughborough (Tories 75%, Labour 27%), Northampton North (Tories 81%, 27%) and Watford (Cons 73%, 19%) have all gone the way of the national result. With the Conservatives trading so highly on the market, this will make grim reading for Labour activists out on the doorstep.
As always, there is always a chance for an upset on election night and savvy traders will be taking positions against the tide of popular opinion to potentially win big on election night.
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Amy Jones – Paddy Powe

SBC: Should Boris secure his overall majority – what catchy tagline follows ‘Get Brexit Done’?

Amy Jones (Mischief Maker at Paddy Power): By the looks of things its could be  ‘NO THANKS TO EU!’ If Boris Johnson wins the vote on Thursday – which he’s odds-on to do – it’ll be the end of Europe as we know it in Britain.

Though it still feels like there’s a (very) long road ahead in terms of Brexit, it’d be a safe bet to assume that the PM will get us out of the EU as hard and fast as possible.

In fact, there’s a long road ahead for both the UK and Boris himself if he secures his overall majority… We best strap in for the ride!

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