DAVID Cameron and Ed Miliband are not the only possible winners in May’s election. The nation’s bookies are expecting the highest amount of betting ever on politics.
A spokesperson for Betfair told City A.M. “We expect this election to be the biggest ever political betting event on the exchange with £40m likely to be staked.” This would beat the previous highest total by £10m.
The betting action seems to be with Labour at the moment. “We’ve seen that a Labour minority government has moved from a 17.2 per cent chance 20 days ago to a 31.1 per cent chance yesterday,” said the spokesperson.
A hung parliament is trading at 1/5, which implies an 83 per cent chance.
Mike Smithson, who runs the website politicalbetting.com, said that a large betting market is due to the unpredictable outcome. He explained: “A close race really does attract big betting.”
Smithson says a lot of the backing for Labour comes from a belief that while it will lose a number of seats to the Scottish National party (SNP), which is surging in the polls, it will also be most able to do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s party.