Betting on politics: Two Scottish bets

Ruth Davidson © Getty images
Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives are looking to make headway

The last few days have been a busy time for this column with no fewer than seven combined bets coming due (eight if you had bet singly). Regarding last Thursday’s local elections, I correctly predicted Labour victories in Greater Manchester and West Merseyside, while the Conservative candidates triumphed in Cambridge & Petersborough and the West Midlands. However, the Liberal Democrats put in a surprisingly poor showing in the West of England, coming in third place with only 20.2% of the vote.

Macron’s landslide victory on Sunday means that both my tips that you should bet against Le Pen – which I recommended in November – and my more recent suggestion that you should back Macron at evens paid off. Overall, this series of bets would have made an average profit of just over 20% (though you would have only got 7% if you had treated the Greater Manchester bet as two separate bets).

I’m now advocating two Scottish bets. The local election results, as well as the latest polls, suggest that the SNP have fallen back quite a bit from their 2015 high-water mark, perhaps because the Scots don’t want another independence referendum. By contrast, the Conservatives have surged, becoming the second-largest party. So you should take William Hill’s offer of 1/4 (80%) on the Tories to hold Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale.

Edinburgh South, Labour’s sole remaining seat, is slightly more complicated because Labour’s collapse means it has now become a three-way marginal. While I think pro-union tactical voting will see them through, I’d make a combined bet on both Labour at 11/8 (42%) with Sykbet and the Conservatives with Coral at 3/1 (25%). This works out to combined odds of 67%. In this case you should put £6.27 of a hypothetical £10 betting unit on Labour and £3.73 on the Conservatives.

  • Alin Scot

    I would never challenge the bookies but your comment “the local
    election results, as well as the latest polls, suggest that the SNP have
    fallen back quite a bit from their 2015 high-water mark” needs a little comment.

    The SNP increased their seats/councillors from 425 to 431, became the largest group in 16 of 32 councils, took Glasgow from Labour and were largest group in 4 of Scotland’s largest cities and increased their overall vote by around 100,000 I think. Falling back? Certainly there were a few SNP losses more than made up for by the gains. The Tories did well but almost exclusively at the expense of Scottish Labour.

    As to the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale seat of David Mundell, he won by 798 votes over the SNP last time to become the only Tory MP in Scotland. With the independence minded Greens not standing, their votes could create a draw. It is therefore all down to where the Scottish Labour vote goes and that is still guesswork at this juncture.

Merryn

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