Betting on politics: Election result confounds

Jeremy Corbyn © Getty images
Jeremy Corbyn is showing no signs of stepping down

My final prediction of a Conservative majority of between 80-90 in last week’s election was clearly off the mark. My tips on Labour vote share, Labour seats, Lib Dem vote share and, of course, the actual result, were similarly off track. But on almost everything else I was correct. So how did this column do overall?

Thirteen out of the 17 grouped bets (or 22 bets if you count them individually) that I tipped directly related to the election paid off. However, because most of them were at short odds (with the exception of Corbyn remaining Labour leader), the total profit was only 6.5% – and you would have made a small loss if you’d split the grouped bets into their constituent parts and bet on each equally. Overall, the average return from the 37 combined – and now settled – bets made by this column is still 26%.

In terms of the peripheral bets, Corbyn looks unlikely to leave as Labour leader before the end of the year – although if there’s another election, I wouldn’t rule this out (and of course Yvette Cooper or Lisa Nandy could still succeed him in the future). It would also make sense for Corbyn to discreetly move Diane Abbott from Shadow Home Secretary to another role at some point. Meanwhile, Scottish independence seems dead after the SNP’s drubbing – but if the past few years has taught us anything, it’s never say never.

However, I’m really excited about Betfair’s new market on the 2018 congressional elections. While only a tiny amount of money has been matched so far, you should take the opportunity to bet on a Democratic House majority at 3.1 (32%).

While seat boundaries and incumbency favour the Republicans, Trump’s abysmal approval ratings are going to be a massive drag on GOP candidates up and down the country. And the party that controls the White House usually does badly in mid-term elections.


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