Features

Betting on politics: An unlikely victory

It's starting to look like Democrat Conor Lamb has pulled off a victory few thought possible in Pennsylvania.

887-Saccone-634
Rick Saccone is refusing to concede defeat

On Tuesday, two of our bets came due but it looks as though both were duds. Neither Stephen Bush nor Rachel Sylvester won political commentator of the year at the Press Awards (the award went to John Harris of The Guardian).

As for the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th district, Republican Rick Saccone is refusing to concede defeat, pinning his hope on absentee and disputed ballots, but it looks as though Democrat Conor Lamb has pulled off a victory that seemed unlikely only a fortnight ago. The only consolation is that Lamb's victory suggests a Democratic wave is building that could see them gain control of the House of Representatives, which we tipped last year.

Looking ahead, Ladbrokes is now running a book on the results of the UK local council elections. The prices on offer suggest that the Conservatives are going to do badly. I'm not convinced. The polls show that nationally the Tories are level pegging with Labour, or just behind, not that different from the position at the general election. Indeed, all this talk of a Tory apocalypse may well be a sneaky way of lowering expectations, so when the results turn out better than predicted, they can claim to have done well.

As a result, I suggest you put some money on the Conservatives to hold Westminster at 4/7 (63%). After all, the council has been firmly Conservative since it was formed in 1964. I also think the Lib Dems will easily retain control of Sutton Council, which they currently dominate, with 45 seats. So I'd suggest taking the 8/11 (73%) that's on offer for them to do so.

Recommended

How the fear of death affects our investment processes
Investment strategy

How the fear of death affects our investment processes

Many of our investment decisions are driven by one simple fact: the knowledge that, one day, we will be dead. Here, in an extract from his new book, J…
2 Jan 2020
The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad
Stockmarkets

The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad

John Stepek takes a look back on which investments did well and which did badly in the decade that’s about to come to an end.
26 Dec 2019
How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again
Economy

Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again

The hiring slowdown does not signal recession for the US economy. Growth is just moving down a gear, says Brian Pellegrini.
25 Oct 2019

Most Popular

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020
What would negative interest rates mean for your money?
UK Economy

What would negative interest rates mean for your money?

There has been much talk of the Bank of England introducing negative interest rates. John Stepek explains why they might do that, and what it would me…
15 Oct 2020
Last chance to secure a Bounce Back loan for your small business
Small business

Last chance to secure a Bounce Back loan for your small business

The government’s Bounce Back loan scheme will only run for another six weeks. Act now if you need to take advantage of it.
16 Oct 2020