Betting on politics: Local council elections
This week, Matthew Partridge looks at Ladbrokes’ markets on next month’s local council elections.
This week we're going to take another look at Ladbrokes' markets on next month's local council elections. As you may remember a few weeks ago (issue 887), I tipped the Conservatives to retain control of Westminster council. They have held since it was created in 1964, and currently control three-quarters of the seats. While the odds that Ladbrokes are offering have narrowed slightly from 4/7 (63.6%), you can still get 2/5 (71.4%), so if you haven't bet on it yet, it is still worth doing so.
One of the more interesting contests is Trafford Council, where Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour's official campaign. On paper it should be an easy gain for Labour as two of the three constituencies that the area overlaps with are solidly Labour and the Labour group only needs to gain six seats to take control. What's more, there were some big swings to Labour at the last election. The problem is that only one third of the council will be elected this year and many of the Conservative seats are pretty safe.
On the other hand, if the Conservatives lose only two seats then they will lose overall control. From looking at previous elections, I'd say that Labour will probably gain around three seats, the Lib Dems at least one, with the possibility of one or two extra. I'd therefore bet on both no overall control (NOC) at evens (50%) and a Labour gain at 10/1 (9.1%). This gives you combined odds of 59.1% on the Tories losing control. In this case you should split a £10 betting unit by putting £8.46 on NOC and £1.54 on Labour.