We've already looked at the local council elections in Westminster (issue 887) and Trafford (issue 890). Now, with just three weeks before voters go to the polls, we're going to turn our attention to the contest in Swindon.
One third of the council is up for re-election. Ladbrokes is offering 11/10 (47.6%) on no party having overall control, 11/8 (42.1%) on a Conservative majority and 7/2 (22.2%) on a Labour majority. At the moment the Tories control the council with 30 out of the 57 seats, while Labour is on 25 and the Lib Dems on 2.
The Conservatives have controlled the council since 2004 and the parliamentary constituency of South Swindon, which spans the borough, is currently a Conservative seat, although hardly a safe one. This implies that the Conservatives should have a slight advantage over Labour in the battle for control.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
However, last year's general election saw a larger than average swing to Labour, suggesting the area is moving further towards Labour than the nation at large.
With the Tories just two seats away from losing their majority, I'd say there's a far better than even chance of no party gaining overall control. I also think the odds on Labour gaining the four seats to take control are too long. I'm therefore going to suggest that you bet on both Labour winning and no overall control (NOC), for combined odds of 69.8%. In this case you should split a £10 betting unit by putting £6.82 on NOC and £3.18 on a Labour majority.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
Energy price cap to fall 12.3% from April - what it means for your energy bills
Ofgem, the energy regulator has set its latest price cap which will see energy bill drop by 12.3% this spring. Here's what to expect from April
By Henry Sandercock Last updated
The end of China’s boom
Like the US, China too got fat on fake money. Now, China's doom is not far away.
By Bill Bonner Published