Advertisement
Features

Betting on politics: The contest in Swindon

With just three weeks before voters go to the polls, Matthew Partridge turns his attention to the council contest in Swindon.

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

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
Beyond the Brexit talk, the British economy isn’t doing too badly
Economy

Beyond the Brexit talk, the British economy isn’t doing too badly

The political Brexit pantomime aside, Britain is in pretty good shape. With near-record employment, strong wage growth and modest inflation, there is …
17 Oct 2019

Most Popular

BP has slashed its dividend – and markets love it
Income investing

BP has slashed its dividend – and markets love it

BP has bowed to the inevitable and cut its dividend in half – and its share price promptly rose. John Stepek explains what it means for shareholders …
4 Aug 2020
Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences
Stockmarkets

Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences

Private equity is taking over from public stockmarkets as the biggest provider of capital to companies. That’s bad for investors and bad for society a…
3 Aug 2020
Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?
Gold

Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?

With the price of gold shooting through $2,000 an ounce, the yellow metal looks unstoppable. Things are so bullish, even Aim-listed junior gold miners…
5 Aug 2020