Features

Betting on politics: the Newport West by-election

The Independent Group is hogging the headlines, says Matthew Partridge. But for punters, the Newport West by-election offers a better bet.

935-Umunna-634

Umunna: not worth a bet

We've seen some massive changes in politics over the past week, with both Labour and Conservative MPs quitting their respective parties to join The Independent Group.

Surprisingly, none of the major bookies have launched any betting markets on it (with the exception of a short-lived bet about who will win Chuka Umunna's seat at the next election). The fact that it is a still a loose grouping, rather than a formal party, means that they would have to word any bet precisely to avoid any messy disputes.

Smarkets has tried to step into the breach by launching markets on the number of additional MPs who will defect to the group. However, the defection of the trio of Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston means the odds are likely to shift in the next few days, making any predictions irrelevant. There's also a market on whether any of the group will trigger by-elections, but with only £14 traded so far, it's not liquid enough for us to be worth commenting on.

Instead, I recommend a bet on the upcoming by-election in Newport West, prompted by the death of Paul Flynn. You can get 1.15 (87%) with Smarkets on Labour retaining the seat.

With the exception of a narrow Tory victory in 1983, this has been a solid Labour seat, with Flynn getting more than half the votes last time around. Given that in 2017 the Lib Dems came in fifth, behind both Plaid Cymru and Ukip, this constituency is unlikely to be receptive to any new centrist political grouping.I recommend betting on the Labour candidate.

Recommended

The UK is sitting on its biggest debt pile since WW2. Should you be worried?
UK Economy

The UK is sitting on its biggest debt pile since WW2. Should you be worried?

UK government borrowing is higher than at any time since the Second World War. But with a strong economic recovery predicted, things might not be as b…
4 May 2021
What is hyperinflation and could it happen here?
Inflation

What is hyperinflation and could it happen here?

The Bank of England has been accused of the kind of money-printing that could lead to Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation. But that's very unlikely to happe…
4 May 2021
The SNP’s record in Scotland: how does it stack up?
UK Economy

The SNP’s record in Scotland: how does it stack up?

The SNP has been in power in Scotland since 2007, and the country is going to the polls again. So how has it performed?
1 May 2021
Frenzied house price boom leaves buyers desperate
House prices

Frenzied house price boom leaves buyers desperate

House prices are rising faster than at any time since 2004. And buyers are getting desperate, says Nicole Garcia-Merida.
30 Apr 2021

Most Popular

What is hyperinflation and could it happen here?
Inflation

What is hyperinflation and could it happen here?

The Bank of England has been accused of the kind of money-printing that could lead to Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation. But that's very unlikely to happe…
4 May 2021
Copper has hit a ten-year high, but this could just be the start of a huge bull market
Industrial metals

Copper has hit a ten-year high, but this could just be the start of a huge bull market

The price of copper is at its highest for ten years. But supply constraints and a massive rise in demand mean it’s not going to stop there, says Domin…
5 May 2021
Micro-cap stocks: how to get huge returns from tiny firms
Small cap stocks

Micro-cap stocks: how to get huge returns from tiny firms

Micro-cap stocks are often overlooked, but the British market has plenty of them and their potential is massive. Max King picks the best two investmen…
3 May 2021