Betting on politics: the odds of a Labour election victory

Political betting expert Matthew Partridge weighs up the odds on a Labour victory in forthcoming elections.


(Image credit: 2017 Getty Images)

Last week, I suggested that you bet on Labour getting between 20% and 40% of the vote in the forthcoming European elections (if they end up taking place). This week we're going to look at who will win the most seats.

At the moment, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes are both offering 4/6 (60%) on Labour coming out on top. While both bookies have Nigel Farage's Brexit Party as second favourites, Ladbrokes is offering a slightly more generous 13/8 (38%). The best odds for those convinced that the Conservatives will do well is 14/1 (6.6%) with Paddy Power.

On the betting markets, Betfair punters seem more convinced about a Labour victory, with Betfair putting it at 1.43 (70%), with the Brexit Party at 2.57 (38.6%). They put the Conservatives at 18 (5.6%), behind even the original Ukip at 16.5 (6%). Interestingly, Smarkets offers the best odds of the lot on Labour, putting it at 1.85 (53.7%), though with only £583 traded so far, the market isn't quite liquid enough for punters to take advantage of this price.

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With the Tories in disarray, the contest boils down to a straight fight between Labour and the Brexit Party. While Farage's group may benefit from some Conservative voters being angry at Theresa May, the fact that Ukip is also taking part will split away some of the anti-Europe vote. Note also that, even at the peak of Farage's popularity in 2014, Ukip only came slightly ahead of Labour. So I'd recommend you take the 4/6 on Labour winning most seats.

Dr Matthew Partridge

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