Betting on politics: two parliamentary seats worth a punt on

Matthew Partridge takes a look at the odds on two seats up for grabs in the next general election.

UK General Election, polling day, results, Manchester, UK - 08 Jun 2017

Even though there may not be an election until next year, Ladbrokes recently extended the range of parliamentary seats that it is taking bets on.

One obvious opportunity is Burnley, currently held by Labour's Julie Cooper. She won the seat in 2015 and retained it in 2017 with an increased majority of 6,373. Ladbrokes put a Labour victory at the next election at evens (50%), with the Conservatives at 2/1 (33.3%). The Liberal Democrats are at 4/1 (20%) and the Brexit Party is at 10/1 (9.1%).

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

The Lib Dems won this seat in 2010, so you'd think that they would be in with at least a chance of victory. However, since the area is heavily pro-Leave with two-thirds of the constituency voting to quit the EU, it's no surprise that they did dismally last time around, getting only 15% of the vote. While the Conservatives still have an outside chance, they will have a long road to climb to clinch a seat that is number 97 on their target list, so I'd stick with the evens on Labour.

One seat that will definitely be remaining Labour is Manchester Withington, won in 2017 by Labour's Jeff Smith (pictured). While the Liberal Democrats prevailed there in 2005 and 2010, Labour won it in 2015 and again in 2017, with a massive majority of just under 30,000 votes. It's also important to note that even at the last European election Labour beat the Lib Dems in the Greater Manchester area. Overall, then, I'd take the 1/8 (88.9%) on the Labour candidate.




Trading: catch this coach company

Bus and coach operator National Express has expanded into promising markets abroad – and it looks cheap
28 Jan 2020
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

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

Trading: you can be sure of Shell

Oil won’t stay low forever – and Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell looks both lean and cheap.
5 Apr 2020

Most Popular


House prices and Covid-19

The housing market is in deep freeze – what happens when it thaws out?
5 Apr 2020

Three things matter for the UK housing market now – and “location” isn’t one of them

The UK housing market is frozen. And when it does eventually thaw out, the traditional factors that drive prices will no longer apply. The day of reck…
1 Apr 2020

What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020
Global Economy

The MoneyWeek Podcast – Russell Napier: how much debt is too much?

Merryn talks to financial strategist and author Russell Napier about the huge levels of debt embedded in the global economy, the governmental response…
3 Apr 2020