Betting on politics: don’t put your money on the SNP

Nicola Sturgeon ©Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

With just a fortnight to go in the UK election campaign, several things are starting to become clear. Firstly, the Liberal Democrats are going nowhere. Next, Labour is slowly but surely closing the gap with the Conservatives, a process that may be speeded up by recent revelations regarding trade discussions with the US. Thirdly, the Scottish National Party (SNP) surge is likely to be modest, perhaps because Scottish voters are strongly opposed to another independence referendum.

I therefore suggest that you bet on the SNP getting under 45.5 seats (45 seats or less) with Ladbrokes at 5/6 (54.5). I’d also take Ladbrokes’ bet on them getting either 30-39 seats at 5/1 (16.7%) and 40-48 seats at 4/7 (63.6%), for combined odds of 80.3%. In this case I’d put £2.08 on them getting 30-39 and, £7.92 on them getting 40-48.

In terms of individual constituencies, I’m going to bet that Labour will hold Eltham (where I live). This seat used to be pretty marginal, but has been moving towards Labour in recent years and is now down to 88th on the Conservatives’ list of targets. I’d therefore take Paddy Power’s 8/11 (57.9%) on Labour holding on.

Finally, I’m also going to tip Labour in Bermondsey and Old Southwark at 8/13 with Bet 365 (56.5%). At the start of the campaign many pundits assumed this would be an easy Lib Dem pickup, since Simon Hughes held it until the 2015 election. The truth is that this is now a solid Labour area, as shown by Neil Coyle’s majority of nearly 13,000 at the last election.