ONLY a jackal would wager good money on the outcome of the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency this week. At times it has felt like a coin toss, so stay in school, kids, don’t get lost in this casino. Given we’ve posted when the Tories were leading the betting markets, however, it seems only fair to take one last step back inside the bookmakers’ offices before the off, as the market reached a crossover point.
After the striking advantage bookies had down for the Conservatives, we now find Labour’s Tulip Siddiq to be the favourite among all of the high street companies and online equivalents. Her price has dropped dramatically over the course of the campaign, 5/1 to 4/7. It’s hard to think that the gambling companies know all the local level intricacies of each seat – for example that Tulip is running in some ways such an independent campaign that she went as far as saying out loud to the Evening Standard that Jeremy Corbyn is not going to win. More likely, the bookies have decided that the Conservative campaign, nationally, has done more harm than good in more urban target seats.
Usual disclaimers about how bookmakers find politics harder to predict than horse races, but you can see the trend in the charts on the oddschecker website, which helpfully monitors price changes during an ongoing market like a general election campaign. The passing days, from the start of the election to this week run down the left hand side of the chart, while the companies taking bets line up across the top, and the key here is to look out for the blue boxes as these designate all the times the odds have been cut on candidates’ chances of winning. The pink boxes mark the occasions where the odds have drifted.
So, to avid reader Keith Sedgwick, now is the time to take the £100 you keep mentioning in the comments of these pages and bet on Tory candidate Claire-Louise Leyland. At the start of the campaign, your stake would have returned a tenner, whereas now you can collect closer £150 in winnings.
The Labour chart
The Conservative chart