Politics

A torrent of trading propels Leave to high water mark (6th June 2016)

A flood of bets backing Brexit has taken Leave to its highest predicted vote share since leading political spread betting company Sporting Index's markets opened.

The firm has taken twenty times more bets on the EU Referendum in the past three days then during the entirety of the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014.

A majority of the company's clients in the past few days have been backing Leave to prevail, pushing the campaign to a high water mark expected vote share of 47.5 per cent.

However, according to Sporting Index's markets, Britain is expected to still be a member of the EU after the crucial vote with `Remain' winning 52.5 per cent of the vote.

Sporting Index's political trading team now predict that voter turnout will be 64 per cent, up three points since in the last month.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The volume of bets we've taken on the EU referendum in the past 72 hours is incredible considering we are still over two weeks away from polling day. If this frenzy of activity continues, the EU referendum will likely turnout to be a bigger political betting event than the last few general elections put together.

"The weight of money is starting to really build up behind a vote for Brexit, narrowing the gap between the two outcomes to just five percentage points on our markets at this early stage."

"With a slew of debates to come over the next fortnight, both sides of the argument will be confident of persuading voters to back their desired outcomes but our clients have been backing Brexit by a near two to one margin in recent days. Yet, two weeks is a long time in politics and it's very much still all to play for."


Predicted Remain vote share down to record low (13th June 2016)

The Remain campaign's predicted vote share has fallen to its lowest ever level on leading political spread betting company Sporting Index's markets.

Since unprecedented heavy trading began last week, sellers of Remain's fortunes have far outnumbered buyers, sinking the campaign to a low water mark expected vote share of just 52 per cent.

The market movements come amid the latest ICM poll released today, which revealed Leave ahead by both phone and online polling methods.

Such has been the focus on the referendum campaign in recent weeks that Sporting Index's political trading team now predict that voter turnout will be 68 per cent.

The turnout figure is up seven points in a month, and indicates that more voters intend to cast a ballot next Thursday than did so in last May's General Election.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "While polls continue to produce a slightly mixed outlook depending on the methodology used, our Brexit markets have seen almost exclusively one-way traffic for the past week in favour of Leave."

"Yet it isn't all doom and gloom for those who wish to continue to be a part of the European Union as Remain still boast a slender lead on our markets, and are rolling out all of their big beasts on the campaign trail."

"However, if the trend of the past week continues right up until polling day, it wouldn¿t surprise me to see our markets at 50-50, or even showing a slim Leave lead, as voters head to the polls."


Just 1 in 10 bets taken in past 48 hours backing Remain (14th June 2016)

A flood of bets backing Leave over that past 48 hours has sunk Remain to its lowest ever level on leading political spread betting company Sporting Index's Brexit markets.

The firm revealed that over the previous two-day period, just 1 in 10 bets taken have backed the David Cameron-led Remain campaign.

Traders at Sporting Index now predict Remain's vote share to be just 51 per cent, the lowest since the company's markets opened in early March.

Turnout for next Thursday's historic vote is predicted to be 68 per cent of the electorate.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "It's been a devastating few days for the Remain campaign, with polling indicating the momentum is now behind Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Co."

"Our political trading team has seen a level of activity that usually only occurs on polling day for a General Election, and to say it's been one-way traffic is an understatement - just one in ten bets taken have backed Remain."

"Last May's General Election was the biggest British political betting event in our 30-year history, but the EU referendum will shortly take the top spot and there is still more than a week to go until voters head to the polls."


Sunderland to declare at 23:30 with Leave on 53.5% (22nd June 2016)

Sunderland is expected to win the race to declare and report at 23:30 that Leave has won 53.5 per cent of the vote, according to leading political spread betting company Sporting Index's Brexit markets.

Without a national exit poll, all eyes will be on the North East where Remain is predicted to finish seven points behind Leave after ballots are counted.

However, heavy backing for the David Cameron-led Remain campaign in the past 48 hours has seen their predicted national vote share rise above 53 per cent for the first time in a fortnight.

Sporting Index's political trading team expect turnout tomorrow to be 70.5 per cent, four points higher than last May's General Election.

Sunderland's counting team has won the race to declare in the previous six general elections, with Houghton and Sunderland South announcing Labour's Bridget Phillipson had been duly elected just 50 minutes after polls closed.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Without the aid of a national exit poll, both the Remain and Leave camps will need to wait for results to come in to judge how effective their campaigns have been."

"Sunderland has won the race to declare at every general election since 1992, and we think they will be equally speedy on Thursday by announcing the result of their count just 90 minutes after polls close."

"We think the Wearside count will see Leave receive 53.5 per cent of the vote. Any less than that and it could signal that the Remain campaign will be the ones celebrating in the wee hours of Friday morning."


Brexit proves expensive for Sporting Index (24th June 2016)

Leading political spread betting company Sporting Index saw unprecedented action in the run-up to Britain's EU referendum.

It was a painful night for the firm as its clients consistently favoured Leave throughout the campaign, resulting in a six figure loss for the company.

Sporting Index was the first bookmaker to offer a market on turnout and the eventual 72% figure contributed to the loss as spread bettors clearly believed voters would turn out in force.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "We were getting ready to pop the champagne corks at 10pm when a Remain win looked highly likely, but by midnight the bottles were shoved back in the fridge."

"When we got to 4am it was head in hands time on the trading floor and the punters have beaten us fair and square here. On the bright side, the volume of bets for the referendum was fantastic and we look forward to round two against our customers in the US presidential election."


61 minutes, 8 mentions of `the wall' and 2 chants of `USA, USA' Trump's acceptance speech in numbers (20th July 2016)

Donald Trump is set to refer to his proposed wall between the US and Mexico eight times when he accepts the Republican nomination for President on Thursday, according to leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

Trump is expected to speak for 61 minutes at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, and Sporting Index predicts he'll refer to his likely opponent as `crooked Hillary' on four separate occasions.

It's expected Trump will mention Hillary Clinton¿s recent email trouble five times during his speech, in addition to two references to Benghazi.

The Uber-confident Republican nominee for President is expected to say `tremendous' five times, with four mentions of `beautiful' and three occurrences of `amazing'.

Sporting Index predict the convention delegates in Cleveland will break into an impromptu chant of `USA, USA' twice during the real estate mogul's speech.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "It may have caught practically all political observers off guard, but Donald Trump will walk onto the stage on Thursday to formally accept the Republican nomination for President."

"With a prime time TV audience tuning in, Trump will want to get his key messages across and we think his policy of building a physical wall on the US-Mexico border will feature heavily."

"It's almost certain that he'll address Hillary Clinton directly, with the former US Secretary of State's recent email trouble providing plenty for Trump to go on. Whatever your opinion of Trump, his acceptance speech on Thursday will be fascinating viewing."


Clinton would have a 40-point lead over Trump if Brits had a vote (7th October 2016)

Sporting Index has asked UK voters how they would cast a vote in the US presidential election and found that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has an extraordinary 40-point lead over her rival Donald Trump.

The leading political spread betting firm commissioned pollsters Opinium and found that 52 per cent of UK voters would back Clinton, compared to just 12 per cent who would back Trump. However, more than a quarter wouldn't cast their ballot for either candidate.

Among UK women, Clinton's lead stretches to 47 points with just seven per cent indicating they would vote for Republican nominee Trump (54-7). Half of UK men would back Clinton, while nearly one in five (17 per cent) support Trump.

Broken down by UK party affiliation from the 2015 General Election, Trump enjoys a 19-point lead over Clinton among UKIP voters (38-19), although more than a third of those who voted for the party (35 per cent) wouldn't vote for either candidate.

Sporting Index also found that support for Clinton among voters of the UK's other main political parties remains solid, with those voting for the Liberal Democrats (75-7), Labour (67-6), Conservative (56-14) and SNP (53-3) giving the former Secretary of State an overwhelming endorsement.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The British electorate have clearly signaled that they wish to see Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office."

"The US election is being closely followed across the pond and we've taken an unprecedented number of bets over the past two weeks - half of which are backing Donald Trump to prevail. With just over a month to go and such a volatile contest, it looks certain to be the biggest US political betting event in history."


Hillary Clinton to be elected in landslide with 327 electoral college votes (14th October 2016)

Hillary Clinton is set to inflict a heavy defeat on Donald Trump in the race to become the 45th President of the United States, according to leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

The company has today released a comprehensive set of markets on the most controversial White House race in memory, with Clinton expected to be elected president on 8 November with 327 electoral college votes.

Sporting Index predict Donald Trump will carry 23 states and collect 211 electoral college votes in one of the most lopsided defeats for a Republican party candidate in history.

The leading political spread betting company expect Democratic nominee Clinton to claim the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trump is expected to hold Arizona, Georgia and Utah for the Republicans, though former strongholds like North Carolina appear lost.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Hillary Clinton has benefitted from a disastrous two weeks for the Trump campaign and looks set for a landslide victory, but The Donald has defied polls and pundits many times before and could do so again."

"It doesn't look great for the Republicans at the moment, but Trump was even further behind in June and managed to bring the race back to a virtual tie in just weeks. A month is a long time in politics, so Clinton supporters would be wise to leave the celebratory red, white and blue balloons unfilled for now."


Donald Trump on course to win majority of states but miss out on the presidency (2nd November 2016)

Following further revelations about her email usage, Hillary Clinton is now predicted to win fewer states than rival Donald Trump but still become the 45th president of the United States, according to leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

The new email controversy has seen Clinton's Electoral College Votes prediction sink by 32 to 295, though the former Secretary of State is still ahead of the magic 270 needed to be elected president.

Sporting Index now expect Republican rival Trump to carry 27 states and collect 243 electoral college votes, including the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Iowa that looked out of reach just two weeks ago.

Despite the uncertainty, the leading political spread betting company expect Clinton to hold on to the key states of Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina, though Arizona looks a lost cause.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The race may have looked like a Hillary Clinton landslide a fortnight ago but two weeks is an eternity in politics. In a reversal of roles, Clinton has been the subject of headline writers of late, leaving rival Donald Trump to gain vital ground.

"With less than a week until the polls open we now expect Trump to carry more states than Clinton, but the electoral college map is still very much against him. He may well win Florida, but early voting indicates Clinton should win Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania on the way to becoming the 45th president. However, a week is a very long time in politics."


Trump gaining ground as Clinton clings on to narrowing electoral college lead (4th November 2016)

Hillary Clinton's electoral college lead is shrinking but Donald Trump is expected to fall short in his bid to become the next president, according to leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

Following further email revelations, Clinton's Electoral College Votes prediction has shrunk by 37 to 290 - a low water mark since Sporting Index's markets opened months ago.

However, the former Secretary of State remains ahead of the magic 270 needed to be elected president.

Sporting Index now expect Republican rival Trump to carry 27 states and collect 248 electoral college votes, including the key swing states of Ohio and Iowa that looked out of reach just two weeks ago.

Despite the uncertainty, the leading political spread betting company expect Clinton to hold on to the key states of Pennsylvania and Nevada, though Arizona looks a lost cause.

The closest state races according to the political trading team are to be found in Florida and North Carolina, where Trump is currently favoured to triumph - just.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The race to become president is narrowing by the day and although it looks like Clinton will ultimately cling on to a close victory, Trump is now within the margin of error in many national polls."

"However, the Trump surge has come very late in the game and the Democrats have had a significant early voting machine up and running that may allow Clinton to carry key states like Nevada."

"All eyes may, once again, turn to Florida on what looks set to be a very long and tense election night."


More bets placed for Clinton in the past 24 hours than all of October (7th November 2016)

More bets backing Hillary Clinton have been placed with Sporting Index in the last 24 hours than the entire month of October as Clinton looks set to become the next president.

Clinton¿s Electoral College Votes prediction sunk to a low water mark of just 290 on Friday as an expanded FBI investigation into her emails cast doubt on her candidacy - let alone her prospect of victory.

However, having been cleared of any wrongdoing for a second time, bets have flooded in sending the former Secretary of State's ECV prediction soaring to 325, well ahead of the magic 270 needed to be elected president.

Sporting Index now expect Republican rival Trump to carry 24 states and collect just 213 electoral college votes, including the key swing states of Ohio, Arizona and Iowa.

However, record early voting figures and signs of high latino voter turnout have pushed Nevada and Florida into Clinton's column - leaving Trump with a mountain to climb if he¿s to shock the world.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "There has been little sign of significant Clinton support over the past month, but we¿ve seen a torrent of bets come in the past 24 hours backing Hillary."

"The better-than-Obama early voting results in Nevada, combined with the FBI statement clearing Clinton, has removed many doubt in observers¿ minds about the chance of another Clinton presidency."

"If Trump is going to win, he¿ll need to turn out millions of disaffected voters to the ballot boxes - or the polls need to be wrong. Clinton would be wise to not count her chickens just yet though, as neither of those scenarios are out of the question."


Late surge in bets for Trump cuts Hillary's lead (8th November 2016 ***16:00 UPDATE***)

After a wave of Hillary support yesterday, Sporting Index has seen a surge in bets backing Donald Trump to defy the polls and become the next president.

Clinton's Electoral College Votes prediction is down to 311 from a high-water mark of 330 yesterday, while Trump is on 226 and sits within striking distance of the magic 270 needed to win.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Punters backing Trump had been quiet over the past few days but this morning we've seen a surge of support for the Donald.

"The polls may have been moving against Trump in the final few days, but we¿ve seen a number of elections across the world defy conventional wisdom in the past 18 months."

"Could President Trump become a reality? Our current prediction suggests not, but we won¿t have to wait too much longer to find out."


Trump chipping away at Clinton's lead as bets pour in (8th November 2016 ***23:00 UPDATE***)

Trump is closing the gap on Hillary Clinton as bets continue to flow in supporting the controversial candidate, according to the leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

Clinton's Electoral College Votes prediction is down to 309 from a high-water mark of 330 yesterday, while Trump is on 229.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Despite some positive early voting figures for Clinton in key states like Nevada and Florida, bets have continued to flow in for Trump since this morning and that has continued throughout the evening. It's been one-way business on the trading floor tonight in support of Trump."


Trump's expected ECV total 231 and rising (8th November 2016 ***00:30 UPDATE***)

Donald Trump's predicted electoral college vote total has risen above 230 for the first time and is rising quickly thanks to large bets taken in key states, according to the leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

Clinton's Electoral College Votes prediction is down to 307 from a high-water mark of 330 yesterday, while Trump is now on 231.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Early results are encouraging for Trump in some key areas and we've seen large bets come in in the last 30 minutes for the Republicans to win states like Wisconsin and Michigan."


Trump now favourite for the presidency (9th November 2016 ***02:50 UPDATE***)

Donald Trump is now favourite to become the next president of the United States, according to the leading political spread betting company Sporting Index.

Trump's Electoral College Votes prediction is now 270, precisely the number he needs to defeat Hillary Clinton.


Trump victory a big win for Sporting Index (9th November 2016)

Sporting Index has reported a successful US presidential election night with Donald Trump's win set to result in a six figure profit for the leading spread betting company.

The firm were best price on Hillary Clinton for two months and still ended up with a pro-Hillary book. There was unprecedented interest in the election and a huge number of bets were taken after 10pm on Tuesday all the way through to the early hours.

With four states yet to declare, Trump could still hit 300 electoral college votes. On Monday, Clinton was expected to win 325 electoral college votes with Trump predicted to land just 213.

The market proved hugely volatile over the past 24 hours and the Republican candidate has come out comfortably on top in another surprising election.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Five months of hard work has gone into our election book, covering all of the scandals, midnight suspensions of markets and more."

"The most divisive election in history has also proved to be one of the most volatile. While many expected Hillary to walk away with the keys to the White House, we were happy to take her on and that has paid off. The further Trump wins by the better for us."


Zac Goldsmith set to hold Richmond Park (30th November 2016)

Sporting Index's political spread betting markets make newlyindependent candidate Zac Goldsmith favourite to hold his Richmond Park seat in Thursday's by-election.

The spread betting firm's Richmond Park by-election market is scored via a `Win 25 Index', whereby the winning candidate on 1st December will be given 25, the second-place candidate 10, and any others 0.

Goldsmith is currently trading at 20 on the index, with Liberal Democrats challenger Sarah Olney trading at 15.

Spread bettors can challenge these predictions by betting higher or lower, with profits or losses calculated on how right or wrong they are.

A punter who buys Sarah Olney at 15 would win 10 times their stake if she were to win, but they would lose five times their stake if she finished second.

Christian Wolmar is expected to finish a very distant third and will do well to get above the five per cent threshold that sees the return of Labour's deposit.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Having resigned over his own party's stance on Heathrow expansion, Brexit-supporting Zac Goldsmith was always going to face a tricky by-election in the heavily Remain-supporting seat of Richmond Park."

"Although we make Goldsmith favourite to hold on, the Liberal Democrats are in buoyant mood and we've started to see significant bets coming in backing Sarah Olney to continue the 2016 theme of shocks by overturning the 25,000-vote majority."


7 out of 10 Brits do not know the number of MPs elected to House of Commons (21st December 2016)

Research by Sporting Index has found the vast majority of the British public has a worrying lack of basic political knowledge ahead a boundary review that could see nearly a tenth of constituencies abolished.

The leading political spread betting firm commissioned pollsters Opinium and found that 69 per cent of the British adult population failed to correctly identify that 650 is the number of Members of Parliament currently elected to the UK House of Commons.

When broken down by voting intention, the Scottish National Party has the most knowledgeable voters in the UK, although just 40 per cent answered correctly.

UKIP voters were just behind with 38 per cent responding 650, with 37 per cent of Tories and 36 per cent of Greens doing the same.

Only 30 per cent of Labour voters could identify the correct number, with the resurgent Liberal Democrats not faring too much better on 31 per cent.

Outside of voting intention, Brits aged 75 or older were by far and away the most knowledgeable age group, with nearly half (47%) responding correctly.

The disparity between the age groups were stark, with just one in five (21%) of those aged 25-34 giving the correct answer of 650 MPs elected under the current constituency boundaries.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "With the close of one of the more remarkable years in political history, it's worth remembering that a significant proportion of the public remain uninformed about some of the most basic aspects of the British political system."

"The year ahead will see the boundary commission recommend the largest reduction in the number of MPs since 1922, but with 80 per cent of 25-34-year-old's unable to name the number of MPs currently elected, many will be wondering if it's even worth bothering."


Labour set to hold Stoke but lose Copeland (14th February 2017)

Sporting Index's political spread betting markets now show Labour are set to deny UKIP leader Paul Nuttall gaining a Westminster seat at the fifth time of asking by prevailing in next week's Stoke-on-Trent by-election.

UKIP had been marginal favourites in the contest just weeks ago, but a formal investigation over Nuttall's permanent address on his nomination form, and a stinging rebuke from Labour candidate Gareth Snell, has seen the leading political spread betting firm make a Labour hold the most likely outcome.

However, Jeremy Corbyn's party is expected to lose the Copeland by-election held on the same day to the Conservatives that was triggered by former MP Jamie Reed's resignation.

If the Tories do gain Copeland it would be the first time since 1982 that a governing party has gained a seat in a by-election.

The spread betting firm's by-election markets are scored via a `Win 25 Index', whereby the winning candidate on 23rd February will be given 25 points, the second-place candidate 10, and any others 0.

UKIP leader Nuttall is currently trading at 15 on the Stoke-on-Trent index, with Labour's Gareth Snell just ahead on 16.

The Copeland by-election index sees the Conservatives on 20, with Labour trading at just 12.

Spread bettors can challenge these predictions by betting higher or lower, with profits or losses calculated on how right or wrong they are.

For example, a punter who buys Gareth Snell at 16 on the Stoke-on-Trent index would win nine times their stake if he were to win, but they would lose six times their stake if he finished second.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Although it looked like it might be fifth time lucky for UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, our political trading team now make Labour favourite to deny Nuttall a Westminster seat by holding Stoke in next week's by-election.

"Yet the Copeland by-election is a different proposition altogether, and despite Labour boasting a 2,500-vote majority, it looks likely that Theresa May¿s Conservatives will prevail to heap even more pressure on embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn."


57 minutes, 4 sips of water and 91 mentions of Tax - The Budget 2017 in numbers (8th March 2017)

Philip Hammond gives his first Budget speech today and leading political spread betting company Sporting Index predicts it will be thirsty work with the Chancellor taking four sips of water in his 57 minute speech.

He is expected to utter the word `tax' 91 times, `billion' 29 times and `million' on 23 occasions. `Brexit' will be heard twice while the spread betting firm reckons he won't mention `Trump' at all. The house speaker is also expected to call the house to order three times.

As it is International Women¿s Day, Sporting Index has created a special `A day without a woman' market - the number of female MPs to ask a question during Prime Minister's Questions. The current prediction is seven.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "We'll know more about Philip Hammond's Budget habits after today, but we reckon he's going to be one of the thirstier Chancellors."

"George Osborne calmed down with the water intake after his record eight sips in 2012 and four is our prediction for Hammond's first Budget."

"Our `A day without a woman' market is a fun one and I'm sure spread bettors will be interested in the number of female MPs who ask a question during PMQs on International Women's Day."


Labour to plummet to historical low of 165 seats (27th April 2017)

The Conservative Party is set to extend their number of seats in the House of Commons from 330 to 387 seats, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.

The traders are reporting one-way traffic for the Tories and have had to revise their quote on how many constituencies will turn blue from 375 to 387 in the last 24 hours, with Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party all losing ground.

Jeremy Corbyn's party has leaked eight seats since Sporting Index's market went live last Friday, with their presence in the Commons expected to be reduced to 165 from a current 229.

The Lib Dems have also been weak since trading began, falling from 31 to 28 seats.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "All of the support has been for the Tories since our markets opened up last week and the latest from the traders is that Theresa May's party will only be a few seats short of emulating the Conservative's historical victory of 1983."

"At 387, the Tories look on-course to surpass their 1987 total of 376 seats and aren't miles away from their highest ever total of 397 in '83. Meanwhile the latest betting shows Labour's share of the benches looks set to plummet to an historical low of 165."


Scottish National Party seats set to slide to 47 (4th May 2017)

The Scottish National Party is set to see their number of seats in the House of Commons reduced from 54 to 47, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.

Early predictions showed that the SNP would lose ground in the general election campaign due to the increasing support for the Tories, and the latest from the Sporting Index trading floor is that Nicola Sturgeon's party will surrender seven seats when the results are announced on 8th June.

The SNP experienced a meteoric rise in 2015's general election, seeing their share of Parliament's benches increase from six to an impressive 56. However, since Sporting Index's general election markets went live last month, the chances of Scotland's pro-independence party seem to have dwindled, and they are now expected to see their number of representatives reduced.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "As the Tories continue to go from strength to strength since our markets opened, it's now looking like Nicola Sturgeon's party will lose ground in this election campaign. The SNP currently sit at 47, and it looks likely that they will see their power in parliament reduced when the results are announced next month."

"Similarly, the latest betting also suggests that Jeremy Corbyn has plenty to worry about in the run up to the election too, as Labour seats could drop from 229 to 164."


Tories to turn Parliament blue with record-breaking 405 seats (5th May 2017)

The Conservative Party is set to break history with their biggest ever general election victory by extending their number of seats to 405, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.

The results will be grim reading for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is set to steer his party to its worst ever defeat. They now look like plummeting to 148, which will see them surrender a remarkable 81 seats.

The Lib Dems have also been weak since trading began, falling from 31 to 23 seats.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The Tories are absolutely flying at the moment, and it looks like there's no stopping Theresa May and her party's momentum as election day draws nearer."

"At 405, the Conservatives would secure their biggest ever win, and would be just 14 seats away from overtaking Tony Blair's overall record amount of 418 in 1997. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to keep his head above water, and at 148 it would take a miracle for there to be a turnaround in Labour's favour."


More than half of Brits don't know who Tim Farron is (26th May 2017)

Research by Sporting Index has found that 52 per cent of people in Britain do not know who the leader of the Liberal Democrats is.

Tim Farron was elected as leader of the Lib Dems in July 2015 following Nick Clegg¿s resignation, and he has spearheaded the party's campaign in this year's snap election. However, following a survey taken by pollsters Opinium, results show that over half of the 2,000 people surveyed couldn¿t name who the leader of the major political party is.

The results are clearly worrying for Tim Farron, who is eager to stamp his authority on this year's general election despite currently being predicted by Sporting Index's traders to secure just 16 seats - down from 31 since the spread betting firm's markets opened in April.

The shocking results don't stop at the Lib Dem party leader either, as the research also highlighted that nearly one in five people in Britain don't know Theresa May is the leader of the Conservative party and, more shockingly, one in five Brits between 25 and 34 years old also don't know who the UK Prime Minister is.

Men turned out to be the worst for identifying Theresa May as the leader of the Conservatives - who are tipped to win the election comfortably and secure 381 seats by Sporting Index's traders. Nearly one in five men (19 per cent) were not able to name who the Prime Minister of the country is when questioned by Opinium.

Those who were surveyed were also shown several seven pictures and were asked to identify which one was Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which revealed that over one in ten (12 per cent) couldn't correctly identify the Labour leader.

The survey results also come after British film director Guy Ritchie recently caused outrage by admitting he didn't recognise cardboard cut outs of election hopefuls Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. This has caused people to question the country's political awareness in the lead up to the first general election since Britain's decision to leave the European Union, with the nation set to go to the polls in just over two weeks.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "With the general election just a few weeks away, our research makes for interesting reading - and its bad news for the leaders of the political parties."

"Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron have spent big to make sure they are as recognisable as possible, but according to our research, a large percentage of the population still don't know who they are. This could indicate an apathy from the British public to politics, or that the likes of May, Corbyn and Farron simply aren't charismatic enough to be remembered."

"There's still time before we go to the polls, and all three will have to knock on a few more doors to make sure they're not forgotten about on June 8."


London loves politics (31st May 2017)

Research by Sporting Index has found that Londoners just can't get enough of politics, with 59 per cent of people living in the city admitting to discussing the latest in the political world at work each week.

With the general election just eight days away, the latest figures show London is by far the chattiest when it comes to discussing what's happening in Westminster.

Brighton is officially the least politically sociable, with just two per cent of their population discussing politics in the work place each week.

Manchester and Newcastle tied near the top end at 14 per cent, with Birmingham at 12 per cent and Liverpool scoring a comparably low nine per cent.

Edinburgh is closest to London for political workplace discussions compared with the rest of the UK after just under one fifth of people admitted to discussing politics with colleagues.

Londoners are also the most argumentative city when discussing politics at work, with one third admitting to bickering on the job once a day. This also goes hand in hand with additional data that shows 56 per cent have confirmed they've had bad experiences at work due to political discussions.

While London tops the table for discussing politics and arguably showing most enthusiasm in the UK for the topic, the city scored the highest from all UK locations for not knowing who the leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties are. More than half answered `don't know' when quizzed on who the Labour and Conservative party leaders were and a huge 68 per cent revealed they were unsure who the leader of the Liberal Democrats was.

Perhaps even more alarming, London also came out on top of the cities who did not know who the UK Prime Minister was at 48 per cent.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "With the general election just over one week away now, the results from our survey are very interesting and point to some key discussion points. It¿s excellent to see that London feels so involved and keen to discuss politics where many other cities look to avoid debate where they can ¿ compared with places like Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool, London clearly has more people keen to spark up political debates in the workplace."

"However, the stats also cannot hide that many Londoners don't know important information that is detrimental to voting on the day - namely who the leader of each party is. Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron have spent big to make sure they are as recognisable as possible, but according to our research, a large percentage of people in London population still don't know who they are."

"This could indicate that the likes of May, Corbyn and Farron simply aren't charismatic enough to be remembered by people in the capital."


Too little too late for Labour (6th June 2017)

Polling begins in less than two days and the latest betting from Sporting Index shows that Labour are making a strong late surge, but it won't be enough to deny Theresa May of her premiership.

As it stands, the leading spread betting firm has projected the Conservative Party to win 362 seats, while Labour are heading for their worst ever election result at just 207 seats.

However, the current prediction of 207 red constituencies is way up on pre-campaigning forecasts of just 170. Jeremy Corbyn's popularity has surged since 5 May, with the prediction on his party's seats rising an astonishing 40 percent.

Sporting Index had the Tories on course to smash Margaret Thatcher's 1983 haul with a record 405 seats, but a raft of selling from spread bettors has forced that commanding figure down 11 per cent to a current mark of 362.

As for the Liberal Democrats, the spreads suggest campaigning hasn't gone too well for Tim Farron and Co. His party have shed 17 seats on Sporting Index's initial prediction, down from 31 to a mere 12.

Ed Fulton, political trading spokesperson at Sporting Index, said: "The election is still Theresa May's to lose but the momentum is undoubtedly with Jeremy Corbyn. The latest spread betting figures would get Theresa May over the line with 362 seats, but Labour have surged 40 per cent since campaigning started and any further boost could propel us towards a hung parliament."

"As it stands, Jeremy Corbyn is about to lead his party into its worst ever election result with just 207 seats. It's tough reading for the Lib Dems too, with today's spread showing just 12 seats will be yellow once the votes are counted."


First MP to be elected at 22:50 in general election (7th June 2017)

The first constituency to announce its election results will arrive at 10.50pm tomorrow night in the UK, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.

Sunderland South's speedy voters have held the record for first MP to be elected in any constituency from the previous five UK general elections and is also responsible for the quickest ever ballot count at 10.48pm from 2015.

Despite predicting turnout to dip from the 2015 election to a mark of 63 per cent, the traders at Sporting Index still believe the first MP will arrive a couple of minutes later than the current record of 22:48.

Bridget Phillipson secured her seat as MP for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2015, and it's widely expected the Labour MP will retain her position after the votes are counted on Thursday evening.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Sunderland's constituencies have always led the way for first past the post records in recent general elections, and it will take a quick turnaround in any area to beat the record of 10.48pm held by Sunderland South."

"That said, Washington & Sunderland West and Sunderland Central could give their neighbors a close run, and all eyes will be on when the first results are announced tomorrow evening."


Exit poll puts Tory majority hopes in the balance (8th June 2017)

This evening's exit poll showed the Conservatives are leaders in the pack of the general election race but may fall short of a majority vote.

The results indicate that a hung parliament is possible with Labour on course for 266 seats and SNP and the Liberal Democrats plummeting to 34 and 14 respectively.

However, Sporting Index currently have Conservative seats at 330 with Labour at 239. To win an overall majority a party needs to win 326 seats.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The exit poll has raised a few eyebrows this evening and shows that a hung parliament could be on the cards at this rate."

"The polls have been wrong before, but all eyes will now be on the first past the post in what will be a tense wait for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn's parties."

"Our traders are currently predicting the Tories will get a majority by the narrowest of margins, but it looks like it's going to be much closer than anyone thought."