UK General Election - Political Betting Markets

UK General Election Betting Markets

Pundits and psephologists alike are calling this the most unpredictable general election in UK history, with opinion polls having failed to correctly call a string of recent votes and both major parties headed by divisive and unpopular figures. But where there is uncertainty there is also opportunity, and bettors can take in a wealth of markets on potential electoral outcomes, where the odds are shifting quicker than the eyes of a scandal-hit MP!

The UK Political Landscape in 2019

This December general election will be the third time in four years the country has gone to the polls to choose a new government, reflecting the difficulties the nation has faced ever since the EU referendum of 2016 sent shock waves around the rest of the world. The hung parliament returned in 2017 saw Theresa May's Conservative party needing to rely on support from the 10 MPs of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party in order to get any of its legislation through but divisions over how to enact the result of the referendum have seen an unprecedented number of resignations and defections as well as a third Prime Minister in as many years.

Given all of the above you might think public opposition to the chaotic government of the past few years would be higher than ever, and yet if the polls are to be believed (and as unreliable as they've been in recent elections they remain the best indicator we've got) the Conservatives retain more support than any other party. Does this mean certain victory for Boris Johnson's Tories in a month's time however? Let's take a look at the odds...

General Election 2019 Odds

In the same way as the opinion polls are suggesting Boris Johnson is the most likely Prime Minister after the election, so too do the odds imply it is Johnson's election to lose and you can currently get a price of 1/3 on the Tory leader being returned to Downing Street in our general election betting markets. Similarly, if you want to speculate on the makeup of the next government the clear favourite is a Conservative majority, with current odds of 1/2, whilst a Labour majority comes in at 25/1.

With odds like that there's a feeling of inevitability to another Johnson premiership but just like the pollsters, we have been wrong before! In fact when the 2017 election was called our traders predicted a landslide for May's Conservatives, which couldn't have been more wrong as the party lost seats and its majority.

General Election 2019 Spread Betting

Whilst we may be best known for sports spread betting, when Sporting Index launched in 1992 our first offering was a political spread betting market on Tory seats in the 1992 general election, so politics is in our blood! This time out is no exception and we offer more spreads on politics than anyone else, including our ever popular total seats spreads.Buying or selling total seats can give you a greater return than you might get with a simple fixed odds bet on the next PM because the scale of the victory (or defeat) will determine what you get back. When our traders boldly offered a buy price of 405 on Conservative seats in the 2017 election that total was quickly revised down as the election campaign unfolded, but those who hadn't shared our early confidence in May's Conservatives would have enjoyed a colossal 82 point win had they taken the sell price of 399, as the Tories returned just 317 seats meaning the market settled well short of our early predictions.

Electoral Market Movers

The biggest influence on our political spread indexes to date has come from Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party. Having initially pledged to contest every seat in the country, Farage's later retraction that they would pull out of Conservative held seats saw a flurry of buying activity on the Conservative Seats spread as it is widely assumed Brexit party candidates not standing against Tory candidates will boost the number of Tories returned.

The current spread of 340 - 346 suggests a Conservative majority is on the cards, however the numbers would be higher still if Farage hadn't fielded any candidates at all. In fact our man on the trading floor suggested the spread would have headed north of 360 had Farage given Johnson's party a free run. The official declaration of candidates having now been made, the spreads will from this point on be influenced most from actual electioneering. We saw how quickly opinions can swing in the previous election and all eyes will be on the release of each party's full manifesto in the weeks ahead. Could Jeremy Corbyn's Labour pull a surprise or two out of the bag and narrow the perceived gap between the two main parties?

Whether you fancy a flutter on electoral outrights or you think there’s value to be had buying or selling a party’s total seats, at Sporting Index you can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to political betting.

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