Betfair have opened up a market on the LibDem Leadership -

Clegg is hot favourite at less than evens.
Huhne is 13/5
Steve Webb is 15/1
Ed Davey is 36/1
Charles Kennedy is 40/1
Julia Goldsworthy is 40/1
Vince Cable is 50/1

Cable’s price seems to have some value here as an outsider. Guido has put a fiver on him as a trading bet.

Incidentally, Guido covered all his “Tories to be the biggest party” bets at a profit last night. If Clegg wins he may enjoy a honeymoon at Cameron’s expense…

3% Tory Lead Finishes Gordon’s Miserable Week

Graphic credit : ConservativeHome


Can you imagine the cackling of Cherie Blair? Tony sat beside her on the sofa drinking a decent bottle of Barolo, TV remote in hand, repeatedly rewinding the videotape of PMQs and cheering on Cameron in between sips of the wine, tears of laughter rolling down his cheeks.

Labour MPs in marginal seats this weekend will be wondering what they have wrought. Three times Blair led them to victory, the latest poll shows that after just three months, Brown is a likely loser, along with their seats.

The Tories really should consider sending Tom Watson a bottle of champagne for his part in Blair’s downfall, particularly after he lost that £100 bet with Cameron

Last Man Standing

With Ming now facing the guillotine and Brown severely battered it is interesting to check what the bookies have done. The odds on Cameron being the only one of the three leading his party into the next election have been slashed from 25/1 to 6/1. Punters now think there is a good chance that both Ming and Brown will not lead their parties into the next general election.

The punters also reckon May 2009 is the favourite election date at 5/4 on. The most dramatic change is in the biggest party prices. Remember Guido’s crazy bet last month? Labour are 10/11 on and the Tories are neck and neck at 11/10 – in from 3/1. Lovely jubbly…

Gordon Has Bottled It

The author of a book on Courage, the genius tactician, has bottled it. Gordon marched his troops to the top of the hill, and then he ran away.
The Brownies* will claim that they are “getting on with the job” but they have done nothing but electioneer, they are not governing, they are campaigning and spinning non-stop. They are more focused on good headlines than good governance.

Oh well, Guido has taken quite a few quid off those betting on an early election and that Tories to be the biggest party bet looks a lot better now.

Gordon’s judgement, to not simply squash the speculation, will be in question and his authority much reduced after this, Cameron called him on it without reservation. Dave didn’t flinch, Gordon just blinked…

*No longer will Guido use the macho sounding term Brownites, these are the Brownies. Compared to the Blairites, we really are dealing with the B-team.

UPDATED : Election Fever – Who Says When

Dateline : 5 October

The Telegraph’s Daniel Hannan has been in touch to point out that Peter Riddell first ruled out any prospect of a 2007 poll back in June, “that’s what first persuaded me it was likely.” He also says Janet Daley has done a similar flip.

Daniel himself has been saying for five months that there’ll be an election this year which he reckons means almost certainly there won’t be “as I’m the world’s worst forecaster”.

Dateline : 4 October
Over the last week or so Guido has been tracking the pundits predictions and will be updating this list (do add pundits names and predictions in the comments):

  • Peter Riddell – “it will almost certainly be on November 1 or 8.”*
  • Tim Montgomerie – is betting on an autumn election
  • Iain Dale – thought Gordon might call it during Tory conference
  • Nick Robinson tells us the preparations for an immediate election are real
  • Team Cameron – we don’t know but “we are on battle stations”.
  • Peter Riddell also ruled out a 2007 election last June.
  • Adam Boulton – told Guido he didn’t think this autumn, but you never know.
  • Mike Smithson – thinks Gordon will play it extra long, not before 2009.
  • Fraser Nelson – can’t see why Gordon would want to shorten his reign.
  • Benedict Brogan – not now, according to his Brownite sources.
  • Steve Richards suspects Dave will be able to claim next week that he stopped the mighty Mr Brown from calling a November election.
  • Michael White suspects not soon.
  • Dizzy Thinks not now.
  • Janet Daley wrote in July “I will stake my commentator’s credibility on the prediction that he will not do so, because I believe that his sense of his own political seriousness would make it inconceivable that he would cut and run before he has established his new dispensation and stamped his own objectives on government.”
Where is Guido sticking his neck? The Brownies are a secretive cabal yet they have signalled a supposed snap election intention. Why would they signal their true intentions to the enemy? Gordon will stretch out his term as long as he can…

Guido has been laying “before Dec 2007″ on Betfair if you think Guido is wrong. It has been known…

*Peter Riddell has been been in touch to say he has been quoted out of context and he hasn’t a clue when the election is going to be.

Opinion Polls versus Actual Votes

Guido just stuck even more money on the Tories being the biggest party post-election. Note the bet terms carefully – the biggest party. The prices have admittedly moved further against the Tories since last month when Guido stuck £50 on Betfair. Guido now has a few hundred on ‘em at prices up to 3.5, which seems too generous to resist. Crazy?

Last night the Tories took a seat off Labour in Sunderland, elsewhere in Dover there was a big double-digit percentage swing to Cameron, in marginals Labour lost votes. The Tories will also get a bounce from next week – despite the BBC trying desperately to develop a narrative of disillusionment and more defections – which should move the betting prices.

Why take the biggest party bet? Four reasons; Scotland and boundary changes are going to hurt Labour, thirdly the Ashcroft marginal machine is where the real battle is, not in Labour’s heartlands where traditional voters disillusioned by Blair can return to Labour without making a blind bit of difference. Finally, when politics re-starts for real in parliament, Gordon’s big-tent gimmicks will be forgotten in that adversarial atmosphere.

Contrarian? Crazy?

Six months ago the Tories looked set for victory at the next general election, they were the odds on favourites, Labour activists were downhearted. Now things have reversed, Dave is in trouble and can do nothing right. So Guido just put £50 on Betfair on the Tories being the biggest party after the general election.
Why? Well look at the price chart, it appears to have topped out recently with firm support from punters at an implied probability of 40%. Clearly Guido is not the only one who thinks it can’t get any worse for the Tories.

The Ashcroft marginal seats machine is purring away quietly, the SNP control Scotland and seem to be doing well and that will require Labour to divert resources to shore up their crumbling position. The Cameron project’s problems coming now mean they have plenty of time to recover and adjust their approach before the general election. Brown is spinning that the election is around the corner, it ain’t – Labour is bust financially.

Talking of of bust, boom to bust is the other factor. The U.S. economy is spluttering, the property market has some worrying signs, unemployment is as high as it was under Thatcher in 1979*, interest rates are up, inflation is up, government debt is prolific, mortgages payments are ballooning, home repossessions are astonishing and bankruptcies are at a record rate. Brown has not abolished the economic cycle.

So in six months the economic and political picture could, Guido is betting, look very different. Don’t bet against it.

*In 1979 unemployment was 1.4m, in 2007 unemployment is 1.7m, Source: Unemployment ONS Labour Force Survey.

Harman – Ouch

That was expensive. No, Guido didn’t lay it off. Mike Smithson will be chuffed.

Bet she isn’t Deputy-PM, mind you the way Guido’s bets are going…


UPDATE : Not DPM, Guido got that right at least. Worse reporting from the Telegraph and Sky. It was also a pretty bad call some time back from YouGov’s poll of the membership for the Times as well.

UPDATE II : Cruddas transfers from Amicus and the TGWU swung it for Harman. Johnson won in the affilates and MPs sections and still lost.

Co-conspirators Clean Up on Guido Tip

Yesterday afternoon Guido tipped Alan Johnson to win and advised co-conspirators to get down to the bookies quick. By this morning the odds collapsed, Benn has gone from 3/1 to 11/1, Alan Johnson is so much the hot favourite that

[…]

Alan Johnson Will Win By Over 5%

Guido is calling it for Johnson and and has backed him accordingly. He will, after the eliminations, win by a margin in excess of 5% according to number crunching from rival campaigns.

Looking over at LabourHome it is noticeable that

[…]

Is the Cruddas Campaign a Covert Operation?

A co-conspirator spent a morning last week trying to get hold of the Cruddas campaign – don’t ask – the campaign website gives no phone numbers. His constituency office said they were not allowed to give out that information and

[…]

Punting on Paxo v the Number Two Wannabees

Guido has loaded up his Betfair account with cash in the hope that the Newsnight debate could be decisive one way or another in this race. Will try to figure not the merit of the arguments, not even how voters

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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