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 you’ll have to risk £4 to win less than a pound. Co-conspirators cleaned up. Good luck at Ascot, where Guido would rather watch the ladies than the horses…

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 the only online campaign adverts came from Alan Johnson – the tedious 8 part Benn video interview saga probably lost them votes.

Whereas the Tory leadership campaign “made” ConservativeHome, LabourHome didn’t really capitalise on the campaign.

Still a chance to get a 50% return on your money in four days if you are quick on Betfair

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 it being recess the office in parliament was unmanned, with the voicemail saying it was full.

Both Cruddas’s and Benn’s campaigns are based in the same serviced offices near Lambeth Bridge. At the time of writing Team Cruddas hasn’t managed to empty the pigeonhole since it has had it (about two and a half weeks). Strikes Guido this is exactly the sort of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party the country needs: one who makes scarey left-wing noises for public consumption but has the organisational acumen of a vegetable marrow. Cheaper to run than Prescott, too.

His price on Betfair makes him third favourite after what most judge was a better and certainly more authentic performance on Newsnight. Despite a little excitement that this has brought to in the beating hearts of the Labour Left, Guido suggests you bet against him rather than on him. He is not going to win…

On Betfair Alan Johnson has overtaken Benn as favourite following a weekend poll putting him ahead with Labour members.

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 in the Labour electoral college will respond, but how other gamblers will interpret events. Despite having explained this many times, gambling on a beauty contest (like this) is not about figuring out who is the prettiest girl, but who the judges will think is the prettiest girl. Good luck..

Intros hardly move the market.

Head-to-head is more of a side-by-side format.

Lots of flannel on the Iraq issue.

Promises from Harman of an end to spin.

No real move in the betting markets, Paxo demands yes/no answers. Cruddas says no to Trident and charitable schools. So that stakes him out on the left.

Alan Johnson and Blears appear to accept the post-Thatcher Blairite settlement.

Punters start to move against Hain. Johnson closes on Benn.

Paxo bows out with “who would vote for if you weren’t running?” Only Cruddas gives a straight answer (Blears Harman).

ENDS

Let the spinning begin…

Number Twos on Newsnight

In what frankly, even by political anorak standards, is a boring campaign so far, tonight offers the prospect of some interest as they go face-to-face tonight on Newsnight.

Benn is now favourite, followed by Johnson. Punters make the rest also rans.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Harman 7/1? Worth a Punt

Betfair has finally opened up a market on who will be the Labour number two – smart move guys, but the trading would have been more choppy earlier. Alan Johnson is favourite, Hilary Benn is behind him 5/2 and Harman is next at 7/1.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Punters Back Reid to Run

As the dire electoral performance drives home to the less lemming-like members of the Labour party the actual value of Gordon, money has shifted over to Reid on Betfair. The graph shows how the price has come in over the last five days.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Bookies Make Ming Even Money To Go

Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting.com alerts us to fact that Wiliam Hill have opened a book on Ming going before the General Election. His position is clearly weakened by the squeeze suffered by the LibDems nationally. The very real possibility of the LibDems finding themselves near-bankrupted by the necessity of paying back the millions from their fraudster backer adds to the pressure.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

SNP Knife-Edge Choppy for Punters

Guido has been trading the Betfair Scottish Most Seats market on Betfair badly as it bounces around. The odds have been inconclusive. Guido has managed to get himself into a situation where he wins £1.30 if Labour are the biggest party and loses substantially on every other possible outcome.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Odds Harden

Mike Smithson points out this morning that as political punters increasingly see Gordon as nigh-on a certainty, the odds on the Tories winning the general election become even firmer.

The correlation is striking.

+ READ MORE +

Blinky Balls : I Won’t Be Chancellor

Blinky BallsIn a puff piece in the Brownite Daily Mail, Blinky does a bit of false modesty and says “I still have a lot to learn.” He tells Dacre’s hacks, “No” he won’t be taking over at the Treasury “I have been a Minister for less than a year”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Profit from Politics

Those of you who took Guido’s advice and put some money on Milburn at 100/1 last night will be able to take profits and lay him at around 30/1 this morning. Even easier than investing in private equity…

+ READ MORE +



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