McCain – Is He Really Out of the Race?

Betfair is offering 5/1 on a McCain victory. That seems a bit steep for a two horse race. Sure he is behind, sure Palin is appalling the East Coast liberal media and the BBC, but 5/1?

Tempting odds for a value bet. When you drill down in some of the most likely to vote groups, McCain is strong, older voters for instance. Even if almost all Hollywood stars are voting for The One, they are not that numerically strong. Do you really think this going be a wipe-out for the Republicans?

PLP Changes Bets

The collapse of the Miliband putsch and reports from the PLP that there is to be an end to hostilities” has made Guido shift his bets. Guido is now backing a May 2010 general election date with the Labour Party led by Gordon Brown. (Incidentally, you can get 12 /1 on Brown leading his party and Cameron not, an outside bet if you feel lucky.)

It seems to Guido that not even a disaster in Glenrothes will divert the Labour Party from its lemming instinct.

+++ FSA Bans Short Selling +++

First they came for the capitalists…

(Guido is short FTSE Futures. What are you going to do Gordon?)

Calling the Brown Bottom*

Back in August 2007 when Brown was walking on water and the Tories were arguing over grammar schools, Guido put money on the Tories (at 3/1) being the biggest party in parliament post a General Election.
It is worth checking the comments to see how crazy people thought it at the time. Having correctly called the top with Brown, Guido is now calling the “Brown Bottom”. Guido is backing on Betfair a Labour win in Glasgow East, despite what the pundits think and also getting long Labour seats for a General Election with spread bets seems to be a win-win. If Labour win Glasgow East, Guido coins it on the by-election and the relief will translate into an improvement in their General Election seats expectations. If they lose Glasgow East they will surely have to get rid of the Prime Mentalist, which will also improve their seats expectations. Win-win…

*Not to be confused with what chartists of the gold market call theBrown Bottom, when he told the gold market in advance that he was going to sell off Britain’s gold reserves. The traders immediately got short ahead of the sales, profited on the way down as gold plunged, filled their boots as they bought back their shorts and some more for the greatest gold market rally of the twentieth century. An act of imprudent financial stupidity that some describe as treasonous.

Punters Favour Winter Exit for Brown

Punters on Betfair make a post party conference exit for Brown favourite at 5/2, with the odds on him lasting another year lengthening to 9/1. Could he be shown the door under the guise of ill-health? The contempt in which he is held in private by his own party is pitiful.

Guido suspects (hopes) Gordon will last until the general election…

Crewe & Nantwich Betting

After seeing some of the LibDem campaign literature and the undeniable fact that the Labour odds have lengthened even further, Guido has covered his bet taking the hit and cutting his losses on that Labour bet.
The LibDems are not repeating the mistake they made in the Mayorals. They attacked Boris when the public was moving towards the Tories. This election they are going with the popular flow and attacking Labour. Their advertising says “Send a Message to Gordon Brown”. They might take some votes from disillusioned Labour voters who can’t bring themselves to vote Tory. More bad news for Tamsin…

+++ Paddy Power Pays Out Bets on Boris +++

According to Mike Smithson over on Politicalbetting.com.

+++ Bookies Slash Odds on Tory Majority to Evens +++

Punters have switched from expecting a hung parliament to a Tory majority after the general election. Smart money or over exuberance?

+++ LIVE CHAT INTERACTIVE +++

@ 22.33

Boris Johnson 1.17 / 1.18

Ken Livingstone 6.4 / 6.8

Brian Paddick 370 / 490

@ 22.42

Betfair has First preference percentage share bets

Punters are backing Boris to have more than 40% and Ken to have between 35% to 40%.

Des Browne is chanting on Question Time “there is no issue of Gordon’s leadership” clearly this mantra is the offical “line to take”.

@ 23.05

Richard Littlejohn just right-hooked Polly Toynbee with a counter-punch when she asked what did he know about people on average wages. he retorted with an inquiry about her flights to her villa in Italy. She looked shaken and said “lets not get into this way”. Oh please do…

Told You So…

Now even Peter Riddell is writing off Labour maybe Guido should think about changing his bets. Six months ago it all looked so different didn’t it? You could have got 3/1 on the Tories being the biggest party. Not now…

The Darling Brown stance on the economy is essentially cross-your-fingers. No growth package, no boost to the property market, nothing. They are kidding themselves if they think voters will return to them in times of trouble. The City is bracing itself, the credit crunch is about fear. Darling thinks he can bore the economy better…

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 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.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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