With the coming General Election so tough to call, Ladbrokes’ 7/1 about the politicians of Westminster having to go to the country twice next year, as part of the bookies’ 2015 specials, ranks a pretty tidy wager.
No overall majority after the May poll looks a banker at present, with 4/11 saying none of the parties make it over the magic number of 325 seats it takes to form a government on their own, and there are no guarantees that coalition building will be as straightforward as in 2010.
Back then, the Liberal Democrats were so desperate for ministerial red boxes and black cars that their upper echelons laid on a charm offensive with the rank and file, who voted en masse to team up with the Conservatives.
The yellows are highly likely to be decimated for their efforts this time though; even the most optimistic oracles (usually fellow Lib Dems) expect Nick Clegg’s lot to lose at least 20 of their 56 House of Commons representatives.
If Labour end up with the highest number of seats, as most opinion polls suggest they will at present, though narrowly, then they’ll likely be forced to strike alliances with a Scottish National Party they clearly despise, or Clegg’s crowd, who are no longer natural bedfellows of the reds.
Throw in a dash of UKIP, a splash of the unpredictable Northern Irish and Welsh parties, and you’ve got yourself a pretty chaotic parliament.
The last time the two main parties finished as good as neck and neck in a General Election was February 1974, and there was another go the following October, so this is hardly unprecedented. 7/1 looks big enough under the circumstances.
Another special that deserves a second glance is the 1/1 about Clegg being replaced in 2015.
The Deputy Prime Minister is having to fight tooth-and-nail merely to hang on to his Sheffield Hallam seat, where he made a pretty silly promise to rather a lot of students in the university of the same name, and Labour really don’t want to go into coalition with the poor chap.
Whoever loses the election goes, so this wager comes down to tribal loyalties, but those of a Tory persuasion might like the look of the 6/1 about Boris Johnson taking over from his old Etonian ‘chum’ in the party hotseat before next year is out.
Ladbrokes also go 1/1 (from 2/1) about Greece leaving the Eurozone in 2015, but people have been banging that drum for four years and nothing has happened. In betting parlance, this wager is best watched.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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