Hung Parliament odds hit all time low.

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In the space of under a month, the odds on a hung parliament after the election have moved from Evens to 4/7.

The main development behind this has been the startling polling coming out of Scotland showing the possibility of sweeping SNP gains, mainly at Labour’s expense. The continued good showing of the Greens at the polls has also hurt Labour disproportionately.

Meanwhile, UKIP’s numbers have shown no sign of declining and the prospect of a comfortable win for Mark Reckless in Rochester next week isn’t going to help the Tories – UKIP are now 1/33 to win the by-election.

Is the betting shift reflected in the political scientists’ forecasting models? I’ve taken the latest estimates from a couple of excellent sites; Steven Fisher at electionsetc and Chris Hanretty at ElectionForecast and compared them to the probabilities suggested by Ladbrokes’ latest odds

Result LADBROKES FISHER HANRETTY Average
NOM 59% 56% 79% 65%
Lab Maj 23% 19% 9% 17%
Con Maj 17% 25% 12% 18%

The Hanretty estimate of a hung parliament would make it just under a 1/4 chance, which makes our 4/7 offer look quite generous. Both models make a Tory majority more likely than a Labour one, although that isn’t reflected in the betting yet.

All of this makes the market on what the post-election government will emerge even more open. We’ve seen a bit of money in recent days for a Lab/LD/SNP coalition, which has shortened up from 33/1 to 20/1.

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Matthew Shaddick

Matthew Shaddick has been Head of Poliical Betting at Ladbrokes since 2008. He's a writer and odds-maker with particular expertise in UK and US elections. Also known to dabble in music, literary and other out of the way betting markets. Sometimes issues tips on horse racing and football, which are best ignored.


One Comment

Will 2015 be the year First-Past-the-Post finally breaks? | Matter Of Facts

[…] This may or may not result in a hung parliament. If it does then in time 2015 rather than 2010 may well seem like the aberration. Unless the two main parties can improve their standing well above their current levels then parliaments in which no party has a majority are likely to be the norm. And even if by some fluke one of them is able to command a majority is that really healthy: do we want a situation where 65-70% of voters supported someone other than the party that wound up in power? […]

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