2016 turned out to be the big year of political shocks, first Brexit, then Trump. The conclusion was that politics was too unpredictable. Thats not really true though. If you look at the polls, both events were within the margin of error. A few did predict them both.
In 2017, the polls seems to be a lot better or at the least the races a lot wider apart so that polling errors won't make a difference. In the French election, after Macron and Le Penn were confirmed at the final 2, the odds on a Macron win were a massive 1.14. That might not seem like a lot but when polls put both Macron 20 points ahead in a head to head, the true odds should be something like 1.01.
A similar thing is happening with the UK general election. The Tories are in some polls 20 points ahead. With the first past the post system and safe seats it looks like its going to be a landslide Tory majority. The Sunday Express are saying that “May to smash Maggie record”. A Tory win is almost all but certain.
So what are the odds on this? 1.02, 1.03? Looking on Betfair, its actually 1.07.
That a cracking price. However, there is an even better bet. If you look at the odds for most seats, its 1.04 for Tories to just win the most seats. Thats almost half the odds but is it half as likely?
Before parliament was dissolved, the seats looks like this
|Social Democratic & Labour Party||3|
|Ulster Unionist Party||2|
|UK Independence Party||1|
|Total number of seats||650|
|Working Government Majority||17|
For the Tories to lose the most seats bet, Labour would have to win 51 seats at the expense of the Tories. That's impossible given the current situation. You could maybe see a possibility for a hung parliament, with all the marginals going to Labour or the Lib Dems, the 1.07 is safe but you can see some risk. Maybe a terror attack and the government deal really badly with it, could cause a shift on polling day. The difference in the two bets is absolutely huge though. The “Most seats bets” is certain whereas the “Conservative Majority” bet is highly likely but you could see some circumstances where it may fail to win.
So if you want to bet on the election, the smart money is on the Tory Most seats. The best price currently is at Betfred which gives a 1.04 price for Most Seats.
I don't know the limits there but if you want to take a slightly smaller price, you can pretty much put what you want on at Betfair Exchange. At the moment, there is about £10,000 that can be bet at 1.04. That'd be a nice £400 profit minus the 5% commission. Net profit £380. Thats much better than money sat in a bank. Obviously there is some risk there but as explained the chances of it happening are slim to none*.
I've taken the wager myself. Thats all my betting bank on the Tory Most seats. Come June 8th, that will be be a winner. Tories may not get a majority but they'll not lose 51 seats to the Labour Party.
* Shocks do happen, do not bet what you cannot afford to lose. When the fun stops, STOP.