Betting on politics: who will get the most seats in the general election?

The passage of legislation ensuring an election on 12 December means that my advice to bet on an election happening in either October or November proved unfounded. However, my earlier tip, made back in August 2017, that there would be a general election in 2019, 2020 or 2021, has paid out. The news looks good for the bookies and betting exchanges too – £1.27m has been matched on Betfair alone on which party will get most seats.

Given the Conservatives’ lead in the polls, it’s no surprise that they are the firm favourites to get most seats, with Betfair putting their odds at 1.18 (84.7%). Ladbrokes is also offering 1/6 (85.7%) on them being the largest party. In contrast, Labour’s odds are 8.4 (11.9%). Punters on Betfair still think that there is a near even chance of another hung parliament at 2.06 (48.5%), with Ladbrokes offering slightly better odds of 11/10 (47.6%) on there being no overall majority.
Although I won’t be making any tip on the above bets yet, I’m much more certain that Nigel Farage (pictured) won’t be celebrating on 13 December, as Boris Johnson’s entry into Downing Street has pushed support for his Brexit Party back down to just over 10%. Indeed, I’d be very surprised if it did better than Ukip’s share in 2015. With Farage admitting that his party won’t contest every seat, it’s a good idea to take the 1.24 (80.6%) on Smarkets that Farage will not become an MP, as well as the 2.14 (46.8%) on Betfair on them getting fewer than 0.5 seats.

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