It is quite often the case that the Bookies are more right about an election result than the opinion polls. In this coming election, are they right?

They base their odds initially on the data they have, and then on the amount of money they take. In the first case, they are constrained to the same data sets we are – the last election results and the current opinion polls. As I have pointed out in my articles so many times before, the polls paint a bleaker picture for us than we actually achieve in elections, with their method of allocating the “Don’t Knows” in the proportions of the 2010 popular vote (UKIP 3.1%) and other “weightings”. There seems to be little indication that the Bookies have cracked this little “fiddle factor”.

On the national polls, William Hill are currently offering:

  • A most likely outcome for the Tories at 301-325 seats (5/2)
  • A most likely Labour outcome at 276-300 (15/8)
  • SNP Best bet of 36-40 seats (hence lower Labour vote)
  • UKIP 5/1 on winning 50+ seats (10/1 on 100+)

When it comes to individual constituencies, not all bookmakers offer bets on all seats, so it is best to use this site to find the best odds. I must admit to starting to build a table from the William Hill site, and then discovering some significant omissions such as Clacton, so switched to Odds Checker.

The punters, often local ones, will then take into account how they see individual seats, so, for example, South Basildon and East Thurrock had the second best Euro election result, but the bookies have it down at UKIP hopeful #17, with odds of 10/3. On the other hand, there are seats such as Somerton & Frome (242nd in the Euros) that now figures as UKIP’s 13th most likely, with UKIP on a 5/2 chance of winning.

What is really odd is that despite the overall betting odds of 5/1 on 50+ seats, there are only 4 seats where UKIP is favourite to win (Clacton, Great Yarmouth, Thanet South, Thurrock) plus one of a dead tie with the Tories: Boston & Skegness.  There are only a total of 27 seats with odds of better than 5/1, so how they arrived at the 50+ seats odds is an utter mystery to me. However, we must live in hope, perhaps Nigel’s prediction of “the balance of power” will come true, and we will have around that number of seats.

I’ve constructed a table showing this data, which is mostly self-explanatory, although I have only gone down to seats where UKIP is on 12/1 – I admit self-interest, my seat is one of those! I have added a column for the ranking from the Euro results, so that any wild variations from the voting at that election can be seen. There are some notable omissions: for example, Basildon & Billericay got 9th best Euro result, but I am sure that George Konstanides will prove that election result to be right when it comes to the General Election!

# Constituency Bookies’ Choice On Odds UKIP Odds Euro Rank
1 Clacton UKIP 1/10 6
2 Great Yarmouth UKIP 6/5 3
3 Thanet South UKIP 4/7 4
4 Thurrock UKIP 8/13 1
5 Boston and Skegness Conservative
UKIP
Evens
Evens
8
6 Rochester and Strood Conservative 4/5 10/11 12
7 Castle Point Conservative 9/10 Evens 7
8 Great Grimsby Labour 8/15 6/4 5
9 Thanet North Conservative 4/7 6/4 26
10 Sittingbourne and Sheppey Conservative 3/10 12/5 25
11 Louth and Horncastle Conservative 3/10 5/2 38
12 Rotherham Labour 2/7 5/2 89
13 Somerton and Frome Conservative
Lib Dem
1/3
5/2
5/2 242
14 Cannock Chase Labour
Conservative
Evens
15/8
11/4 10
15 Folkestone and Hythe Conservative 1/3 3/1 37
16 Camborne and Redruth Conservative 4/9 3/1 64
17 S. Basildon and E. Thurrock Conservative 1/2 10/3 2
18 Dudley North Labour 1/5 7/2 13
19 Dover Conservative 4/9 7/2 30
20 Isle of Wight Conservative 2/9 7/2 41
21 Wyre Forest Conservative 1/2 7/2 76
22 Cleethorpes Conservative
Labour
4/6
9/4
4/1 19
23 Eastleigh Lib Dem
Conservative
4/7
11/4
4/1 56
24 St Austell and Newquay Conservative
Lib Dem
4/6 4/1 61
25 Gillingham and Rainham Conservative 1/7 9/2 11
26 Walsall North Labour 1/4 5/1 84
27 Cambridgeshire N.W. Conservative 2/17 5/1 175
28 Dudley South Conservative
Labour
10/11
6/5
11/2 14
29 Plymouth, Moor View Labour 1/6 11/2 33
30 Rother Valley Labour 1/10 11/2 90
31 Gravesham Conservative 1/7 6/1 20
32 Hartlepool Labour 1/7 6/1 44
33 Kettering Conservative 1/6 6/1 195
34 Christchurch Conservative 1/10 6/1 273
35 Portsmouth South Conservative
Lib Dem
11/10
6/5
13/2 31
36 Walsall South Labour 1/7 13/2 85
37 Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Conservative 1/20 7/1 95
38 Crawley Conservative 3/10 15/2 88
39 Torbay Lib Dem
Conservative
8/11
Evens
8/1 29
40 Mansfield Labour 1/19 8/1 35
41 Harwich and North Essex Conservative 1/14 8/1 36
42 Aldridge-Brownhills Conservative 1/33 8/1 83
43 Brigg and Goole Conservative 2/9 8/1 93
44 Bournemouth West Conservative 1/25 8/1 113
45 Wentworth and Deane Labour 1/33 8/1 117
46 Hull East Labour 1/25 8/1 125
47 Doncaster North Labour 1/20 8/1 178
48 Derbyshire South Conservative
Labour
1/6
15/2
8/1 184
49 Dagenham and Rainham Labour 1/14 8/1 189
50 Basingstoke Conservative 1/20 8/1 350
51 Tewkesbury Conservative 1/25 8/1 379
52 Harlow Conservative
Labour
1/3
11/4
9/1 18
53 Newcastle-under-Lyme Labour 1/10 9/1 21
54 Telford Labour
Conservative
1/4 9/1 42
55 The Wrekin Conservative` 1/14 9/1 55
56 Norfolk South West Conservative 1/25 9/1 74
57 Spelthorne Conservative 1/16 9/1 79
58 Devon North Lib Dem
Conservative
10/11
11/10
9/1 100
59 Penistone and Stockbridge Labour 1/6 9/1 279
60 Heywood and Middleton Labour 1/25 9/1 390
61 Stoke on Trent South Labour 1/50 10/1 23
62 Rayleigh and Wickford Conservative 1/100 10/1 39
63 Redcar Labour 1/10 10/1 40
64 Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative 1/33 10/1 46
65 Rochford and Southend E. Conservative 1/25 10/1 59
66 Truro and Falmouth Conservative
Lib Dem
1/4
7/2
10/1 63
67 Chatham and Alyesford Conservative
Labour
2/9
5/1
10/1 72
68 Hull North Labour 1/16 10/1 126
69 Forest of Dean Conservative 33/1 10/1 144
70 Bexhill and Battle Conservative 1/50 10/1 197
71 Newton Abbot Conservative
Lib Dem
1/8
6/1
10/1 221
72 Wolverhampton S.E. Labour 1/100 10/1 254
73 Weston-super-Mare Conservative 1/7 10/1 264
74 Devon East Conservative 1/9 10/1 267
75 Halesowen and Rowley R. Labour
Conservative
4/6
11/8
11/1 134
76 Hornchurch and Upminster Conservative 1/50 12/1 17
77 Stoke on Trent Central Labour 1/50 12/1 24
78 Dartford Conservative 1/10 12/1 27
79 Hull West and Hessle Labour 1/100 12/1 45
80 Cambridgeshire N.E. Conservative 1/100 12/1 48
81 Waveney Labour
Conservative
1/3
11/4
12/1 52
82 Blackpool N. and Cleveley Conservative
Labour
5/6
Evens
12/1 58
83 Southend West Conservative 1/50 12/1 66
84 St Ives Conservative
Lib Dem
8/11 12/1 67
85 Scunthorpe Labour 1/20 12/1 73
86 Norfolk North West Conservative 1/50 12/1 77
87 Southampton, Itchen Labour
Conservative
1/2
7/4
12/1 92
88 Canterbury Conservative 1/19 12/1 94
89 Braintree Conservative 1/33 12/1 120
90 Haltemprice and Howden Conservative 1/100 12/1 129
91 Ashford Conservative 1/50 12/1 147
92 Stone Conservative 1/100 12/1 171
93 Barnsley East Labour 1/100 12/1 224
94 Bromsgrove Conservative 1/100 12/1 249
95 Leicestershire South Conservative 1/100 12/1 263
96 Cambridgeshire S.E. Conservative 1/33 12/1 363
97 Hampshire North West Conservative 1/50 12/1 372
98 Rochdale Labour 1/14 12/1 389
99 Easington Labour 1/100 12/1 431
100 West Bromwich East Labour 1/50 12/1 458
101 Eltham Labour 1/16 12/1 498
102 Blaenau Gwent Labour 1/33 12/1 514
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