The U.K. election is set to be the closest in a generation, with polls putting the two biggest parties, the Conservatives and Labour Party, neck and neck.
So, betting experts here pick out wagers they say offer value and just might make some money from the May 7 vote. In gambling terms, that doesn’t mean these are sure-fire winners, but more likely to happen than the current odds indicate.
Matthew Shaddick, head of political odds at Ladbrokes Plc:
“The 5-2 for Labour to get most votes is looking good value now; they are ahead in most polling averages and time is running out.
‘‘I believe that’s still very underestimated by the markets, given how difficult it is going to be for Cameron to form a government on most current projections.
‘‘I like the Liberal Democrats to win Watford at 2-1. They have the very popular Mayor of Watford standing as their candidate. If they gain any seat in the country that they didn’t win in 2010, this will probably be it.
‘‘Maybe the Lib Dems to hold Gordon, where former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond is standing, at around 5-1. There’s a chance that Conservative and Labour voters will vote tactically to stop the SNP there.’’
Graham Sharpe, William Hill Plc:
‘‘I can’t see beyond Boris Johnson at 9-4 to be the next Tory leader. David Cameron will have to stand down if he doesn’t form the next government, and even if he does, he has already said he won’t serve another term. Boris may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but is a proven election winner.
‘‘For an outside flutter, how about Scotland to be independent by the end of 2024 at 5-1? With the SNP flying high there seems sure to be another referendum soon and a ‘Yes’ vote is very likely next time.
‘‘Finally, the Lib Dems to poll more votes than either Al ‘Pub Landlord’ Murray or the Greens in South Thanet, at current William Hill odds of 6-5. ‘Novelty’ candidates tend to get more publicity than they are entitled to, but fewer votes than one might expect.’’
Féilim Mac An Iomaire, Paddy Power:
A Labour minority government at 11-8.
‘‘With the Liberal Democrats burned by coalition participation, and the SNP willing to support Labour, the option that has increasing likelihood is that of a Labour minority government.’’
Leon Blanche, Boylesports:
A Labour minority government priced at 13-8 with various bookmakers.
‘‘A Conservative/Liberal Democrat government is unlikely as they simply won’t get enough seats for a majority and other parties are eager for Cameron to vacate Downing Street.
‘‘Labour seem reluctant to form a coalition with the SNP, but I think they would be happy to have them as an ally in a minority government. With Nicola Sturgeon stating almost anything is better than Cameron in control and publicly backing Ed Miliband to a degree, a Labour minority could well be the outcome.’’
Leighton Vaughan Williams, director of the Betting Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University:
‘‘How many prime ministers will there be in 2015? Currently the market stands at one, but if Cameron leaves office and someone else, Miliband for example, is appointed, it will make up as two. If Cameron or someone else now replaces Miliband down the line, or after another election, it makes up a three.
‘‘Sporting Index have set the market as 1.5-1.7. So buy at 1.7 if you think two or more prime ministers, sell at 1.5 if you think Cameron will stay in office.’’