Political Spread Betting

Political Spread Betting: Theresa May Laughing
Will Theresa May Be Laughing Come 9 June 2017?


19 May 2017: Lib Dems Hammered (and not in a good way)

  • trending_downLib Dems – in free fall, the market has fallen from 29 – 31 seats to 13 – 15 seats
  • trending_upLabour – making gains and up 20 seats from their low. Now trading at 170 – 174 seats
  • star_halfConservatives – a little off the highs but in a commanding position at 392.5 – 396.5 seats
  • errorUKIP – no one cares. The spread is 0.01 – 0.3 = 0 seats

12 May 2017: Election Price Update

Note – below we mostly use the Financial Spreads prices (but IG, CoreSpreads etc. also have markets).

If you are thinking of trading then shop around, the spread widths on Financial Spreads seem reasonable but you might find better prices elsewhere.

Political betting markets normally are pretty inefficient (and sometimes have wide spreads).

Election Spreads:
Political Spread Betting: UK Election Prices on 12 May 2017
Above IG prices as of 9:30pm, 12 May 2017


11 May 2017: Warning – Check the Election Market Detail

A warning for everyone wanting to buy IG’s Conservative Majority market (see screenshot above).

This is not a ‘seats’ based market.

The Conservative Majority market will either settle at 0 (no Conservative majority) or 100 (Conservative majority).

If you buy the market then your max upside is 3x your stake and the max downside is a cheeky 97x your stake.


5 May 2017: Election Price Update

Political Spread Betting: UK Election
FinancialSpreads prices as of 12:00pm, 5 May 2017


5 May 2017: Conservative Party Could Beat Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 Landslide Win

The results of last week’s local elections have given the Tories another boost.

Before the local elections, FinancialSpreads’s “Conservative seats” market was 388.5 – 392.5. As the results came out, the market moved about 10 seats higher to 398 – 402 seats.

The Labour party seats market dived, it dropped 10 seats from 160 – 164 to 150 – 154.


How to Calculate the Conservative Majority

1) Find the mid-price of the sell-price and the buy-price.

Market Sell-Price Buy-Price Mid-Price
Conservative Seats 398 402 400
Labour Seats 150 154 152
Green Seats 0.8 1.3 1.05
Lib Dem Seats 23.5 25.5 24.5
Other Seats 21.5 23.5 22.5
SNP Seats 46 48.5 47.25
UKIP Seats 0.1 0.5 0.3
Total Opposition Seats 241.9 253.3 247.6
Conservative Majority 156.1 148.7 152.4
Above, FinancialSpreads.com prices as of 12:00pm, 5 May 2017.


2) The above mid-prices give an estimate of the Tories getting 400 seats and “Total Opposition” being 247.6 seats.

3) There are 650 seats in the UK Parliament so let’s say we round up a few missing seats from the average (mid-price) to non-Conservative parties, that gives the opposition 250 seats

4) It’s pretty simple maths from here. 400 Conservative seats – 250 opposition seats = a Conservative majority of 150 seats.

Maggie had a 144 seat majority in 1983.

Having said that, Theresa May is still some way off Tony Blair’s 1997 and 2001 majorities of 179 and 167 seats respectively.


Why Such a Big Lead for the Tories?

I guess that’s what happens when:
  • arrow_forwardLabour choose an unelectable leader and take a big step to the left
  • arrow_forwardUKIP become redundant and move to the right
  • arrow_forwardThe Liberal Democrats are still rebuilding
The above leaves a lot of room for the Conservatives even if Theresa May’s party is edging further to the right.


Political Betting Markets May Be a Little Frothy!

Note that many people with spread betting accounts are male, 35-65 and live in the south-east. Their own personal bias could easily be pushing these markets a little higher than they should be.

Of course… if you think the prices are codswallop you could sell / trade accordingly! (but be very careful if you trade. Politics or not, spread betting is high risk.

For something with a fixed downside you could try a site like betfair.


Want More on Politics Betting?

Take a look at Mike Smithson’s PoliticalBetting.com, it’s an excellent and unbiased site with pretty much daily coverage and plenty of poll updates.

Or just join Smithson’s +40,000 follows on Twitter.