Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Article excerpt

The Bet: Who will win the general election?

Labour 4-11

Tories 2-1

Lib Dems 50-1

Source: Ladbrokes

Six weeks ago, you could have got 4-1 on the Tories winning the election. Today, the odds have been cut to 2-1. Labour has also seen its odds change, from 1-5 to 4-11. All this will be good news for the Tories, because the bookies are a far better guide to changes in people's voting intentions than the opinion polls. As I've said before, the bookies almost never get it wrong. The problem with the odds at this stage is that they are based on very small amounts of money being wagered. Ladbrokes says that it has had only [pounds]3,000-[pounds]4,000 staked in the past six weeks. One punter wanted to put [pounds]1,000 on the Tories, but thought that odds of 2-1 were too stingy.

Some hacks are now talking openly of a Labour defeat next May, but they don't live in the real world. …

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