Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Article excerpt

The Bet: How many seats will the parties win at the next general election?

As we head off for our three-week summer break (three-month break in the case of MPs), it is time to look again at the spread-bet odds where most of the election betting money will be staked. At the last general election, it is estimated that the bookies made more than [pound]2m on spread bets alone. Those intelligent or lucky enough to predict Labour's landslide made a fortune, while the majority lost one.

When we looked at these odds in May, the difference between Labour and the Tories was 100 seats, with Labour at 345-355 and the Tories at 235-245. Astonishingly, the odds on Labour have strengthened, while those on the Tories have remained the same.

As keep telling anyone who will listen, the bookies have a better record than the pollsters when it comes to predicting election results. …

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