As I’m sure many of my readers are aware, a general election is looming in the United Kingdom, on the 12th December 2019.
After the humbling experience of 2017, where I failed to forecast the hung parliament that resulted (although I wasn’t alone in that failure!), this will prove a difficult election to call. The polls indicate, so far, that the Tories are leading with approximately 11% of the vote compared to the Labour party but these are early days (literally) in the campaign.
One area where I do have a stronger conviction on what the likely eventual outcome will be is in Scotland.
The commentariat took the view that the SNP would sweep the board in the June 2017 campaign but this turned out to be wrong. The Tories, supported by industrial levels of tactical voting won numerous seats from the SNP.
One of the few Scottish commentators who successfully forecast this result was a Scottish Labour supporter called Ian Smart. Here is his snapshot of his forecast just prior to the June 2017 election:
Ian Smart blog
He has just completed his blog post on where he thinks this election will go and he is forecasting, contrary to nearly everybody else, that the Tories will gain seats in this election. You can read his blog post here.
Given his track record, and in my opinion his compelling argument that the Unionists will come out, again, to frustrate the SNP push for a 2nd referendum during this campaign, this is worthy of a small asymmetrical bet.
Ian Smart blog
As a disclaimer, political betting is about probabilities and there is no guarantee that you will make profit from taking bets. You should only bet on what you can afford to lose.
The Scottish Conservatives currently have 13 MP’s and they are widely considered, after the loss of their charismatic leader Ruth Davidson to be in for a drubbing. This is therefore a high-risk trade.
I would recommend that you place small deposits on two potential outcomes which look likely if Ian Smart forecast (as of now) comes true or anywhere near it. Smart is currently forecasting that the Scottish Conservatives will gain 4 seats, taking their overall tally of MP’s to 17. A major caveat is that this might change as the campaign evolves.
The UK political betting website Coral is the only firm, at least as far as I can find, that offers betting opportunities on the size of the Scottish Conservatives seats tally.
So, to conclude, the worst-case scenario is that the Scottish Tories fail to get 11 MP’s and you will lose £50. Should the Tories get between 11 to 15 seats, you will make a overall return (minus the £25 lost on the 16 plus bet) of £125.
Should the Scottish Tories do as well as Ian is saying in his blog, you will see a return of £400 (factoring in your loss of deposit of £25 on the 11-15 bet).
For me, this is a political betting opportunity worth taking but of course this is entirely up to you.
I also must remind readers that they need to check whether political betting is legal in their country of residence.
The Coral betting company is easy to register with. Note that there appears to be restrictions on how much you can bet on the 16 to 1 odds and I could only bet a maximum of £25.
I will be writing a full blog post this month of my thoughts on the likely outcome of this general election.
As always, I look forward to any feedback you can give on my writings.