The next UK General election takes place on the 7th May 2015 and there is no doubt that this could be one of the most interesting votes since parliament began. The last election in 2010 saw a hung parliament, which led to a coalition between the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats and the smart money is already down on this being the case again in May.
For many years the UK general election has been something of a straight fight between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, with one or the other gaining an overall majority and other political parties such as the Liberal Democrats taking a smaller percentage of the vote. However with no overall majority last time out, the Liberal Democrats in third place had a major role to play in who gained power – this time around both the Liberal Democrats and UKIP could play that major role in the days following the 7th May.
In the last twenty years, Bookmakers have become more and more involved in the political process, offering odds on a whole host of differing political markets. You’ll find markets on the biggest elections worldwide, as well as every by-election that take place periodically in the UK when an MP has stepped down for any reason. However, the UK general election sits alongside the US presidential election in being the most popular gambling markets in the whole of politics.
Here, you’ll find a guide to all of the bets you’ll be able to place on the general election. We start with the market on who will be the Prime Minister after the general election. Then we take a look at which party will win the most seats and whether there will be an overall majority. Next up, we focus on how the next government will actually be formed, and we finish with a look at all of the other betting options available on the 2015 general election.
Prime Minister after 2015 General Election
You’d think this market would a straight fight between David Cameron and Ed Miliband, however there is a twist. Miliband is currently the slight favourite at odds of 4/5 with David Cameron available at even money. Interestingly however, it seems David Cameron is not absolutely certain to be the Conservative Party leader come election time, with both current Mayor of London Boris Johnson (9/1) and the home secretary Theresa May (15/1) both quoted by the bookmakers as potential leaders of the country come May.
Which Party will win Most Seats
This market is clear cut – a straight head to head between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Labour are available at a top price of 10/11, and you’ll be able to back the Conservatives at odds of 6/5. The two rank outsiders in the market are UKIP at a top price of 66/1 and the Liberal Democrats at a huge price of 1000/1.
Overall Majority Betting
Currently, the bookmakers think we’ll be looking at another hung parliament, with no overall majority leading the betting at odds of 4/7. Labour to gain power with an overall majority are 3/1 while you’ll be able to back the Conservatives at 4/1. UKIP and the Liberal Democrats once again attract big prices here.
How will the Government be formed
This is something of a new betting market, introduced since the coalition situation around the 2010 election. Here you’ll be betting on whether an individual party will gain power, or which parties may form a coalition to take power. You’ve already seen the odds for a Labour and Conservative overall majority in the previous market. Labour to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats is priced at 5/1, while a continuation of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is available at 6/1. Similarly, any coalition involving UKIP is offered at 6/1.
Other General Election Gambling Markets
For each individual party you’ll find total seats betting. You’ll find these available in two ways. Firstly, you’ll be able to bet on whether a particular party will gain more or less than a given number of seats. As an example, you’ll be able to wager on whether the Labour Party will gain more or less than 292.5 seats. You’ll also find banded ranges as another betting option, where for example you’ll be able to wager on the Labour Party gaining between 276-300 or 301-325 seats and many other ranges, each range individually priced.
The other popular way of betting on the Election is on the winner of each individual constituency. There are 650 seats to be won in the UK General Election, and you’ll find betting on each one. The biggest and most interesting of these markets are always those seen to be close, being key seats in the overall outcome of the general election.
For the biggest range of UK Election bets at the best prices, I strongly recommend BetFair. Choose 'Sports' from the top menu, then 'politics' from the left hand side list to see the options - which include consitiuency bets as well as the general ones. See www.betfair.com for more.