Bookmakers have had no time to ease back to work following the Easter Break as Prime Minister Theresa May this morning called for an unexpected 8 June Snap UK General Election, in order to drive a clean mandate for Brexit.
Reacting to the news, the majority of UK bookmakers have slashed the odds on a Conservative Party victory to 1/14 (91% chance of winning). However, the still divisive matter of Brexit sees the chances of a ‘Hung-Parliament’ (no clear majority) outcome being priced at 5/1, which would severely limit PM May’s future political manoeuvrings.
Updating the media, Betfair Spokesperson, Naomi Totten commented on early markets: “The Conservatives had already been the clear favourite to win both Most Seats and an Overall Majority in the next General Election and their odds have further shortened and now have around a 90% chance of both following Theresa May’s statement that she would seek a June 8 date on Tuesday morning.
While bookmakers point towards a Tory victory, the Labour Party will start its General Election campaign having been issued the ‘longest odds’ in UK political history, with a number of bookmakers placing Labour at 14/1 to gain victory.
Further bad news for the Labour Party sees bookmakers short of confidence for party leader Jeremy Corbyn who has been priced at ½ to be removed of leadership duties on or before the 9 June.
Early political forecasts have placed the Liberal Democrats as the party who have the most to gain from the snap election call, but bookmakers note taht the Lib-Dems have a ‘long road to recovery’ pricing the party at 25-1.
Issuing a market update Graham Sharpe William Hill Political Lead stated “The next General Election campaign has started badly for us – we face a £23,000 loss if the Election does go ahead on June 8 after the odds for a 2017 Election were shortened from 5/1 to 2/1. We took some £3million on the last General Election, and £5m on the US Election, so we anticipate huge betting interest on a June 8 General Election.”
Meanwhile on the supplier side Mitsuya Fujimoto, CEO of Ganapati Malta, said that things are too muddled for business at the moment. He said: “In the wake of Brexit, UK business desperately needs security, stability and a clear vision. Today’s announcement is not going to help to sustain such stability in the short term. However, in the longer term, if decisively won, the General Election would bring Mrs. May a strong mandate to move forwards with her plan to secure the best possible deal for the UK, without distraction.
“Britain is, and will continue to remain, the gateway to the rest of the world. It is a stepping stone for Far East businesses like ours seeking to break into and expand within European and American markets. This is why, on deciding where to establish our international headquarters three years ago, the pull of the UK was strong and remains so, despite Brexit. As a UK-based business with a global remit, we hope the UK government can move forwards quickly to provide the country with a clear direction of travel.”
The 2017 Snap General Election sees another summer of political hijinks for the UK general public, following 2014’s Scottish Referendum, 2015’s UK General Elections and 2016’s Eu Referendum, in what appears to be becoming a ‘very British tradition!’