The Conservative government has announced another summer of political frolics by calling for a Snap Election on 8 June, in order to gain a PM Theresa May a clean mandate for Brexit.
SBC Bookies Corner discusses whether Theresa made the right call judging her opposition, and what impact if any will this Election have on the UK political landscape and its context…
SBC: Has PM Theresa May made a dangerous call in order to increase the slender Tory 17 seat majority? Is this snap General Election worth the risk/reward for the conservative party?
Feilim Mac An Iomaire (Paddy Power Head of PR): At present, Theresa May’s expected return on this election is an addition 40 seats against an opposition that appears to be in turmoil. May will almost certainly extend her PM leadership by two years winning the Snap Election.
The real election concern will centre on the Labour Party who at present are likely to take a hard hit of around 60 seats lost, as Conservative and Lib-Dem eat into their Parliamentary representation.
Analysing the above strengthens and May’ position going into a tough negotiation period over Brexit where a lot of legislation will have to go through the house. To Paddy Power, the Snap Election call looks like a shrewd move thus far!
SBC: Can bookmakers gather any relevant information from 50-days of campaigning, and furthermore are the British Public in the mood for another summer of Political hijinks (2014’s Sottish Referendum, 2015 General Election and 2016 EU Referendum)?
Tim Reynolds (Sun Bets Head of PR): At Sun Bets we’re in the unique situation of working hand-in-hand with some of the best political journalists in the country, who naturally shape our pricing of key betting events like General Elections and referendums. The Sun has an incredible record of calling the result of General Elections and referendums for decades, so we’re taking eagerly following the newspaper’s lead on this one! We were very successful in our trading of the Stoke and Copeland by-elections based on Sun journalist information, and we hope to emulate that in this election.
Quite how the short campaigning period will impact on the election remains to be seen, but we’re unlikely to see voter interest wain- which can happen in longer campaigning windows. The vast majority of our customers are Sun readers, and after the Tory win in 2015 and Brexit last year, our customer base is probably more excited by another big political vote than at the other companies! One thing’s for sure, we’ll be best price for Labour wherever we can be- and campaigning hard for every bet!
SBC: Theresa May has said no to TV-debates. Does the PM need to broaden her Party’s agenda beyond the sole context of Brexit and could a TV No-Show move backfire on the Tories giving free airtime to their opponents?
Graham Sharpe (William Hill Media Director): At present, we offer 5/2 that Theresa May will eventually appear in a televised leader debate during the campaign. Her advisers are likely to suggest to her that to fail to do so could signal a lack of confidence to the voters, and that, along with the belief that the turnout will be on the low side, could well work against the Tories, already having to deal with allegations that the unexpected early election is something of a vanity project by Mrs May.
However, 2/7 that she won’t take part in such a debate suggests that she will probably ignore the advice to take part.
SBC: Has the demise of the Labour Party been overstated by bookmakers? Will a Snap Election-driven purely on the mandate of Brexit break the Labour heartlands?
Pascal Lemesre (Smarkets – Press Lead): The Conservatives are extremely heavy favourites (1.09, or 92% implied probability) to win the most seats according to traders on our exchange, but it is hard to imagine anyone getting near them given the short 50-day window until polling day, especially with Brexit front and centre in voters’ minds.
Labour may have recently announced policies appealing to much of the public, but the party does seem to be in turmoil under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and it will be interesting to see how they recover, and if Corbyn departs, should the party suffer devastating results in its ‘safe’ seats on June 8. It would require a monumental turnaround for them to seriously challenge Theresa May in this election.
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