UK punters back Tory majority following Leaders’ debate

With the General Election looming, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has maintained the backing of UK punters, with betting exchanges showing that punters are favouring a Tory majority government.

Tuesday’s leaders debate, which saw Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn go head-to-head on ITV, saw the two clash over topics such as Brexit and the NHS

But with controversies over the Tory party rebranding its press office Twitter feed as a fact-checking service during the debate, betting exchange Smarkets saw punters trade in favour of a Conservative-win in the upcoming election. 

Sarbjit Bakhshi, Head of Politics at Smarkets, explained: “Yesterday’s ITV debate was the first time we’ve seen Johnson and Corbyn go head-to-head outside the Commons, and each set out the battle lines they will use to frame the election. 

“Johnson pushed the ‘Get Brexit Done’ angle, counting on the weariness of the electorate and Corbyn being unable to say whether he’d campaign for or against Brexit in a future referendum. Corbyn focused on anti-austerity, increasing public spending on infrastructure and used NHS underfunding to drive home points on the spectre of a trade deal with the US.

“It has been said that this election is for Johnson to lose, and according to the snap YouGov poll following the debate on who did better, Johnson marginally won at 51%, putting in a competent but not outstanding performance. 

“Since the debate, Conservatives are now trading at 93% for winning the most seats in the next General Election, which is a slight decline from their highest ever price 95%. Considering the risk of Boris Johnson making some gaff to turn off voters, this result is the best that could be expected for the Conservatives.

“Our market on the first Prime Minister after the General election still favours Johnson at 82% but is showing a slight decline from a few days ago when he was trading at 93%. Some of this will come down to the party and seat position rather than the leader, with Labour at only 3.33% in our market to form a majority Government of their own at the next election.”

The political climate in the UK in recent months has been tempestuous to say the least, with parliament struggling to reach any sort of consensus on Brexit. Despite witnessing what has arguably been a car crash in political decorum, UK punters are continuing to back December’s general election delivering a Conservative majority government.

Bakhshi continued: “Recent trading across all our markets favours a Conservative majority government. Our ‘most seats’ market has the Conservatives at 94%, with the most-favoured Conservative seat number  360-plus at 48%, just ahead of 301-359 seats at 47%. Both of these contracts could take the Conservatives into majority government territory, supported by our overall majority market, which has the Conservatives at 66%.

“Our aggregated seat numbers from all constituency betting also shows the Conservatives on a healthy 337 seat outcome from the General Election.

“Our ‘Brexit date’ market favours anytime in January – December  2020 at 75% which would fit into both Corbyn’s and Johnson’s timetable for Brexit, suggesting that if Brexit is to happen, it is going to happen next year.”

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