Well nobody was expecting that!
Theresa May sprung a snap election on us, and it has caught the Labour Party at all all-time low.
If the polls, recent by-elections and opinions of experts are to be believed, you should feel confident backing the Conservatives to destroy the field on the 9th of June.
If you’re up for a bet on the UK General Election we’ve got all of Paddy Power’s markets covered.
As of now the polls are indicating an enormous Tory victory in June. This week the Conservatives are polling 20 points ahead of Labour. No wonder Paddy Power has just 1/14 for a Tory overall majority.
Now, we know that polls aren’t necessarily reliable. We’ve learned as much after Brexit, the United States presidential election, and the Conservatives outright victory in 2015.
We also know that the bookies can get it wrong, as we saw last June.
But we’re not even talking about a reasonably close race here. The kind of margin being predicted makes it not a question of whether the Tories will win, but by how much.
The next most likely outcome by a distance is no overall majority. This would take a serious turnaround in the space of just a few weeks if you’re planning on betting on the General Election.
But if somehow the political landscape in the UK transforms before June 8, the odds are 6/1 for a hung parliament.
If this catches your eye, how could a result like that come about? A terrible campaign by the Tories or a major scandal, coupled with monumental gains for Labour and the Liberal democrats would do the trick.
And if that scenario tempts you, you might be encouraged that a significant amount of the population voted to remain last year. They could be feeling strongly enough to vote for the softer Brexit promised by the Lib Dems and some voices in the Labour party.
A Labour Majority
We’re in fantasyland now. An overall Labour majority is priced at 20/1, and there are a lot of good reasons for these long odds.
The SNP has totally replaced Labour in Scotland, and UKIP has eroded the party’s working class base.
And their leader, Jeremy Corbyn may be popular with party members, but doesn’t appear to make a good impression on the public, or even many of Labour’s own MPs.
Bet on Who Will Be Prime Minister after the Election
Once again this looks like a slam dunk for the Tories and Theresa May. She’s priced as low as 1/18 to still be in charge in four weeks time.
Even if you forget that her party is clear favourite to win the election, she appears to have the full backing of the Tories. This is more than can be said for Corbyn, who is languishing behind at 8/1.
If you envision a power struggle in the upper echelons of the Tory party, or if somehow Theresa May loses her Maidenhead seat, Boris Johnson is a distant 50/1.
And if a similar scenario were to play out for the Labour Party, Yvette Cooper might take the helm (50/1).
Betting on the Number of Party Seats at the General Election
Here you can take on Paddy Power’s prediction for each party.
So if you think Labour will do better or worse than their dismal projection of 165.5 seats, you can bet higher or lower for odds of 5/6 for either bet.
For the Liberal Democrats, who were routed in 2015 but have gained popularity with their anti-Brexit stance, you’ve got odds of 8/11 for under 23.5 seats and 10/11 for over 23.5.
Will UKIP win a single seat? If you think this is possible there’s a price of 11/4, while Paddy Power offers shorter odds that they won’t have anything to celebrate at all.
SNP are expected to hold steady at 48.5 seats. Do you think they’ll do better or worse this time around (5/6 for each side)?
And lastly, the Conservatives are forecast to demolish the field, picking up 387 seats, 50 more than in 2015. A haul of 387 seats would have been unthinkable a year ago. But does that sound too low or too high to you now?
Once again, there’s a price of 5/6 for under or over.
So Who Will the Government Be After the Next Election?
If you’ve come this far you won’t be shocked to read that the Conservatives are runaway favourites to form the next government by themselves (14/1).
But a disastrous showing for them and some form of improvement from Labour and the Lib Dems could usher in the next most likely result: A Labour/Lib Dem/SNP coalition (10/1).
Say Labour and the Lib Dems really make dramatic gains they could form their own coalition without the SNP (14/1). And if after a similar shakeup the Lib Dems and Conservatives decide to align again as they did in 2010 you’ll get odds of 25/1.
If you’re betting on the UK election and think Labour will shock the country 20 years after Blair rose to power, the odds are a long 25/1.
Who Will Take the Most Seats at the UK Election?
This market couldn’t be simpler: Which party will win the most seats on 8th June? Bear in mind that the Conservatives currently hold 101 more than the Labour Party and 322 more than the Liberal Democrats.
It would take an epic swing to envisage anything other than the Conservatives taking the most (1/25). They could perform significantly worse than in 2015 and still easily get more than any other party.
But if you know something that the bookies and tipsters don’t, Labour are priced at 12/1, the Liberal Democrats languish at 66/1 and then there’s the Green Party and UKIP, both on 500/1.
When Will Jeremy Corbyn Step Down?
We’ve already seen that Paddy Power and most of the UK is expecting a hiding for Corbyn’s Labour. This could be a chance to clear the decks and elect a leader who is, well, electable.
A thrashing on the 8th June would probably compel him to quit right away, which looks the most likely outcome at 1/3 for Q2 2017. The fiasco could continue into the summer and a revolt might get him to stand down in the third (9/2) or fourth quarter (7/1).
Then again there are lots of possible outcomes that could see him keep his leadership into 2018 or beyond (3/1). Labour could do better than expected or conceivably head up some kind of coalition. You never know!
Who Will Be the Next Labour Leader?
Whenever Corbyn does decide to step down or is ousted, who do you reckon will take the Labour reins?
Yvette Cooper came third in Labour’s leadership vote in 2015, but 18 months is an age in politics, and she ticks a lot of boxes: She was a cabinet member under Blair and Gordon Brown. She’s from the party’s right wing, and may appeal to neutrals in centre ground.
Or Will it Be Starmer?
Keir Starmer (5/1) is more of a rising star, even though he’s older than Cooper. He only became an MP in the 2015 election and may be better off for his distance to Corbyn and the Blair days.
Clive Lewis and the Rest
Clive Lewis (7/1) looks could be worth a shout. Politically he’s similar to Corbyn, but has distanced himself from the current leadership by stepping down from the Shadow Cabinet during Parliament’s Brexit vote in February.
After that another up-and-comer Lisa Nandy and another blairite Chuka Umunna are both at 12/1, as is David Miliband, the man who should probably have taken over in 2010.
Or Even a New Political Party?
Could a whole new party emerge from the wreckage of the election? This could be on the table because the Labour membership seem to want to pull the party to the left, while the elected MPs favour the middle ground.
Because of these differences, Paddy Power is offering odds of 6/4 that five or more incumbent Labour MPs will break away and create their own party after the election.
Betting on the Next UKIP Leader
Let’s end it with a joke.
Turns out that Brexit is the worst thing that could have happened to UKIP.
Their leader Paul Nuttall couldn’t get elected in Stoke-on-Trent Central in February, their only MP Douglas Carswell went rogue, and their main funder Arron Banks has pulled out to create a new party.
If there’s a change of leadership in the near future Nigel Farage (15/8) looks like the best bet, while Arron Banks (6/1) could make U-turn once Paul Nuttall is out of the frame. After that there’s a long line of non-entities waiting their turn on the throne.
Deputy leader Peter Whittle is (8/1), and hands up whoever has heard of Suzanne Evans (10/1), Raheem Kassam (12/1) or Nathan Gill (16/1)?
Bet on the Next Region to Hold Independence Referendum after Scotland
There’s been plenty of talk about a United Ireland in the wake of Brexit and the election announcement. Northern Ireland voted pretty decisively to remain at 55.8% to 44.2% last year.
The groundwork is already being laid in Europe, and the north would instantly get EU status if it voted to split from the UK and join Ireland.
The stumbling block is that the very question is a raw and divisive one, and the consensus seems to be that it’s something to work towards in a decade or so rather than impose right now. But that’s not to say a vote won’t happen, and Paddy Power is offering 1/3.
Wales, London and, er, the Isle of Wight
Although there’s always been a patriotic streak in Wales, “Leave” won the vote last June, roughly in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.
And at the moment Europe is the issue that is bringing talk of Independence Referendums to a head.
So while it’s something you can’t rule out at 4/1, Northern Ireland looks much more likely to be the next to hold an independence vote.
Then there’s London, which had almost as much desire to remain in the EU as Scotland, with nearly 60% voting to remain. Yes, London often feels culturally at odds with the rest of England, but you won’t see it breaking away in our lifetime (8/1).
Lastly there’s the Isle of Wight, and if you have a sense of humour you could put some money on this underappreciated part of the country staging an independence vote after Scotland (16/1).
Feel Like Betting on the UK General Election?
Those are the markets Paddy Power are offering for the UK General Election.
At this point the smart money looks to be on the Conservatives, but anything could happen in the next four weeks..
Obviously the lines dealing with the election results will be open until 07:00 on June 8th, while the leadership and referendum markets are open-ended.