The opinion polls may have been split as to which party would win the General Election, as official campaigning got underway on Tuesday, but the major betting firms were united in their view that the Conservatives were the strong favourites to claim an overall majority on 6 May.
The Conservatives are odds-on both to win most seats and take an overall majority with the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Betfair.
Labour are 13/1 to win an overall majority, a bigger price than Big Fella Thanks, who is the current favourite for Saturday’ John Smiths Grand National – and Gordon Brown doesn’t even have to tackle 4.5 miles and 30 jumps around the famous Aintree course.
But as Warwick Bartlett, Chief Executive of Global Betting and Gaming Consultants, explains, there may be good reason to follow the odds rather than the polls in predicting the outcome of the election.
“People are more careful with their money than their opinions. Opinions are easy to give when there is nothing riding on the result, which explains why there is such contradiction between different polls,” Mr Bartlett explains.
“But when opinions are backed up with cash, punters and bookmakers tend to be more considered in their opinions. The betting firms generally have a good record of calling it right on these occasions.”
This election will see more betting markets offered on it than ever before and as much as GB£20m could be bet in total on the event. More than GB£3m has already been matched on the two main markets – overall majority and most seats – on Betfair.