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Monday, May 03, 2010

All bets are off

Interesting piece on the Financial Times Westminster blog (free registration may be required) by Alex Barker trying to second guess the Liberal Democrats targets. The exercise has seemingly been done to facilitate a visit to the bookies so I would repeat his warning at the end:

It goes without saying that our tips are almost certain to be worthless duds. Please do not try this at home or at work unless you’re looking to give money away.

Still as an exercise it does have a certain fascination even if he has not ventured across the border into Wales:

The strategy, if you can call it that, is to lay £5 on eight seats that the Lib Dems have an outside chance of winning. They are split into four categories:

Vince visits: If Cable is in town, you know the Libs see an opportunity. They are usually not as sure fire as Clegg visits, but potentially better value bets. I’ve put my money on Lib Dem wins in Ashfield at 5/2 and Redcar at 7/4.

Tory weak spots: The Tories are on the defensive on some seats where they had been pretty confident of winning with an increased majority. Some Tory MPs face expenses problems (Eastbourne) others are just unused to dealing with a Lib Dem onslaught. I’ve taken Wells at 7/5 and Weston-Super-Mare at 7/4.

Newcastle Sweep: The Lib Dems are polling exceptionally well in the North East. There are hopes of winning two to three seats in Newcastle. Labour will face an uphill task turning out their vote. My bets: Newcastle Central at 2/1 and Newcastle East at 13/8.

Long shots: Vulnerable. But will require a big Lib Dem surge. Purely based on some insider tips. Fully expect them to be over-optimistic punts. But these are probably the most generously priced Lib Dem seats around. The bets: Woking at 6/1 and Mid Sussex at 6/1.

I suppose like everybody else Mr. Barker will have to wait until the early hours of Friday morning to see how the country has actually voted.
If this really is an Internet election, then my punts on Lorna Spenceley in North-East Cambridgeshire and Richard Baum in Bury North will pay off well.

But of course I have hedged my bets with our target seats in Wales.
If you want to invest a fiver in improving your party's fortunes in any constituency you will get a better return from putting that fiver in the constituency campaign fund than you will get from donating it to William Hill's coffers.
Have you put any cash down on Swansea West?
Alwyn, you are right. I am not somebody who gambles anyway so I have put all my cash into Swansea West but into their campaign fund.
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