Now in the home run and I’m consolidating my prudent approach to gambling (Alex = hare, Jim = tortoise) with my last two bets – both of which I believe are safe.
I’ve placed £20 at Ladbrokes on the BNP not winning a single seat. No pollster or political expert has suggested in the last month that the BNP have sufficient momentum in any constituency and I have no reason to doubt this. You may consider the 1/4 odds paltry but in financial markets a 25 per cent return over 48 hours would be considered rather impressive.
Meanwhile I’m finding the odds elsewhere not very tempting. Many of the seat selections offer a poor return given the unknown unknowns involved. For example, I have a feeling that Hammersmith will end up in Tory hands despite the nominal Labour majority; candidate Shaun Bailey is very impressive. But at 1/2 why take the risk?
Instead I’ve gone for the seat where a surprise result would be an upset of historic proportions; Buckingham, where all signals suggest that John Bercow, the Speaker, will hold his seat despite attempts by Ukip and others to dislodge him. (Simon Heffer has urged readers to vote against the “little creep”). I’d be amazed if voters upset the traditional convention and dislodged Mr Bercow, who has in my opinion been an effective Speaker.
He also has a majority of 18,129 and the anti-Bercow vote will be split between Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, and John Stevens, a pro-European former Tory. I’ve put down my last £10 at Ladbrokes at 1/6, which will win me a mere £1.67. Once again, however, I consider this a good return compared to putting it in a bank account. That’s why I’ve also put £159 of my own money on the same result. (Although it turns out that PaddyPower has better odds at 1/4).
UPDATE at 2.52pm: Ladbrokes’ odds on Bercow holding Buckingham have moved out to 1/8; surely not a reflection of my tip?
Legal disclaimer: 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. There will also be no wagers on “facts” we’ve discovered through our work (such as a candidate calling a press conference to announce they will drop out).
|Who will win Dundee West?||Labour||£5||6/4||William Hill||tbc|
|Who will win Brighton Pavilion?||Labour||£5||7/2||William Hill||tbc|
|Total number of Lib Dem seats||60-69 seats||£5||4/1||Paddy Power||tbc|
|Who will win Harrow West?||Conservatives||£20||3/2||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Who will win the TV debate?||Nick Clegg||£4||13/8||Paddy Power||£0|
|Which foreign country will be mentioned first in the debate?||America||£1||8/1||Paddy Power||£9|
|What size audience for the last TV debate?||5m-9.99m||£5||3/1||Ladbrokes||£20|
|What size audience for the last TV debate?||10m-14.99m||£10||5/4||Ladbrokes||£0|
|How many seats will the Conservatives win?||301-350||£15||4/5||PaddyPower||tbc|
|BNP not winning a single seat||NA||£20||1/4||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|The Speaker, John Bercow, to hold his seat||NA||£10||1/6||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Total bets and return||£100||£29|
|Who will win Cardiff South?||Lib Dems||£10||40/1||William Hill||tbc|
|Who will win Cardiff West?||Tories||£10||4/1||Betfair||tbc|
|What will voter turnout be?||Under 67.5 per cent||£20||8/11||Sky Bet||tbc|
|Who will win Mid Sussex?||Lib Dems||£5||6/1||Paddy Power||tbc|
|Who will win Newcastle East?||Lib Dems||£5||13/8||Victor Chandler||tbc|
|Who will win Newcastle Central?||Lib Dems||£5||2/1||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Who will win Ashfield?||Lib Dems||£5||5/2||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Who will win Weston-Super-Mare?||Lib Dems||£5||7/4||Betfair||tbc|
|Who will win Wells?||Lib Dems||£5||7/5||Betfair||tbc|
|Who will win Redcar?||Lib Dems||£5||7/4||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Who will win Woking?||Lib Dems||£5||6/1||Ladbrokes||tbc|
|Total bets and return||£80|