Ladbrokes have become the first bookmaker to try to tempt political punters into the fray by offering odds on a range of seats for the General Election.
Because of the boundary changes there are many unknowns out there. Detailed study will pay dividends but real inside knowledge will shine here. I suspect that Ladbrokes have actually been quite clever. Few punters will want to go the whole hog on a bet this far out when just about anything can happen to swing the result before a polling day which may well be 15 months away. But the spread of bets and the amount bet by known shrewdies will steer the firm so that they are able to avoid making any gaffes come the election campaign proper and the time that the big money flows.
So where is the value?
Watford is the best three horse race in the country. You can take your pick from the usual arguments but the 6/4 against Sal Brinton winning for the Lib Dems looks good. I would want a whole lot more than 9/4 to tempt me into backing Claire Ward to hang on.
Martin Tod is 5/6 to hold Winchester for the Lib Dems - the same price as the Tories. I know that there will be a decent fight there, but the Lib Dems have to be the favourites.
In Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland is only 4/6 to hold on. Having seen him at work I would think he is a fair bit safer then that.
Bridget Fox will be a fantastic MP if she is elected for Islington South and Finsbury, but having her at 1/2 is too short - it will be a tougher battle than that. That makes the 6/4 against Labour good value (before anyone starts on me, betting is about value, not about who you want to win or lose).
And finally, the market on Brent Central is simply barmy. Having two sitting MPs battling it out should make it close. How they have Dawn Butler as short as 2/5 and Sarah Teather as long as 15/8 I do not know. It will be close, but this is a great chance to win stacks of cash even this far out.
Thanks to Political Betting for pulling together the odds