General Election

General Election: Bettors make Labour majority a 94% chance after first TV debate

  • Max Liu
  • 2:00 min read
Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer with Julie Etchingham before the first televised debate
Sunak and Starmer took questions from ITV's Julie Etchingham in the first televised debate

Get the latest general election odds from the Betfair Exchange after Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer clashed in the first televised debate...

  • Labour majority heavy odds-on on Betfair Exchange

  • No overall majority 18/119.00

  • Conservatives backed to lose 200+ seats


A Labour majority is 1.071/14 on the Betfair Exchange after Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer took part in the first televised election debate of 2024.

No over all majority is 19.018/1 and a Conservative majority is [60.0.].

Labour are 1.031/33 to win the most seats and become the largest party at Westminster.

The day before the debate a poll indicated that the Conservatives could be heading for their worst ever results. Tonight they are 1.241/4 on the Betfair Exchange to lose 200+ seats on 4 July.

Labour majority firm favourite after first debate

Political betting expert Paul Krishnamurty said before the debate that it could be Sunak's last chance to shift the dial of this election campaign. Did the prime minister do anything to improve the Conservatives' position?

The odds in some Betfair Exchange markets are marginally better for the Tories. During the debate No Overall Majority shortened from 21.020/1 and the odds on a Conservative Majority shortened from 100.0099/1 to their current price. But Labour are still riding high.

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Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said "The debate has done little to shift the odds on the Betfair Exchange, though with the Labour Party smashing records already today with punters, it wasn't sure if the odds could shorten much further.

"The best case scenario for Sunak was to tread water, and not worsen an already difficult week. It would seem he's succeeded.

How Starmer and Sunak clashed in election debate

For an hour and 10 minutes, the prime minister and the Labour leader debated the economy, the NHS, education, immigration, foreign policy and climate change. There were fiery exchanges and the moderator, Julie Etchingham, told them to stop talking over each other.

Sunak deployed textbook Conservative scare tactics, insisting that Labour would raise taxes and warning voters that they did not know what they would get from Starmer.

The Labour leader promised to end the chaos of Tory rule and pointed out that they had been in power for 14 years without addressing many of the challenges the country faces. In a powerful closing statement, he urged voters not to hand the matches back to the arsonists on 4 July.

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Sunak's National Service policy prompted dersive laughter from the audience in the ITV studio in Salford but he received applause for setting out his plans to tackle immigration levels that concern some voters.

At times, Starmer struggled to bat away Sunak's claims about Labour plans to raise taxes. However, he countered by saying that Sunak was making it up as he went along.

There was no clear winner in a scrappy debate, although a snap YouGov poll said Sunak had edged it. But with the Betfair Exchange election odds indicating that the Conservatives have a mountain to climb if they are to stop Labour winning a majority, it was, on balance, a better night for Starmer than for Sunak.


Now read 2024 Presidential Election Betting: The latest data from the Betfair Exchange


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