General Election

General Election Betting Live: Bettors back Farage's Reform to win seats

Nigel Farage
Clacton, where Farage is standing, is the most bet on constituency race

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Monday 17 June - 16:30 - Reform backed after 'contract' launch

Reform UK were backed to win seven seats or more on the Betfair Exchange in a sign that Nigel Farage's party are building momentum in the second-half of the general election campaign.

With 17 days to go, Reform are 2.546/4 to win one to two seats but the odds on them winning seven or more shortened to 3.613/5 across the last five days.

Today they launched their "contract with the people," which they are issuing instead of a manifesto, and Farage will hope that gives them an uplift in the polls.

They are certainly getting plenty of media coverage with the Reform contract dominating today's news agenda even though they are a new party.

Reform UK are 4.03/1 on the Betfair Exchange to win 20% or more of the vote on July 4.

Farage, meanwhile, is 1.321/3 to win Clacton, where he is standing. The Essex constituency is now the most bet on at the general election with over £63KK wagered in the Exchange market.

Farage remains a regular in the betting for the next Conservative party leader. He is currently at 13.012/1 odds on the Betfair Exchange in a market where Kemi Badenoch is the 4.84/1 favourite to succeed Rishi Sunak.

Monday 17 June - 13:30 - Rest of campaign is about reducing losses for Tories

With just two full weeks of campaigning remaining the Conservatives are odds-on on the Betfair Exchange to be left with fewer than 99 seats.

Rishi Sunak's party are heading for disaster on 4 July and a Labour majority is 1.051/20 (a 95% chance) on the Exchange.

The 50-99 seats is the 2.26/5 favourite in the Tory seats market. They are 1.121/8 to lose more than 200 seats.

The next couple of weeks will be all about damage limitation for the Conservatives and there could be some big name casualties on election night. There are constituency markets on the Betfair Exchange for all 650 from Aldershot to York.

Labour, meanwhile, are buoyed by the prospect of winning an even bigger majority than the 179 they achieved under Tony Blair in 1997.

Not that Keir Starmer, who is 1.031/33 to be the UK's next prime minister, will take anything for granted over the next two-and-a-half weeks.

Meanwhile, Reform UK have launched what they are calling their election pledges (not a manifesto). It is full of policies that they know they will not have to enact, as the Exchange odds indicate they will be lucky to win more than one seat.

Nigel Farage's party are hoping to take votes from the Conservatives but bettors aren't convinced that this will be converted into seats. Reform are 2.546/4 to win just 1-2 seats.

Thursday 13th June - 10:30 - Sunak's struggles reflect the Tories' wider problems

Keir Starmer recorded a very clear victory in the YouGov poll taken following last night's "Battle For Number Ten" on Sky News, by a 64-36 margin. It didn't significantly move the election betting, because that already firmly pointed towards a big Labour majority, as reported below. Indeed, the main takeaway was that Rishi Sunak's fate looks sealed, especially in key 'Red Wall' marginals such as Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

It wasn't that Sunak performed badly, but that he simply didn't have the material. A generally polite audience frequently laughed or groaned at his claims, and the PM struggled to defend government failure across a range of areas, including three of his personal targets.

Sky anchor Beth Rigby gave both men a tough grilling. Starmer went first and was instantly pressed to explain his past support for Jeremy Corbyn, various u-turns on policy and how that fed into a lack of trust. He didn't really answer that convincingly and was fortunate it came early, giving him to time to move on and find his stride.

When it came to audience questions, Starmer handled them all pretty well and earned numerous rounds of applause, even when facing a hostile question over introducing VAT for private schools.

This was the key difference - Starmer could respond to indefensible government failure by pledging to improve them in quite specific ways. Sunak had to defend them and convince an extremely sceptical audience that his plans would improve anything.

It was all frankly very predictable. He was forced to apologise for his early D-Day exit and over Partygate, by a Conservative voter who had run out of patience. That tells a wider story, borne out by polls and real elections.

Partygate shattered trust in this government, which was then compounded by several further scandals. Then as more serious crises landed, vast swathes of their own supporters no longer believed or trusted them. However badly Sunak has campaigned, no politician could realistically turn that around, when so many aspects of British life, from living standards to public services, are in such a parlous state.

If you missed the debate, it is all available via the @SkyNews feed on X, along with clipped highlights. Tonight we have another seven-way debate on ITV. The representatives are Penny Mordaunt for the Tories, Angela Rayner for Labour, Daisy Cooper for the Lib Dems, Stephen Flynn for the SNP, Carla Denyer for the Greens, Rhun ap Iowerth for Plaid Cymru and, of course, Nigel Farage for Reform.

Pretty much the same as last Friday's debate. That didn't move the needle and, while an entertaining and interesting part of the election campaign, one wonders whether any of these set-piece TV debates will. A general consensus seems fixed. This is a change election, the Tories are in deep, deep trouble and the main question moving forward is just how much they will lose by.

Thursday 13th June - 09:23 - Labour shorten to 1.051/20 for overall majority

Another debate has gone and the markets have reacted by making Labour 1.051/20 to win an overall majority, having been 1.061/18 yesterday.

You can read the full digest of the main numbers in our daily blog post here.

Wednesday 12th June - 13:30 - Tories backed to win under 99.5 seats

The Conservatives are odds-on to be reduced to under 100 seats after Grant Shapps warned of Labour winning a super majority at the general election.

A Labour majority is 1.061/18 (a 94% chance) amid signs that the Conservatives - which is 100.0099/1 to win a majority - have decided that it is a matter of damage limitation for them on 4 July.

The Conservatives are 1.132/15 to lose more than 200 seats.

The UK's most successful political party could be heading for its worst election result ever and Keir Starmer looks set to enter Downing Street next month with a landslide victory.

Shapps warned of Labour winning "unchecked power" and said it would put the country in a dangerous position. He is fearful that Labour's margin of victory will be even greater than it was under Tony Blair who lead Labour to a 170-seat majority in 1997.

Shapps comments came as the Tories put out ads aimed at voters who could abandon them for Nigel Farage's Reform UK party. The Tory message to them is that they could help to give Starmer too much power in government.

Rishi Sunak will again try to revive the Conservatives' campaign when he takes on Starmer in a live debate on Sky News tonight. You can read about it below.

Wednesday 12th June - 09:50 - ITV interview compounds Sunak's problems

The second head-to-head debate between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer takes place tonight, on Sky News. "The Battle for Number Ten" begins at 7.30pm, live from Grimsby. The format involves each leader taking turns to be quizzed directly by a local audience.

The choice of venue is apt, given where Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes sits on the electoral spectrum. It lies 134th on Labour's target list, ten lower than the line required to win an overall majority. It is an almost perfect representative of the 'Red Wall'. A very pro-Brexit seat - voting for Leave by a 71/29 margin - which swung by a huge margin to Boris Johnson's Conservatives in 2019.

The event promises to be particularly bad for Sunak. He will doubtless come under fire for leaving D-Day events early last week to do a TV interview, from the moderator and the audience. To compound matters, footage released from the ITV interview. Not only does he apologise to Paul Brand because the event 'over-ran' but later, pressed to explain what he had to go without during childhood, Sunak cites Sky TV.

For the richest MP, already struggling to prove he is in touch with a struggling electorate before any of his recent troubles, this is bound to strike a particularly sour note with locals in Grimsby. This constituency is much more deprived than the national average.

I actually have long personal experience in the constituency, due to family ties. I think it perfectly illustrates how the Tory high command have misread the electorate based on Brexit. Grimsby was always a deeply Eurosceptic electorate, going back to the 'Cod War' in the 1970s and demise of the fishing industry. The former longstanding Labour MP, Austin Mitchell, was a solid Eurosceptic.

It didn't vote for Brexit for culture war reasons and, given the deprivation and neglect, doubtless warmed to Boris Johnson's 'Levelling Up' rhetoric. Yet since 2019, levelling up hasn't materialised and the Tory response to their decline in the 'Red Wall' has been to throw red meat in the form of culture wars. According to polling projections, it isn't working here. The FT model projects a 25% Labour advantage, which would represent an enormous 24% swing from CON-LAB since 2019.

Starmer is bound to play a safe hand here, as he did over the D-Day disaster, and let Sunak take the flak. These events rarely if ever move the polls and there isn't much movement anyway, but it is very hard to see anything positive coming out of this one for the Tories.

Tuesday 11th June - 23:00 - Reform crossover yet to materialise

Another terrible poll for the Conservatives dropped tonight. YouGov record them on their joint-lowest number yet, just a single point ahead of Reform. The Lib Dems, meanwhile, have shot up, with Labour slipping back. If these numbers were replicated on July 4th, the Lib Dem targets recommended in earlier posts would land and they would likely become the second largest party, behind Labour.

This is, however, a moment to step back rather than draw firm conclusions. Some of the fieldwork for this single poll was conducted during the Lib Dem manifesto launch. I'm sceptical that explains it, given how difficult it is for much bigger political stories to cut through, and am more inclined to think it is an outlier. Labour's vote isn't falling so sharply elsewhere.

Rather, if anything, Sunak's D-Day disaster is a likelier explanation. On Friday, many of us assumed Reform would be the beneficiary, and they would usurp the Tories in the next round of polls. That hasn't happened and the swing between the two is minimal. Compared to the last YouGov poll the CON-REF swing is just 1%, as it was with both Focaldata and Survation, who have the Tories 9% and 15% respectively ahead of Reform, on 24% and 25%. Only JL Partners showed a more significant swing, 2.5%, again holding a clear 9% lead.

Check out the above favorability ratings from YouGov's penultimate survey. Despite absymal numbers from all other parts of the electorate, 81% of the segment of 2019 Conservative voters still supporting them are still positive about Sunak. Compared to only 24% of those switching to Reform.

That suggests to me that the Tories are already down to the core vote, and unlikely to fall further. That while Reform voters don't seem likely to return in great numbers to the Tories, their scope to grow is extremely limited. We've also seen their candidates scrutinised like never before, revealing one of their candidates believes we should have appeased Hitler, and can expect more grim details to emerge. Farage's party may be at their peak.

I've taken the opportunity to cash out of earlier bets on them to win the Conservative v Reform Vote Share Match Bet with a small profit. I've also laid Reform to win 7 or More Seats at 3.9. Seven is a huge ask.

Tuesday 11th June - 17:00 - SNP's chances slide further ahead of second TV debate - according to latest odds

SNP's odds have drifted out to 9/25.50 (18% chance) ahead of the second Scottish debate having been 3/14.00 (25% chance) before the first Scottish debate. The SNP are currently 4/51.80 (56% chance) to win 20 seats or more, though it's a close run-thing - they are at 6/52.20 (45% chance) to win 19 seats or less.

Labour are clear favourites at 2/91.22 (82% chance) to win the most seats in Scotland on the Betfair Exchange. As for the conservatives it is a common theme of being a big price and they are at a huge 249/1250.00 ( less than 1% chance) to win most seats in Scotland, and Lib Dems are even bigger at 799/1800.00 (less than 1% chance).

Latest Betfair General Election odds:

Most seats

Labour 1/50 (98% chance)

Conservative 59/1 (2% chance)

Overall Majority

Labour majority 1/18 (95% chance)

No overall majority 20/1 (5% chance)

Conservative majority 94/1 (1% chance)

Tuesday 11th June - 13:00 - Sunak aims to revive campaign with manifesto

The Conservatives are 1.152/13 on the Betfair Exchange to lose more than 200 seats at the general election after Rishi Sunak launched their manifesto with a promise to cut national insurnace tax.

The manifesto launch was a set-piece opportunity for Sunak to try to revive his party's campaign but there is little indicate so far on the Betfair Exchange that bettors think it will make much difference.

Labour are 1.051/20 to win a majority, with no over all majority 23.022/1 and a Conservative majority 95.094/1 when Britons go to the polls on 4 July.

The 76-page Conservstive manifesto promises to cut national insurance tax, halve immigration and make it easier to buy a home.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, who is 1.031/33 to be the UK's next prime minister, dismissed it as desperate.

The Labour manifesto is slated to be launched on Thursday.

Tuesday 11th June - 09:00 - Tories set to launch manifesto

Labour remain in Poll Position to win next month's election as the Conservative get ready to launch their manifesto at Silverstone. Punters believe Labour are more likely to win a majority than Max Verstappen is to win the F1 Championship.

Labour are 1/181.06 (95% chance) to Verstappen's 2/111.18 (85% chance).

Britain's Lando Norris is six times more likely to win the F1 Championship - at 14/115.00 (7% chance) - than Conservatives are of winning an Overall Majority at 94/195.00 (1% chance), according to the Betfair Exchange. Fernando Alonso, who last won a Championship in 2006 during Tony Blair's premiership, is as likely to win the 2024 Championship as the UK is to elect a Conservative Majority Government, both at 109/1110.00 (<1% chance).

Sam Rosbottom, Betfair spokesperson, said: "As Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives launch their manifesto today at the home of British driving, the optics might not be as inspiring as they are hoping.

"The Labour Party are so heavily backed by the punters on the Betfair Exchange that their odds of winning a Majority are even shorter than Max Verstappen's odds of winning the 2024 F1 World Championship. This is despite his stellar run of three consecutive Championships from 2021 to last year. The Labour party are odds-on at 1/181.06 of winning a majority, whereas Verstappen's odds of winning his fourth Championship are 2/111.18.

"The Labour Party's odds of winning most seats shortened to their lowest level ever today, at 1/501.02.

"The young Brits snapping at Verstappen's heels have significantly better odds than the Conservatives do in the upcoming elections.

"Lando Norris, who took his first-ever win in the recent Miami Grand Prix, is six times more likely to win the F1 World Championship than the Conservatives are of winning an overall majority. Norris' chances of winning the Championship are 14/115.00, compared to Conservative chances of an overall majority at 94/195.00.

"Fernando Alonso, who last won a Championship in 2006 when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, is just as likely to win this year's Championship as the Conservatives are of forming a Majority Conservative Government. Both are sitting at a distant 109/1110.00."

"The only thing the Conservatives seem to be racing towards is the exit."

Most seats

Labour 1/50 (98% chance)

Conservative - 59/1 (2% chance)

Reform UK - 99/1 (1% chance)

Lib Dem - 999/1 (<1% chance)

Green - 999/1 (<1% chance)

Overall Majority

Labour Majority - 1/18 (95% chance)

No Overall Majority - 19/1 (5% chance)

Conservative Majority - 94/1 (1% chance)

Reform UK Majority - 219/1 (<1% chance)

Liberal Democrat majority - 999/1 (<1% chance)

Greens of Eng and Wal Majority - 999/1 (<1% chance)

Any Other - 999/1 (<1% chance)

Next Government

Labour Majority - 1/18 (95% chance)

Labour Minority - 59/1 (2% chance)

Lab/LD Coalition - 64/1 (2% chance)

Conservative Majority - 109/1 (<1% chance)

Winner - F1 Drivers' Championship

Max Verstappen - 2/11 (85% chance)

Lando Norris - 14/1 (7% chance)

Charles Leclerc - 16/1 (6% chance)

Fernando Alonso - 109/1 (<1% chance)

Oscar Piastri - 119/1 (<1% chance)

George Russell - 119/1 (<1% chance)

Lewis Hamilton - 199/1 (<1% chance)

Carlos Sainz - 249/1 (<1% chance)

Sergio Perez - 259/1 (<1% chance)

Monday 10th June - 09:00 - Get the latest from the Betfair Exchange

A start of another important week on the UK General Election campaign trail and the Betfair Exchange betting data has you covered at all times.

You can find a whole host of betting information on the most likely outcomes across a range of political markets, to see what the punters are predicting come July 4th.

Labour maintain their 94% chance of landing an Overall Majority at odds of 1.061/18, with the Conservatives priced up at 90.089/1 - an implied probability that they can secure office of just 1.1%.

So, if the results go the way we are expecting, who will become the next leader of the Tory party? Well, the current favourite is Kemi Badenoch at 5.24/1, but with plenty of MPs up for the top job, click here to find out how Piri Patel, Penny Mordaunt and even Nigel Farage are rated at taking Sunak's job.

Sunday 9th June - 10:45 - Saturday night polls disappoint Reform backers

The Saturday Night Massacre which many of us thought was on the cards following Rishi Sunak's terrible Friday did not materialise. The three polls all pointed firmly towards a Labour Majority but Reform didn't overtake the Tories, or even come close, in any of them.

It is important to note the dates when this fieldwork was conducted. All were after Farage's announcement that he was running in Clacton but all only partly include opinion taken during Friday. Opinium and Savanta's numbers were taken between Wednesday and Friday. Deltapoll between Thursday and Saturday.

Of course it may be that the effect is a slow burner. As reported earlier, Reform are dominating Facebook and past elections around the world imply the effect of that tends to be very late, when voters at their most engaged. Therefore I would not assume that the crossover won't happen, but given Farage has been centre stage all week, these numbers might suggest Reform's potential is very limited.

Betfair have a couple of new markets regarding the scale of Tory collapse. First, Over 99.5 Seats, for which the unders line is odds-on at 1.794/5. And for those wanting to bet on an extreme disaster - genuinely 'Canada 93' - we have a second How Many Seats Will the Conservatives Lose market.

Whilst there are obvious similarities - not least that the right-wing vote is being split by a new party called Reform - the betting does not actually signal the same outcome at all. In that 1993 election, the Conservatives won just two seats, losing 154 of 156. Scale that up to the 2019 Tory tally of 365, and they would end up with just five, having lost 360. According to the early betting, losing 350 or more is a mere 3% chance at odds of 36.035/1.

Saturday 8th June - 17:30 - Tactical anti-Tory voting is not yet factored in

As we await tonight's polls, rumoured to be very bad for the Tories, it might pay to get ahead of the trajectory. As we have seen already this week with Nigel Farage and Reform, outcomes that are logically expected take time to filter through to the betting markets. Blink, and you'll miss the value.

Having been through all the England and Wales constituencies at least once, I'm convinced that Lib Dems are underestimated. I took 1.84/5 about their Over 40.5 Seats line earlier and still think it is fair value at 1.51/2. Furthermore, 5.04/1 about them winning Most Seats Without Labour hugely appeals when compared to 4.84/1 about the Tories getting fewer than 50 seats. At least one of those prices must be wrong.

I've been backing this target from 14.013/1 downwards for weeks and have no plan to lay back any time soon. Here's why.

Approximately, I believe the Lib Dems could win up to 80 seats. I'm very confident about the first 40 or so and, whilst it is highly unlikely they'll get up to 80, 60-65 is perfectly realistic. Bar a few versus the SNP, almost all targets are against the Tories. So if the Tories were to fall below 50, the Lib Dems would surely finish ahead. There is a plausible scenario where the tally between them is something like 63 each.

In short, the Most Seats W/O Labour option should be quite a bit shorter than the Under 50 Seats price.

Now we have all the candidates confirmed, from next week, I will start running through constituencies. These Lib Dem targets appeal most right now. Look through the MRP figures and you will find several where they are either already ahead of the Tories, or a close second, but Labour are still polling 15% plus.

Besides a small number of places, Labour's vote won't hold up in this places. It will switch tactically to the Lib Dems. This always happens when the Tories are down, and unpopular.

Where are these targets? Well, without giving away all the constituency tips early, go through their target seats list here. I've already backed several, including Tunbridge Wells, Chesham and Amersham around even money and at odds-against, Chichester.

One example to demonstrate my point. They gained Chesham and Amersham in a 2021 by-election from the Tories - arguably the beginning of their collapse. On that occasion, the Labour vote fell from 12.8% to just 1.6%.

According to the YouGov MRP, the Lib Dems are ahead by 39% to 32.5% for the Tories. A good lead, but those figures count Labour on 15.7%. That number will fall sharply. You can still take 1.715/7 about a Lib Dem win here - I rate it a near-certainty and expect they will win by a large margin. Fill your boots.

Saturday 8th June - 11:00 - Farage and Rayner top debate poll

The gamble on Penny Mordaunt to be Next Conservative Leader reflects the view from 2019 Tory voters who watched last night's debate. They preferred her to Rishi Sunak by a resounding margin. A reminder that Tory MPs have only themselves to blame for blocking the one-time odds-on favourite from the members' ballot in 2022, which produced Liz Truss as leader.

That is about the only good news that any Tory can take from the MoreInCommon poll though. See below for details.

Considering the goodwill Mordaunt receives from a section of the population simply due to her sword-carrying role in the coronation, these are grim numbers although she is hardly to blame for the lack of material. The damage has been done over many years by her party and compounded by Rishi Sunak in recent days.

Meanwhile their nemesis on the Right of British politics continues to thrive, winning this debate. We are all keenly awaiting the next round of polls, due out tonight I believe, taken after Sunak's catastrophic decision to leave the D-Day celebrations early.

All the anecodotal evidence suggests the Tories are about to take a further hit and we must assume Farage's Reform UK will be the main beneficiaries. I reckon we will see them overtake the Tories in at least one. Current odds have them at odds of 3.55/2 to win our Vote Share Match Bet against the Tories. I also expect the Tory press to focus more on him from now, rather than risk alienating readers by pushing Sunak's lines.

One further takeaway from the debate is how well Angela Rayner fared. Twice as many respondents thought she did a good job than bad. It has been obvious from their smear campaign tactics for years - particularly amplified in recent weeks - that the Tory machine thought she was Labour's weak link. Far from it. Perhaps she adds a layer of authenticity and relatability that Keir Starmer lacks. She is a key asset, especially as Starmer alienates the Left of the party.

Saturday 8th June - 10:00 - Mordaunt 'makes move' to replace Sunak

Penny Mordaunt is now the second favourite on Betfair Exchange behind Kemi Badenoch to become next Tory leader following her showing in last night's BBC debate. Her odds tumbled to 7/18.00 from 10/111.00 before the debate, leapfrogging the likes of Priti Patel and Suella Braverman.

Indeed, she remains 6/52.20 to win the seat in Portsmouth North constituency, with Labout the 4/61.67 odds on favourites.

While Nigel Farage represented his new party Reform UK last night, his odds of taking over from Sunak also shortened from 13/114.00 to 11/112.00 .

Next Conservative leader odds:

Kemi Badenoch 7/24.50 (22% chance)

Penny Mordaunt 7/18.00 (13% chance)

Priti Patel 15/28.50 (12% chance)

Tom Tugendhat 15/28.50 (12% chance)

Suella Braverman 10/111.00 (9% chance)

James Cleverly 12/113.00 (8% chance)

Nigel Farage 11/112.00 (8% chance)

Sam Rosbottom, Betfair spokesperson, said: "On the Betfair Exchange, Mordaunt has come up trumps, elbowing Suella Braverman, Tom Tugendhat, and Priti Patel out of the way to come second in the market to become next Conservative leader. She is now 7/1 (13% chance) to become the next Conservative leader, from 10/1 (9% chance) yesterday before the debate"

"The Navy reservist stuck to her guns during the debate, sparring with Angela Rayner and insisting that the Prime Minister had apologised for his D-Day blunder, and that people should move on."

"Despite her improving chances of becoming next Conservative leader, her odds of winning her Portsmouth North seat have worsened. Labour are 4/6 (60% chance) to win her seat, with Mordaunt trailing at 6/5 (45% chance)."

"Outside of the runners and riders to succeed Rishi Sunak, punters were unmoved by the seven-way debate hosted by the BBC last night, suggesting that such set-piece events do little to move the dial in the middle of a frenetic election campaign."

Betfair Election Odds:

Most seats

Labour 1/331.03 (97% chance)

Conservative 43/144.00 (2% chance)

Reform UK 69/170.00 (1% chance)

Liberal Democrat 999/11000.00 (<1% chance)

Overall Majority

Labour majority 1/141.07 (93% chance)

No overall majority 19/120.00 (5% chance)

Conservative majority 74/175.00 (1% chance)

Friday 7th June - 15:30 - Farage in strong position before debate

Nigel Farage is 1.374/11 to win the Clacton constituency as he prepares to represent Reform UK in this evening's election debate.

Betfair Exchange punters think it will be eighth time lucky for Farage who has stood for parliament unsuccessfully seven times previously.

The Reform UK Party, which is lead by Farage, is aiming to take seats from the Conservatives at the upcoming election.

Reform UK are 2.8815/8 to win 1-2 seats in parliament but as short as 3.711/4 to take seven or more.

Some commentators argued on Friday that Rishi Sunak's decision to leave the D-Day commemoration early would improve Reform UK's election chances.

Insurgent parties on the political right, such as Farage's former-party UKIP, have done well at European and local elections in the past decade. But they have failed to make the breakthrough at Westminster, only ever benefiting from Tory defections, so it will be fascinating to see if Reform can win seats next month.

This week Betfair opened an Exchange market on potential defections from the Conservatives to Reform UK.

The latest odds indicate that Farage's party will have at least one MP after this year's election. He will be aiming to disrupt business as usual and we should get a taste of that during tonight's debate.

Friday 7th June - 12:30 - Mordaunt odds-on to lose seat ahead of debate

As she prepares to represent the Conservative Party in tonight's televised election debate, Penny Mordaunt is odds-on to lose her seat to Labour on 4 July.

Mordaunt, who has represented Portsmouth North since 2010, is fighting for her political career, as punters are backing her to lose her seat in the coming election. Yet she is still a contender to become next Conservative leader and is 11.010/1 to succeed Rishi Sunak.

Betfair's Sam Rosbottom said: "[Mordaunt] is the only Parliamentary candidate in tonight's debate who is tipped to lose her seat.

"Stephen Flynn, Daisy Cooper, Nigel Farage, and Angela Rayner are all expected to win their seats in the general election, according to Betfair Exchange punters.

"Yet Mordaunt is still one of those at the top end of the market to succeed Rishi Sunak as the next Conservative Leader and ahead of tonight's debate many people are asking will she come out with a full-throated defence of the Prime Minister tonight, or choose to protect her own future?"

Friday 7th June - 10:15 - Don't assume the Tories can't fall much further

It is a quite extraordinary morning. Genuinely unlike no other I can ever recall in British politics. Some are referring to Gordon Brown calling Rochdale voter Gillian Duffy a 'bigoted woman' on a hot mic during the 2010 election campaign, but the furore over Rishi Sunak leaving yesterday's D-Day events to return for a future TV interview is in a league of its own.

Moreover, just as everyone is wondering how on Earth he could be that politically tone-deaf, it emerges that he didn't want to go at all.

This would be a mistake of epic proportions at any time, but to do so just as the Conservative Party is engulfed in an existential crisis, challenged by a party based around virtue-signalling its patriotism, is beyond comprehension. Following yesterday's update, five more polls were released, all showing Reform rising significantly.


This story is going to dominate media coverage for days, and tonight's seven-party election debate. Penny Mordaunt has an unenviable task on her hands although at least, as a naval reservist, her own patriotic credentials won't be questioned.

However well she does (and I have always rated her communication skills), it is unlikely to stem the anger. Expect weekend polls to get even worse for the Tories. There's a high chance Reform will overtake them this weekend.

I've been recommending bets on Under 50 Seats, laying the Tories/backing Lib Dems for Most Seats W/O Labour for weeks and backed Reform to beat them in a vote share match bet following Nigel Farage's u-turn. I did plan to lay these positions back if and when the odds shortened. They have, but I wouldn't lay at current odds.

Here's the latest. 0-49 Seats is a 4.94/1 chance. The Tories are 1.251/4 to win Most Seats Without Labour. They are 1.434/9 to win the Conservative v Reform Match Bet.

The 'Canada 93' scenario is very much on. I really don't think there is a meaningful floor to how bad the Tories can fare now. When you look through their grim performance in this week's MRPs, it is striking how potentially vulnerable they are even in the seats where they are currently forecast to win. Strong tactical voting and/or Reform surge destroys them pretty much everywhere.

Thursday 6th June - 14:00 - Sheer panic may engulf the Conservatives

There are exactly four weeks until polling day and that could feel like a very long time for Rishi Sunak and his party. Having written for two years on these pages about the existential crisis potentially facing the Tories, it has very much arrived.

The last few days have been ever worse than the previous week. Nigel Farage's surprise decision to run has significantly raised the prospect of a 'Canada 1993' style wipeout. YouGov's first poll since his decision to run in Clacton showed Reform at worst, within two points. Up from 10% to 17% since Farage's announcement. That is after they switched methodology. Using their previous methods, the two parties are tied for the first time.

Moreover, the same firm's MRP - billed on Monday as the biggest Labour majority ever and worst Tory result ever - now looks somewhat optimistic in forecasting 140 Conservative seats. The next day Survation's MRP had them on just 71 and, having looked through the specific seats in the YouGov survey, I would definitely be an unders backer at 140 (with or without Farage).

The narrative just gets worse. I thought Sunak did well enough in the first debate, but his claims about Labour's tax plans are surprisingly proving a liability. The numbers were obviously dodgy but, since a letter emerged from the Treasury denying civil servants had produced them, the 'lie' has become the story.

Which Tory would want to go on the media and defend this, or pretty much anything about the campaign? These interviews are becoming massacres. Well, Penny Mordaunt has the unenviable task of representing the party at tomorrow's seven-way TV debate. If she performs well, speculation will probably start yet again about dumping Sunak before the election.

That seems far-fetched but I do expect the weekend stories to concern blind panic setting in, as the party recognises their chances of even a respectable defeat are diminishing rapidly, from small to near zero.

Plus we will all be watching the polls to see if Reform continue to surge, or even pass the Tories. See earlier posts on my thoughts about this and recommended bets on them winning a higher vote share and ambitious seat totals. The odds about both have shortened.

Thursday 6th June - 09:00 - Get the latest Betfair Exchange betting data

Want to know the latest Betfair Exchange data on all things General Election? Head here to find the latest prices across our range of main political markets.

Kemi Badenoch remains the 4.47/2 favourite to replace Rishi Sunak as the leader of the Conservative party, though it looks like she will be doing so as leader of the oppostition, with Sir Keir Stamer's Labour party still massive favourites for an Overall Majorty at 1.071/14.

The Conservatives sit at 65.064/1 in the same market, though in the last 24 hours, the Tories hit as high as 95.094/1.

Wednesday 5th June - 15:30 - Bet on Tory defections to Reform UK

Betfair have opened a market on Conservative MP defections to Reform UK as Nigel Farage's party aim to shake up the general election.

The party, which is lead by Farage, could be a potential destination for Tory politicians from the party's right who want to jump ship.

In the past, UKIP persuaded sitting Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless to defect and both subsequently won by-elections for their new party.

Farage announced on Monday that he was standing for Reform in Clacton and he is 1.364/11 to be elected. His move was seen as a potential game-changer in the general election and could be the catalyst for Reform to mount a serious challenge in Conservative constituencies.

Could some Tory politicians see switching to Reform as their best chance of being elected on 4 July? It would be the last thing Rishi Sunak needs and would follow a string of defections from his party to Labour.

The Betfair Exchange also has markets on the Reform UK vote percentage for general election and you can also wager on the Tory-Reform vote share match bet.

Tuesday 4th June - 22:30 - Sunak and Starmer clash in first debate

Rishi Sunak defended his record as prime minister in the first election TV debate against Keir Starmer but it did little to move the odds on the Betfair Exchange and a Labour majority is 1.071/14.

The PM urged voters to stick with him and claimed that a Labour government would raise taxes. Starmer played it safe, attacking his opponent's record in office without stating clearly what he would do in power in key areas such as health and education.

A snap poll immediately afterwards said Sunak had edged the debate 51 to 49%.

Bettors were not convinced, however, that the Conservative leader had produced the kind of performance that could improve his party's chances of winning on 4 July.

A Tory majority is 55.054/1 on the Exchange and no over all majority is 18.017/1.

Labour are 1.031/33 to win the most seats while the Conservatives are 40.039/1.

Read the full story of how the betting reacted to the first election debate here.

Tuesday 4th June - 20:30 - Latest Betfair Exchange data

Ahead of tonight's debate, Labour hit their shortest-ever odds of winning most seats AND a majority. Labour are 1/331.03 (97% chance) to win the most seats and 1/141.07 (93% chance) to win a majority - the shortest odds since both markets opened. The Conservatives trail at a dismal 39/140.00 (3% chance) of winning most seats as Nigel Farage delivers huge blow, with up to six Tory candidates planning to defect.

The Odds of the Conservatives losing 201 or more seats are now 2/91.22 (82% chance) as senior figures fear total wipeout, whilst Labour are 1/61.17 (86% chance) to win a huge 396 seats or more

Latest Betfair Exchange odds:

Most seats

Labour 1/33 (97% chance)

Conservative 39/1 (3% chance)

Reform UK 89/1 (1% chance)

Liberal Democrat 999/1 (<1% chance)

How many seats will Conservatives lose

No losses - 999/1 (<1% chance)

1-50 seat losses - 209/1 (<1% chance)

51-100 seat losses - 79/1 (1% chance)

101-150 seat losses - 35/1 (3% chance)

151-200 seat losses - 11/2 (15% chance)

201 or more seat losses - 2/9 (82% chance)

Overall Majority

Labour majority 1/14 (93% chance)

No overall majority 19/1 (5% chance)

Conservative majority 94/1 (1% chance)

Betfair Spokesperson, Sam Rosbottom said: "While many thought the only way was up after Sunak's first week of campaigning, the second week of the General Election has gone from bad to worse.

Following Nigel Farage's surprise return to the front line, where he declared "Labour have won this election", the Labour Party are backed by the punters to be returned with a landslide victory.

Betfair Exchange odds have shortened to their lowest ever level in two key markets - which party wins the most seats, as well as who holds an overall majority. Labour are 1/331.03 (97% chance) to win the most seats and 1/141.07 (93% chance) to win a majority.

The Conservatives have drifted to a dismal 39/140.00 (3% chance) to win most seats - making Sunak's planned comeback even less likely than it was before.

The bad news doesn't end there for Sunak, as odds of the Conservatives losing 201 or more seats are now 2/91.22 (82% chance).

Sunak will be hoping that he can reclaim some ground tonight at the first leaders' debate, where the two Prime Ministerial hopefuls will have one hour to discuss their plans on issues from the economy, to healthcare, and defence.

Yet if yesterday's Scottish leaders' debate is any indication, Sunak should not get his hopes up.

Labour's odds of winning the most seats in Scotland increased from a 77% chance to 87% chance after Anas Sarwar and John Swinney battled it out with other leaders on STV last night.

Tuesday 4th June - 14:30 - Money pours in for Farage

Nigel Farage is 1.384/11 to win Clacton-On-Sea at the general election after Betfair punters continued to back the Reform UK candidate.

Betfair punters are confident that the former-UKIP leader, who have seven times stood for parliament and lost, will make it eighth time lucky.

Money has poured in Farage since he dropped an election bombshell yesterday by reversing his decision not to stand in 2024.

At the time of writing, £18K has been wagered on the Clacton constituency market since Monday.

Reform UK are 2.265/4 on the Betfair Exchange to win 1-2 seats at the general election which indicates that punters think Farage will be their only MP.

Tuesday 4th June - 09:45 - Labour's chances of Scottish victory increase after leaders debate

Labour now has an 87% chance (1/71.14) to win the most seats in Scotland - up from 77% (3/101.30) before last night's debate. The SNP now trail at 7/24.50 (22% chance) after being 3/14.00 (25% chance) yesterday. Punters have settled on the SNP winning around 20 seats at the General Election on the Betfair Exchange - more than half their current number. The SNP are at 10/111.91 (52% chance) to win 20 seats or more, and 20/211.95 (51% chance), to win 19 or fewer

Betfair Spokesperson, Sam Rosbottom said: "The SNP may have a new man at the helm, but John Swinney did little to dissuade Betfair Exchange punters his party have much of a future in Scotland after July 4.

"The SNP's chances at the general election worsened after last night's debate, with the SNP going from 25% chance of winning the most seats in Scotland to a 22% chance today.

"This mirrors the result of a blockbuster poll released just hours before the STV debate that showed the SNP winning a paltry 17 seats.

"Despite coming under fire over their plans for North Sea oil and gas, Labour's momentum appears to have been further fueled by their leader Anas Sarwar's performance.

"Scottish Labour were already strong favourites north of the border. Their chances of winning most seats in Scotland surged from 77% before the debate, to an 87% chance this morning."

Latest Betfair Election odds:

Most seats in Scotland at General Election

Labour 1/71.14 (87% chance) - was 77% chance pre-debate

SNP 7/24.50 (22% chance) - was 25% chance pre-debate

Conservatives 99/1100.00 (1% chance)

Liberal Democrats 99/1100.00 (1% chance)

SNP seats - over / under

19 seats or less 20/211.95 (51% chance)

20 seats or more 10/111.91 (52% chance)

Most seats

Labour 1/331.03 (97% chance)

Conservative 37/138.00 (2% chance)

Overall Majority

Labour majority 1/141.07 (93% chance)

No overall majority 19/120.00 (5% chance)

Conservative majority 84/185.00 (1% chance)

Monday 3rd June - 23:15 - Could Reform win more votes than the Tories?

It would be an understatement to say Nigel Farage dropped a bomb into this general election campaign earlier, with his u-turn on standing as Reform leader. The Conservatives - already reeling from dire polls - should be terrified.

All minor parties fundamentally struggle due to lack of exposure and Reform were expected to fade for that reason. That seems very unlikely now. Nobody sucks up publicity in UK politics than Farage. As reported in yesterday's post, they were already dominating Facebook, especially among the key older demographic (aka the core Tory vote).

It would come as no surprise to see them surge in the polls over the next fortnight, as Tory voters give up hope of a comeback and switch to the more exciting, pure, insurgent party. Reform can also take some votes from Labour, from the type of voter who wants to punish the Tories, but perhaps voted for Brexit and likes Farage.

They are being backed for some incredibly unlikely targets - they are 100.099/1 to win Most Seats and Farage is trading at just 42.041/1 to be Next Prime Minister. There is money for them in some very unlikely constituencies.

If you believe Reform are about to surge, I recommend a couple less ambitious targets. First 6.05/1 about them beating the Conservatives in a Vote Share Match Bet looks fair value. All it will take is a couple of polls putting them level, or close to level, and these odds are bound to crash.

Also, check the Reform Seats market. The combined odds about 0 and 1-2 pays just above 1.331/3. So effectively just under 4.03/1 is available about them winning 3 or more, via laying the two lower bands.

Whilst the general consensus right now is that only Farage in Clacton and Richard Tice in Boston and Skegness hold serious chances, if they were to surge, others would come into play. Hartlepool, or Lee Anderson's Ashfield constituency, for example. The 3-4 option certainly makes some trading appeal at around 11.010/1.

Monday 3rd June - 17:30 - Labour on course for 'historic landslide'

The first YouGov MRP of the campaign has been published on Sky News and it is a brutal set of early results for the Conservative party.

Labour are on course to win a 194-seat majority, which would be the largest such result since 1924, when Stanley Baldwin won with a 208 majority for the Tory party.

The survey also suggests surges for the Lib Dem party, and the SNP losing over half of their seats in Scotland.

Labour - currently 1.081/12 for an Overall Majority on the Betfair Exchange (which suggests a near 93% chance) - are polled to win 422 seats, up 222 from their 2019 results. This would represent the highest ever number of Labour seats on record.

The 194 majority would also smash Tony Blair's own landslide victory in 1997, something our Political expert Paul Krishmamurty wrote about last week.

Tory losses then are projected to see 232 seats lost, putting their total down to 140. It would be their lowest overall total since 1906 (131). The Betfair Exchange currently has Conservative losses of 201 or more priced at 1.222/9 - an 82% chance.

You can find the rest of the results from Sky News' partnership with YouGov here.

Monday 3rd June - 16:30 - Farage takes over as Reform UK leader

Nigel Farage has today announced he is taking over as the leader of the Reform UK party and will indeed stand at next month's general election.

Farage will take the role from Richard Tice, and also announced he will launch his election campaign tomorrow in the Essex seaside town of Clacton.

Very much acknowledging that Kier Starmer "will win" an Overall Majority to become the UK's next Prime Minister - something Starmer is 1.041/25 to achieve on the Betfair Exchange - Farage went on to say that Reform UK will 'become the voice of the opposition."

Before the news broke, Reform UK were 2.56/4 to win the Clacton seat but since Farage's announcement, have been backed in to 1.584/7 - an implied probability of over 63%. The Conservartive party had been the 1/41.25 favourites for the seat, but are now out to 7/52.40.

History is not on Mr Farage's side however, as he has lost all seven previous attempts at winning a seat in Westminster, most recently back in 2015 when he stood for UKIP in South Thanet.

Sam Rosbottom, Betfair spokesperson, said: "The Farage Factor was on full display today as odds shortened across the board for Reform UK. He has once again shaken up the election and will have Rishi Sunak desperately worried."

"Since his emergency Election press conference, punters have been backing Reform UK to win in Clacton, and the odds have completely flipped. Having been as big as 6/42.50 (40% chance) earlier today, Farage is now 4/71.57 (64% chance) to win the Essex seat."

Monday 3rd June - 15:30 - Starmer heavy odds-on to be next PM

Keir Starmer is 1.041/25 (a 96% chance ) on the Betfair Exchange to be the UK's next prime minister after delivering a big speech on national security and defence.

With a Labour majority 1.091/11, and the odds on Conservative losses pointing too a potential armageddon on 4 July for Rishi Sunak's party, Starmer looks like the country's prime minister in waiting.

For that reason, his speech today was eagerly anticipated. He spoke of "new age of insecurity" and vowed to give Britain's armed forces the resources they need to keep the country safe.

Critics were quick to point out that some members of Starmer's shadow cabinet voted against the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent in 2016 when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.

Defence is traditionally a strong area for the Conservatives but, ahead of tomorrow night's debate between Starmer and Sunak, it is the Labour leader who Betfair punters think will be making the key decisions in Downing Street after the election.

Monday 3rd June - 12:00 - Farage second favourite for next Tory leader

Nigel Farage is the second favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative party after Kemi Badenoch, the favourite to succeed Rishi Sunak, endured what was widely considered to be a car-crash live interview on BBC Radio 4.

This morning, Farage shortened from 34.033/1 to 7.06/1 on the Betfair Exchange to be the next leader of the Conservative party. He is currently 7.613/2 in the market.

Farage, who made his name campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, has been a thorn in the side of Conservative prime ministers from David Cameron to Sunak.

There has long been speculation that the former-UKIP leader could join the Tories among whom he has ideological allies, including back-bench MPs and some sections of the party's grassroots membership.

On Monday morning, Betfair's Sam Rosbottom said: "In the past hour, punters have backed Farage into second favourite to be the next Conservative leader. He was 34.033/1 (3% chance) yesterday, but his odds were dramatically slashed to just 7.06/1 (14% chance), with Badenoch the only one in the running ahead of him at 4.03/1 (25% chance).

"The former MEP has sent Westminster into a frenzy of speculation with his announcement of an emergency press conference this afternoon. Maybe he has seen the latest odds on Betfair Exchange, with punters heavily backing Reform UK to win no seats at 1.341/3 (75% chance).

"He has previously ruled himself out of the running as an MP in the upcoming election, but he hasn't ruled himself out of rejoining the Tory party and taking over as leader, something which punters have been backing since his mysterious announcement this morning."

Monday 3rd June - 09:30 - Labour in the driving seat

Sir Keir Starmer is set to address the nation on national security today as Labour remain firmly in the driving seat for an Overall Majority at next month's General Election according to the Betfair Exchange.

Labour are 1.091/11 to secure an Overall Majority, with the Conservative party now 65.064/1.

Each day, you can find the latest Betfair Exchange data right here across the main Political markets, such as Overall Majority, Most Seats, Prime Minister after Sunak and Next Tory Leader.

Sunday 2nd June - 16:00 - Polling news worsens for the Tories

The idea that this election wasn't a foregone conclusion depends on a couple of things. That the Tories improve throughout the campaign, as governments tend to historically, and that undecided 2019 Tory voters return to the fold. It is therefore hard to not see the last couple of day's news as being anything less than catastrophic for them.

First, on Friday, an MRP from Electoral Calculus/Find Out Now projected they could end up with just 66 MPs, only seven more than the Lib Dems. The only saving grace from that survey is that it has repeatedly produced the worst results for the Conservatives. It is probably an outlier.

In contrast Opinium usually produce some of their best numbers, due to the methodology discussed earlier in this blog. They are one of the firms who re-allocated don't knows to their choice at the previous election. So a 20% Labour lead, representing a 3% swing during the past week, will have gone down like a cup of cold sick at CCHQ.

Of particular concern will be that the fieldwork was taken over a three-day period where the news cycle was centred on Labour disarray, over the purging of left-wing MPs such as Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen, and elevation of controversial party apparatchiks such as Luke Akehurst. The Tory machine was all over that story. To apparently no effect.

Other polls also have the Tories in the low-twenties, whilst their main rival on the Right, Reform UK, retains a double-digit share. The squeeze isn't happening as yet. Whereas the Tory wipeout discussed in Friday's article remains a live prospect.

The next week or so is critical. The first TV debate is on Tuesday, and conventional wisdom would assume that the extra coverage would enable both Labour and Conservatives to squeeze their smaller rivals. If Sunak doesn't get a bounce from it, expect mass panic in Tory ranks.

However logical it may seem, a bounce from a set-piece TV event is far from guaranteed. Check the above research. It demonstrates how the election propaganda war is now waged online, how effective the far-Right are at it, and where this critical audience of older, undecided ex-Tory voters are.

It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that the Conservatives are targeting voters with precisely the sort of conspiracy propaganda that we associate with the far-Right, Trump and propagandists tied to the Russian state.

This is a major gamble and could seriously backfire if the mainstream media gets wind of it and starts quizzing Tory candidates about the substance of this nonsense. It is also highly questionable whether the target audience will believe it coming from a Tory politician in the same way they might from an edgy, anti-establishment video on Facebook.

There is no cast-iron guarantee that the Tories will improve. Things could get worse. The 'Canada 1993' wipeout which Farage is openly aiming to replicate, in order to re-align right-wing politics, remains a live possibility.

Saturday 1st June - 17:00 - Another Tory promise labelled a disgrace

A week after the Conservative party's national service plans were labelled desperate, another of their promises should they win the 4 July general election has today been labelled a "disgrace".

As the campaign battle buses set off on their tours of the UK, Tory leader Rishi Sunak pledged that he would give 30 towns £20m if re-elected. This would be an expansion of the existing towns fund, which is one part of the government's Levelling Up agenda.

But, with the Conservative party trading at 23.022/1 to win the Most Seats, Sarah Olney, the Treasury spokesperson for the Lib Dems, has labelled the pledge as a "disgrace" and a "complete insult" to small businesses and High Streets.

Meanwhile the Labour party - who can be backed at 1.041/25 to win the next general election - have promised to boost employment by combining job centres with careers services. Keir Starmer's party can be backed at 1.111/9 to win an Overall Majority on 4 July.

To get all the latest prices and data on the significant general elections market read our daily updates here.

Friday 31st May - 09:56 - Latest daily odds update live

Get up to speed with all the prices moves from the big General Election markets in our daily snapshot. Read it here.

Thursday 30th May - 16:50 - Both Tories and Labour at risk of defections

Conventional wisdom says that, once a general election is called and voters zoom in on their choice of potential governments, the main two parties will begin to squeeze the smaller ones. That is precisely what happened in the last two elections.

It is probably still too early to really measure it, but events of recent days point in a contrary direction.

First, the generally anticipated Tory squeeze on Reform has yet to materialise in the polls. Two of the last three polls (More In Common and Redfield & Wilton) record them up 1%, while Yougov have them down 2%. Previously Survation recorded no move, while Savanta had them down 1%. All well within the margin of error.

Perhaps more significantly, Nigel Farage shows zero sign of going away or piping down his attacks on the government. The idea of a deal between his party and the Tories looks less likely than ever.

Tonight, despite not even being a general election candidate, Reform's Honorary President is a guest on Question Time. Last night, he could barely have been any clearer on Peston, and even declared his 'model' of re-alignment is the 1993 Canadian election, when their Tories lost 154 out of 156 seats.

However any Labour celebrations were short-lived, as their campaign hit its first crisis, with the ongoing row over Diane Abbott, Faiza Shaheen and Lloyd Russell-Moyle being blocked from standing again in the consituencies they either held or had been campaigning for. Here, former MP Emma Dent Coad gave voice to the complaints of many a left-wing Labour supporter.

The risk for them is that left-wing supporters will defect in greater numbers, with the Greens being the likeliest beneficiary.

Whilst in both cases, the numbers of voters involved only represent a small percentage of voters, it could affect the outcome of dozens, even hundreds of constituencies.

Working in favour of the big-two parties is that next week sees the first head-to-head debate between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer. This will surely squeeze coverage of the rest. However, in an already unpredictable election which could well see more seats change hands than ever before, this is another big known unknown going forward.

Thursday 30th May - 09:00 - Labour 'more than 90% probability' of Overall Majority

Labour remain 1.11/10 for an Overall Majority in July's election despite the scrutiny the party has come under in the row with Diane Abott.

Abott remains determined to stand in her Hackney North seat in the upcoming election, despite Sir Kier Stamer saying "no decision" had been taken to bar her from standing, despite what Abott seems to think.

The Conservative party will do their best to spin this in their favour, though at odds of 50.049/1 this morning, they still have a huge mountain to climb before July 4th.

You can find all the latest Betfair Exchange data on a variety of markets here.

Wednesday 29th May 11:00 - Tory seat totals look too high

As explained in Sunday's post, the different methodology used by each polling firms produces widely differing estimates of seat totals. Betfair's expanding range of election markets includes multiple seat total options for each party. I think this is where the very best opportunities lie and that confusion can be our friend.


First, consider the latest round of polls. With one exception, JLB Partners, they make quite terrifying reading for the Tories. The Reform vote isn't collapsing, despite Nigel Farage not standing. The one firm that had shown the Tories rising, Survation, has reverted to a 23% Labour lead. The one with by far the biggest sample, from Redfield and Wilton, has Labour's lead at its highest. They also find the following about 2019 Conservative voters.

If even vaguely accurate, that goes a long way to answering the methodology question. Currently undecided 2019 Tory voters cannot be assumed to return to the fold. Far from it. We should indeed be taking the idea of a Tory wipeout seriously.

I am currently going through the constituencies and will start previewing them in the next day or two. First, I went through the safest 140 Tory seats on paper - Betfair's under/over line is 140.5 - to see how many really are safe.

Of course there are all sorts of known unknowns. Will Reform's vote hold up, or transfer to the Tories? Without extraordinarily sophisticated tactical voting, Labour and the Lib Dems risk cutting each other's throats in dozens of seats where they were closely matched last time, way behind the Tories. Are areas which have never voted Labour, and where the party has minimal presence, really going to turn red?

For each seat, I labelled them 1-5 for vulnerability. 1 = Safe. 2 = Almost safe. 3 = Not safe. 4 = Vulnerable. 5 = Highly vulnerable. Only seven were in the top group, and 14 in the second. In more than half of the other 119 seats, Electoral Calculus rate Labour as favourites. Often by big margins. I would be very surprised if the Tories didn't lose at least 30 of these 140 seats.

There may well be seats further down the list they hold but, for my money, 140 seats is way too high. Those findings about 2019 Tory voters are logical, due to the unique nature of that 'Brexit election'. A large chunk of them had rarely, if ever, supported the party before and haven't been reliable general election voters in the past. I've backed 140 or less at 2.01/1.

Wednesday 29 May 10:45 - First TV debate confirmed

ITV have announced they will broadcast the first live TV debate of the 2024 General Election on June 4th at 9pm.

Rishi Sunak and Sir Kier Stamer will go head-to-head in front of the cameras for an hour long debate, moderated by Julie Etchingham.

Labour are currently 1.041/25 to win the most seats at July's General Election, and now 1.101/10 for an Overall Majority, giving them a near 91% chance to be the next party inside Number 10.

Wednesday 29 May 09:30 - Get the latest Trading data from the Betfair Exchange

Sky News' first YouGov Poll of the General Election campaign has seen Labour 'increase their lead' over the Conservatives - moving 27 points ahead.

Looking at the odds on the Betfair Exchange, Labour have been backed at 1.111/9, now giving them a bigger than 90% chance for an Overall Majority.

You can read the latest Betfair Exchange data right here across a variety of different markets!

Tuesday 28 May 12:30 - More than £3m wagered on Betfair Exchange in last week

Betfair Exchange overall majority 280524.png

Latest Betfair Exchange odds:

Overall majority

Labour majority 1/81.12 (89% chance)

No overall majority 10/111.00 (9% chance)

Conservative majority 47/148.00 (2% chance)

Most seats?

Labour 1/201.05 (95% chance)

Conservative - 18/119.00 (5% chance)

Reform UK - 599/1600.00 (<1% chance)

Lib Dem - 999/11000.00 (<1% chance)

Green - 999/11000.00 (<1% chance)

  • Labour's odds to win a majority (1/81.12 or 89% chance) are the shortest they have been since the market opened four years ago
  • Sir Keir Starmer's party were 12/113.00 (7% chance) to win a majority back in May 2021
  • More than £3m has been wagered on Betfair Exchange's UK General Election markets since Wednesday's announcement

Betfair Spokesperson, Sam Rosbottom said: "After a dismal start to the campaign for the Conservatives, the first weekend of the election has only further entrenched Labour's lead among Betfair Exchange punters.

Labour's odds to win a majority are the shortest they have been since this market opened on the Betfair Exchange 4 years ago.

In May 2021, Labour's chances of winning a majority were 12/113.00 (7% chance), while now they are an astounding 1/81.12 (89% chance).

More than £3m has been wagered on Betfair Exchange's UK General Election markets since Wednesday last week.

Coupled with the US election in November, this is expected to be one of the biggest years in political betting history.

North of the border in Scotland, John Swinney the Leader of the SNP continues to have a terrible first month of his premiership. Punters place Labour at 1/31.33 (75% chance) to win the most seats in Scotland, with the SNP trailing behind at 3/14.00 (25% chance)."

Latest Betfair Exchange odds:

How many seats will the Conservatives lose?

No losses 509/1510.00 (<1% chance)

1-50 seat losses 84/185.00 (1% chance)

51-100 seat losses 37/138.00 (3% chance)

101-150 seat losses 12/113.00 (8% chance)

151-200 seat losses 7/24.50 (22% chance)

201 or more seat losses 40/851.47 (68% chance)

Tuesday 28 May 09:45 - Get the latest Trading data from the Betfair Exchange

Fresh from morning reports that over 120 business leaders announced their endorsement of Labour in an open letter, let us have a look at the latest Betfair Exchange data from the last 24 hours.

You can find the daily update right here, as Labour hit their all-time lowest price for an Overall Majority at 1.121/8.

Monday 27 May 16:30 - Labout hit all-time low for Overall Majority

On Monday afternoon, Sir Kier Starmer and the Labour Party hit their lowest ever price in the Overall Majority market on the Betfair Exchange, with their price matched at 1.121/8 or 1/81.12.

That is an implied probability of over 89%.

This comes after they hit another all-time low in another market - the Most Seats' - at 1.051/20, with Labour looking rock solid there.

On Sunday, the Betfair Exchange saw some slight movement in the Overall Majority market with Conservatives shortening to 48.047/1 from 60.059/1. However, with Labour hitting their low of 1.121/8 on Monday, the Tory party headed back out to 55.054/1.

Remember, the Conservatives were once matched at 1.738/11 for an Overall Majority, but also hit the heights of 85.084/1.

Over £3m has now been matched on the Overall Majority market (£3,054,556).

Monday was another concerning day for Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives, with outgoing Tory MP - Lucy Allan - suspended from the party for publicly backing the Reform UK candidate in her constituency of Telford.

Sunday 26 May 19.15 - Early polls make grim reading for Tories

Nobody could claim the first few days of the election campaign have gone to plan for Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives, and the six polls taken since he called the election will do little to lift their spirits.


Labour's lead ranges from 14 to 26% - all comfortably enough to secure a majority. Why the big range? This is due to the methodology of each polling firm. Opinium and More in Common - the two firms showing a Labour lead below 20% and the Tories higher than 23% - re-allocate voters who are currently 'don't knows' to their choice in 2019. Whether that methodology proves to be superior remains to be seen.

If we translate the average swing of these vote tallies into seats won, this is roughly what they would produce. The word 'roughly' is important because in many of the seats where the Tories are forecast to lose, it isn't clear whether Labour or the Lib Dems will be the principal opposition, or whether they will split the anti-Tory vote. SNP-held seats also have very different dynamics and every seat could involve tactical voting.

Furthermore, as argued in my recent piece about lessons learned from betting on past elections, national swing is a poor guide. My strong view is that Labour will outperform that average in the areas where they fared badly last time - areas with higher shares of older, Leave voters, white British, and lower levels of graduates. But in the reverse, they will underperform the average.

Nevertheless, these are what the averages project. (Based on the above theory, Labour would end up winning more). The Opinium numbers imply a 12.75% swing from Conservatives to Labour, and 7.5% swing from Conservatives to Lib Dems. Labour would gain 118 seats from them, and the Lib Dems would gain 15. The new Tory total would be 239, before any changes between them and the SNP or Plaid Cymru. 200-249 Conservative Seats is available to back at 8.07/1.

At the higher end, Techne's numbers imply respective swings of 18.75% and 12.5%. Labour would gain 210 seats and the Lib Dems 32. That reduces the Tories to 130. 100-149 Conservative Seats is available to back at 3.3512/5.

Clearly, there is a very wide range between the two extreme outcomes. To reiterate, the Tory total will likely be worse in both cases due to disproportionate swing against them in the places they hold, and the likelihood of tactical voting between Labour and Lib Dem voters.

Therefore, if you prefer the Opinium methology and numbers, the 150-199 band might be the best plan at 4.216/5. If you like the Techne numbers, don't look beyond 100 and 16.5 about Under 50 Conservative Seats should appeal. For example, in their 50th safest seat, Labour require a 22.57% swing. In this climate, not out of the question.

Sunday 26 May 10:15 - National service plans "desperate" and "unfunded"

The Labour party has criticised plans by the Conservative party to bring back national service as "desperate" and "unfunded".

On Saturday, Rishi Sunak announed that 12 months of mandatory national service would be reintroduced by his party if they win the upcoming general election. The plans, which Sunak said would help foster the national spirit that emerged during the covid pandemic, are expected to cost around £2.5bn.

The move by the Tories failed to to improve their chances of winning the 4 July election with their odds on the Betfair Exchange remaining around the 19.018/1 mark to win the Most Seats, with Labour rock solid at 1.051/20, the lowest price they've ever traded at.

It is believed that the national service would be aimed at 18-year-olds with over 30,000 full-time military placements on offer.

Sunak said, "This is a great country but generations of young people have not had the opportunities or experience they deserve and there are forces trying to divide our society in this increasingly uncertain world.

"I will bring in a new model of national service to create a shared sense of purpose among our young people and a renewed sense of pride in our country."

In response, Labour said, "This is another desperate £2.5 billion unfunded commitment from a Tory Party which already crashed the economy, sending mortgages rocketing, and now they're spoiling for more.

"This is not a plan - it's a review which could cost billions and is only needed because the Tories hollowed out the armed forces to their smallest size since Napoleon."

The Betfair Exchange saw some slight movement in the Overall Majority market yesterday with Conservative shortening to 48.047/1 from 60.059/1. Labour remain the 1.141/7 favourites with No Overall Majority drifting to 9.28/1.

Saturday 25 May 10:30 - General Election markets trade over £10m

With almost £350k traded on the Betfair Exchange's UK General Election markets in the last 24 hours, the overall volume of money now traded has exceeded £10m.

At the end of Friday, £10,344,927 had been traded in total on all UK General Election market with the Most Seats market receiving the highest volum of money traded at just shy of £5m. Labour remain the red hot favourites at 1.061/18 to win the most seats when the country goes to the polls on Thursday 4 July, with the Conservatives available to back at 18.017/1.

With £2,862,141 traded by the close of play yesterday, the Overall Majority market has seen the second highest amount of money traded and unsurprisingly Labour dominate this market also at 1.141/7. The No Overall Majority price ha drifted slightly, from 8.07/1 on Friday to 8.88/1 on Saturday morning, while a Conservative Majority can be backed at 55.054/1.

The Betfair Exchange has now had over 432,000 individual bets placed on all UK General Election markets and that number is set to increase massively over the coming weeks as the key parties ramp up their election campaigns.

Friday 24 May 12:00 - £2m in two days bet on General Election markets

General election 2024 betting got off to a flying start on the Betfair Exchange in the two days since Rishi Sunak called the 4 July vote.

A staggering £2m has been wagered on Exchange election markets as punters try to back the winning outcomes.

Support for Labour has poured in with more than £320k of the £360k wagered in overall majority market going on Keir Starmer's party.

Labour are 1.171/6 to win a majority, while no overall majority is 7.613/2 and a Conservative majority is 50.049/1.

However, 36% of bets on that market have been for no overall majority, compared to 34% of bets backing Labour and 30% of bets for the Tories.

There are plenty of punters who do not think a Labour majority is a foregone conclusion and they have been putting money on an unexpected outcome during a frenetic couple of days.

Friday 24 May 09:30 - Farage's decision likely to prevent a Tory wiepout...

In terms of affecting the election outcome, yesterday's announcement by Reform's Honorary President is the first really significant moment of this election. It is fair to assume that Rishi Sunak breathed a huge sigh of relief.

For over a year, we have been speculating about the Conservative Party facing an existential crisis, challenged by the populist Reform on their right flank. Reform came very close to finishing ahead of the Tories in the Blackpool South by-election and have reached within a few percentage points of them in opinion polls.

That threat now feels a lot less real. Reform are odds-on to win 0 seats at 1.42/5 and very few of their candidates will have any public profile. Leader Richard Tice, Tory defector Lee Anderson and Chairman Ben Habib being the most obvious exceptions. Nobody with anything like Farage's name recognition.

Without him on the ballot, the media are not going to pay Reform much attention - save perhaps exposing and ridiculing unvetted, extreme candidates.

I very much doubt they can retain double-digit shares but am not convinced their vote share will completely collapse. Reform are filling a gap on the far-Right of UK politics which was temporarily vacated in 2019, as Brexit voters coalesced around Boris Johnson. Parties such as the BNP, English Democrats and Farage's former vehicle, UKIP, all but disappeared. His Brexit Party gained only 2% last time, but that figure would have been much higher had they not withdrawn from Tory-held seats.

The dynamics this time are very different. Sunak will never possess Johnson's populist appeal and there is no urgent need to 'save Brexit'. A sizeable chunk of the 2019 Tory share was voters who had never previously supported them, and haven't even consistently turned out in general elections.

I expect Reform to retain around 5-8% of the vote. After all, they moved up the polls without Farage ever taking centre-stage. It is more than merely his personal vehicle.

Nevertheless, that decline will change the maths in constituencies across the land and help the Tories. Check out the constituency forecasts on Based on current polls, the consistent theme is Reform scoring double-digits and reducing the Tories to sub-40% even in their safest seats. As explained yesterday here, the high potential for tactical voting means the Tories may need to get 40% plus even in seats where they have never faced a serious challenge.

If Reform do indeed collapse, or even merely see their vote share halve, that probably rules out a Tory wipeout. The lowest 0-49 band in our Conservative Party Seats market has drifted sharply to odds of 16.5. It shouldn't be that difficult for them to save 100 seats, particularly across the South in heartlands such as Hampshire and Dorset.

However this doesn't particularly affect the wider picture. Even assuming Reform voters return to the Tories, it won't be enough to prevent a Labour majority. To achieve that, Sunak needs his party to win back voters from Labour/Lib Dems and go well beyond 30%. There is no sign of that yet.

Thursday 23 May 16:40 - Betfair's Sam Rosbottom tells us the story of the last 24 hours on the Exchange...

Thursday 23 May 14:30 - Betfair punters back no over all majority

Punters have been backing no over all majority on the Betfair Exchange since Rishi Sunak called the general election yesterday.

It was at 9.517/2 yesterday and has shortened to 8.07/1 on Thursday.

A Labour majority is still an 85% chance at 1.182/11 but shortening odds indicate that some bettors believe that this election could be closer than some polls indicate.

Labour are 1.061/18 to win the most seats and Keir Starmer is the same price to be the UK's next prime minister.

Betfair Spokesperson, Sam Rosbottom said: "We are noticing that momentum for a no overall majority government is starting to build.

"While the overwhelming majority of the £1.35m staked on the Betfair Exchange's UK political markets in the past 24 hours has been in favour of Labour, we have actually taken more bets on a no overall majority."

Thursday 23 May 14:00 - Farage won't risk eighth election loss

Nigel Farage will not stand for the Reform UK party at the general election in 2024.

The former-UKIP leader was seen as a potential candidate for the pro-Brexit party that will contest 630 of the 650 consituencies up for grabs on 4 July.

Farage stood for parliament seven times and was defeated on each occasion. He remains an influential figure in British politics, however, and has even been talked up as a potential defector to the Tory party and eventual party leader.

Reform are aiming to pick up people who voted Tory at the 2019 election and want a rightwing alternative this time.

There is a Betfair Exchange market on Reform UK's election vote percentage in which 6-7.9% is the current 4.216/5 favourite.

Thursday 23 May 12:00 - Labour favourites as £1.35m wagered on Betfair Exchange

Labour are the firm favourites in the general election betting on the Betfair Exchange as day one of the campaign gets underway.

Keir Starmer's party are 1.182/11 to win a majority and 1.061/18 to win the most seats in parliament when the UK votes on 4 July 24.

The UK is still reeling from prime minister Rishi Sunak's decision to call a snap election. It had been expected to take place in the autumn but Sunak, whose party have consistently polled 20 points behind Labour, has gambled by going early. The events of the next few weeks will reveal whether he was wise of foolhardy.

Since yesterday, when speculation mounted throughout the day before Sunak confirmed the election date, more than £1.35m has been wagered in the Betfair Exchange election markets.

That shows that bettors have a big appetite for an election and the next seven weeks are likely to be eventful both on the campaign trail and in the Betfair markets.

Our political betting expert Paul Krishnamurty, who will be providing his analysis throughout the election build-up, has identified five questions that could determine the outcome. Read Paul's updates to find out what the latest election news means for bettors.

New to Betfair politics? Find out here about the key general election markets and what the odds tell us about who will be in power in the UK on 5 July.

Now read more General Election 2024 analysis from Betting.Betfair politics experts


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