UK Politics Betting: Bettors react to local election results

The Houses of Parliament in the heart of Westminster where the Conservatives kept control of the council
Westminster (above) was one of the councils where the Conservatives held on
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Labour failed to make significant inroads, while the Conservatives managed to hang on in areas which they would usually take for granted. But how have bettors been reacting to Thursday night's local election results? Max Liu reports...

"The Conservatives [1.89] remain narrow favourites to win most seats at the next general election, and Labour [2.2]."

As the final results from yesterday's local election are declared, bettors are reacting to what was not quite as good a night as Labour had hoped and not quite as bad a night as the Tories feared. Jeremy Corbyn hailed "solid progress" as his party picked up votes and seats but fell short of the ambitious targets they set themselves.

Results indicate England still divided on Brexit

Labour performed strongly in cities while the Conservatives did better than expected in towns which voted to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum of 2016. Labour had targeted councils in London, that have traditionally been Conservative strong-holds, but they failed to cause an upset in Westminster and didn't manage to capture Barnet or Wandsworth, even though they had been favourites to take it from the Tories.

Labour did better elsewhere, though, taking over all control in Trafford, in the north of England, and in Plymouth - which includes the constituency of Johnny Mercer MP, who has been talked about as a potential future Conservative leader.

Bettors and pundits are still digesting the results and, so far there's been little movement in the betting. The Conservatives [1.89] remain narrow favourites to win most seats at the next general election, and Labour [2.2].

House of Commons projections show main parties neck and neck

On Friday afternoon, broadcasters issued House of Commons projections, which show what would happen if the results of last night's local elections were replicated across Britain in a general election.

The BBC put Labour and the Tories neck and neck, with 35% of the vote each:

Sky, meanwhile, also project a hung parliament, with the Tories down 12 seats and Labour down one, and the Liberal Democrats, who had a fairly decent batch of council results by their recent standards, more than doubling their seats.

Bettors agree that the most likely outcome of the next general election is another hung parliament and make it [2.58] favourite. Those odds, like the results, indicate that anything is far from certain and everything is still to play for between now and the next general election.

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