Breaking news from the UK is that Theresa May has this morning called for a UK general election to be held on 8th June 2017! She described in a statement outside Number 10 that, while the country was “coming together” after a polarising 12 months with the vote to leave the European Union, “Westminster is not”. Taking aim at the Conservatives’ rival parties, the UK Prime Minister commented that withholding from a snap election would see “political game-playing” continue, while also suggesting that leaving a vote until 2020 would see the run-up bogged down with the “most difficult” stages of negotiations with Britain’s EU exit. Phew!
With just a 17-seat majority in the lower house of Parliament, it’s clear that Theresa May wants to strengthen her position within government while seemingly out front in the polls. William Hill had it at 2/9 (all at the time of writing) that the Tories would triumph in the majority betting to give May a fantastic start to her summer.
As for most seats, Ladbrokes clearly expect the Conservatives to dominate, pricing it as far out as 1/10, with their main political rival, the Labour Party, coming in next at 7/1 in the same market.
We should note, despite the above general election 2017 odds, that nothing is set in stone yet. The Commons will vote on the matter on Wednesday – but it looks as though there is a strong chance it will go ahead already after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s comments below.
Interestingly, Ladbrokes had it down at 1/5 that Corbyn would be replaced as the party’s head by the end of 2017, while William Hill’s 14/1 shot for Labour is the longest odds this century for a red win.
Not much support for Jezza so far it seems…
"I want to lead a government that will transform this country" – Labour leader @jeremycorbyn on #GeneralElection https://t.co/gREFl0T7zE pic.twitter.com/vuR9Rdeo4C
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 18, 2017
Despite Theresa ruling out the idea of a snap election multiple times since her tenure began (alongside Foreign Secretary Boris, which you can see below), bookmakers had been scrambling for early bets after news emerged that the Prime Minister was to hold an unscheduled announcement this morning.
Odds of a snap election (that is a general election being held ahead of schedule, 2020 in the UK’s case) had been falling for a while now, with Ladbrokes marking it down as just a 2/1 shot before the end of 2017. Well, punters didn’t have to wait long!
Leicester City’s monumental 2016 Premier League shock essentially set the tone for the coming weeks and months for bookmaker perspectives. With Brexit being voted for followed by Trump storming to the White House, it’s safe to say it was one of the biggest years for upsets on record.
That came at a huge cost for the bookies, and even now William Hill have admitted that they would lose £23,000 if the snap election is rubber stamped in the Commons.
However, with Labour so far out and the Tories seemingly on an invincible path, is it possible they’ll get it wrong again? We’re sure plenty will be feeling a sense of deja vu, and bets being placed on Labour, Corbyn and a few other outside chances by the time the 8th June rolls around are sure to happen.
Coincidentally, it was the 2015 UK general election that first had cracks appearing in exit polls’ reliability. Surely not…