In the space of under a month, the odds on a hung parliament after the election have moved from Evens to 4/7.
The main development behind this has been the startling polling coming out of Scotland showing the possibility of sweeping SNP gains, mainly at Labour’s expense. The continued good showing of the Greens at the polls has also hurt Labour disproportionately.
Meanwhile, UKIP’s numbers have shown no sign of declining and the prospect of a comfortable win for Mark Reckless in Rochester next week isn’t going to help the Tories – UKIP are now 1/33 to win the by-election.
Is the betting shift reflected in the political scientists’ forecasting models? I’ve taken the latest estimates from a couple of excellent sites; Steven Fisher at electionsetc and Chris Hanretty at ElectionForecast and compared them to the probabilities suggested by Ladbrokes’ latest odds
The Hanretty estimate of a hung parliament would make it just under a 1/4 chance, which makes our 4/7 offer look quite generous. Both models make a Tory majority more likely than a Labour one, although that isn’t reflected in the betting yet.
All of this makes the market on what the post-election government will emerge even more open. We’ve seen a bit of money in recent days for a Lab/LD/SNP coalition, which has shortened up from 33/1 to 20/1.