Politics: Election Count Down?

The not-so-United Kingdom heads back to the polls for a general election less than a year after the shock Brexit poll.

While that referendum stirred and divided national opinion like few before, this election looks set to be a far more mundane affair.

The governing Conservatives, under the leadership of Thatcher-lite Theresa May, look set for a wide margin victory. Voters appear to have accepted Brexit as a “we made our bed so we have to lie in it” outcome, and trust May to negotiate some degree of orderly exit.

In contrast, the message of the opposing Labour party is confused and mixed. Leader Jeremy Corbyn is the darling of left-leaning core Labour membership, but seems fatally disconnected from the moderate majority of potential Labour voters. His admirably principled personal stance, whether on nuclear weapons, force in Syria, Castro, or tax policy may play well to his core members, but looks unlikely to attract swing voters.

The lesser parties do not look on election-footing, and the outcome in aggregate looks obvious to pundits, pollsters and bookies alike.

We will be looking in detail as the election draws closer to where value may lie in the non-core markets. For now though our overwhelming sense is of an election of choices that will inspire few people. Perhaps the vote that will be most significant is those voting with their bum – staying put at home rather than express an interest in any of the options.

Turnout in the U.K. was traditionally a mid 70s percentile, but has dipped this century, with a low of 59% returning Tony Blair in 2001, and subsequent turnouts of 61%, 65% and 66%. Those last two were well-contested elections with unclear outcomes. This election smells more like 2001, perhaps even less so given it is only two years since the last vote.

We think turnout could hit a new low. Bet 365 offers 11/4 that turnout is 60.00% or less, and that looks a possible odds-on shot in our assessment. We will move early now before the extent of voter apathy becomes clear to all.

Recommendation: Turnout 60.00% or less at 11/4, Bet365

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