Thursday, 8 January 2015

Political betting resources

This isn't a particularly interesting post, but I hope it's a fairly useful one.  I've tried to gather together some useful resources sites in one place.  It's an oddity, but it's easy to find lots of opinion sites but rather harder to find the sites that just record the underlying data.  It seems, after all, as if comment is sacred.

I'll try to remember to add to this as and when I come across other useful sites. 

Previous national results

We can't know where we're going unless we know where we're starting from.  Here are the 2010 election results from the BBC on a convenient clickable map:

Here are the Holyrood results from 2011:

And the Wales results from the same year:

Finally, and critically for Scotland, the results of the independence referendum in detail:

Local election results in this Parliament

Personally, I'm not too fussed about local election results, but here they are for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014:

And this might prove useful when assessing UKIP prospects:

European election results

We shouldn't forget the Euro election results from 2014 either.  Again, I think that they can be overinterpreted, but they do have their uses:

These can be found in detail by council for most regions as follows:

Overall (but some of the links on this page are dodgy):

South West

South East

East of England

West Midlands

East Midlands


North East



Seat guides

Next we need to know the battlegrounds.  For this, UK Polling Report is indispensible:

Wikipedia is better for getting turnout numbers quickly though, and sometimes has more detail on the composition of the seat.

We've had this leaked list of seats that the Conservatives are supposedly not targeting:

I have my doubts about how accurate it is, but it's worth looking at.


It's always good to know something about the candidates.  AndyJS has put together a fantastic, fully comprehensive database for this:

And GE2015 has given some background on the UKIP candidates in the most winnable seats:

It's always worth doing a quick google on any candidate you're thinking of backing.  Some have quite colourful histories.  Others (unfortunately, a smaller number) have inspiring pasts.  Most candidates of major parties have their own websites and many have their own twitter feeds.  If you're backing them in a big way, investigate those too.

Personally, if I were a candidate, I would say as little as possible.  Even a fish wouldn't get caught if it kept its mouth shut and no one ever remembers the brilliant things you say.
National opinion polls

Once again, UK Polling Report is the best hub for national polls:

This is usually a few days out of date, but the main site updates on the most recent polls.

In Scotland, John Curtice's site is the best resource on polls.  Here's a link to the Westminster 2015 polls:

And in Wales the polls are gathered here:

There are also some London-only polls, but these do not seem to be conveniently collected together in one place.

Constituency polls

This time around, we have a lot of constituency polls.  Lord Ashcroft's are conveniently compiled here:

May 2015 present them on a map rather than alphabetically here:

Here are all the constituency polls of pure Labour/Conservative marginals, arranged in decreasing order of Labour lead:

Survation have also compiled quite a few constituency polls too, though these aren't as conveniently presented.

South Thanet:


Grimsby and Dudley North:

Folkestone & Hythe, Bognor Regis & Littlehampton, Great Yarmouth and Crewe & Nantwich:

Rotherham, North Thanet and Boston & Skegness:

Stockton South:

ICM also conducted six controversial opinion polls - 

In Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam, Wells and Redcar:


and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey:

Lord Ashcroft has now produced his Scottish constituency polls, and his commentary on these should also be read carefully:

Seat calculators

We have a few different seat calculators and everyone has their own secret sauce.  I have my doubts about how useful they will be in an election where so much has changed since 2010, but they're always a good sense check on any prediction.  Have fun:

Betting sites

Now finally, to betting.

Oddschecker is an essential starting point, listing best prices on every market it can get its hands on:

It's not 100% reliable though, so it's worth double checking on its prices sometimes.  And not all bets get to it (thanks to the labyrinthine nature of some of the bookies' websites, I think).  Sometimes it's messed up by identical bets being expressed differently by different bookies, so look at them carefully.  Sometimes it's messed up by spelling mistakes in constituency names by the bookies.  So don't rely on it completely blindly.

I'm not going to link to all markets, so you'll have to navigate your way around the bookies' websites for yourself, which is easier said than done in some cases.  However, I've made an exception for the constituency markets, because it's handy to be able to look at all of them together.

Here's a direct link to the Ladbrokes constituency markets:

Those for Paddy Power:

And those for William Hill:

With the election coming, I expect we'll see seats again from Stan James and perhaps Coral and Sky Bet (which offers a bet on Rochester & Strood at present, but nowhere else so far).  Others may venture into the arena too.

And if you go in for spread betting, here's a link to the Sporting Index political bets:

Good luck.

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