Politics and gambling have been inseparable, and it has been so for the past many decades and perhaps even centuries. So, whether it is a general election, or is about regularly occurring by elections, there is lot of excitement amongst supporters of political parties and amongst those who are not avid political animals.
Therefore, it is not surprising when we see millions of pounds and Euros being spent on such elections. It certainly is big money spinner for scores of bookmakers and for thousands of bettors and punters.
While big money is made and lost in big general elections for installing new governments, there is also big money as far as by elections are concerned.
Many by elections are considered as trend setters and, therefore, lot of interest and excitement is evinced by stakeholders especially bookmakers and punters. In this article we will try and have a look at some important by election odds.
How Are Election Odds Calculated?
There are many ways and means by which election odds are calculated. There are many inputs that must be taken into account for calculating and arriving at the odds figure. The general public perception is one of the most important inputs based on which election odds are calculated.
The constituency, the party contesting the seat, the respective candidates and the track record of the various parties also contribute a lot on deciding the odds for various parties.
The punters also contribute quite a bit for arriving at reasonably accurate odds figure for a candidate. The seat where the election is held, its importance and relevance in the national as well as regional politics also have an influence on determining the outcome of the odds when they are calculated.
The party and candidate with a high odd in its favor have a higher chance of winning. Therefore, it is quite likely that such parties and candidates will not help punters to make big money.
Hence, the secret lies in having a healthy combination of both low-odd and high-odd candidates and parties. This will without any doubt increase the amount of money which could be won by such intelligent odds-selection.
A Look at an Important by Election
There are many such by elections which are held in a span of two to five years. Therefore, it may not be possible to track every poll. It is only possible to have a look at some important and vital by election odds which have been held recently or are slated to be held in the none-too-distant future.
There is one such election which has been held recently and which has aroused lot of interest and excitement over the past few weeks. It is the Cowdenbeath by election.
As per the Cowdenbeath by election odds the result should have been completely different than what it turned out to be. Not many would have expected actual result as it happened once the counting was completed.
The SNP candidate, Natalie McGarry was tipped to be winner according to most predictions. The bookmakers also gave this party the highest odds. However, when the results were declared there was big surprise.
Alex Rowley of the Labor party became the surprising winner with a vote share of 55.79%. This was unimaginable, and it was certainly a big shock for the SNP candidate and of course the party.
A Look at the Odds
According to most bookmakers and punters the odds were in favor of SNP to the tune of 4:3. The Labor party was for behind with odds of 7:1.
Therefore, the result indeed came as a big shock to SNP. What made matters worse for SNP is the fact that their vote share dropped drastically to 28.43% compared to the last election which was a massive drop of around 13.17%.
Compared to this, the Labor party represented by Alex Rowley got 9.33% more votes when compared to the last election. This helped him and is party to surge beyond the 50% vote share. In fact, Labor party got 55.79% of the votes cast.
This without any doubt upset the apple-cart of almost all the bookmakers and thousands of bettors. The entire calculation of odds went awry, and it certainly was unexpected and shocking. It is a big setback for SNP who were supposed to strengthen their presence in this constituency.
Some Lessons to Be Learnt
There are some obvious lessons to be learnt for both political parties and bookmakers. First and foremost, determining and predicting odds is not an easy job. Voters of any constituency cannot be taken for granted because of several reasons.
Many election result predictions and odds calculations have gone horribly wrong over the past many months. The exit polls pertaining to Brexit went totally wrong because many pollsters and bookmakers predicted that Great Britain would continue to be a member of the European Union.
Similarly, and more recently, Theresa May gambled by calling early general elections based on inputs from a few pollsters and bookmakers. However, she was in for a rude shock as her Conservative Party suffered huge reverses. Eventually she had to form government with outside support.
This government will certainly be exactly opposite to what bookmakers had predicted. In fact, it would not be out of place to mention here that Theresa May have taken the decision for early general elections based on the inputs she received from her party and more importantly from big punters and bookmakers.
One big lesson to be learnt out of this whole episode of by election result is never to take such predictions and odds on their face value.
However, at the end of the day there is no doubt that inputs from experienced and big bookmakers have been accurate eight out of ten times.
It depends on the end user to peruse as many predictions as possible and then take an informed and reasonably accurate decision. The margin for error could thus be reduced to a great extent.