With just one week to go before Londoners join the rest of the United Kingdom in deciding which party will lead us into a post-Brexit age, do British bookmakers reflect the current mood of the nation?
The world is a different place since Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement on April 17 of a snap general election to be held this month.
Since then, onlookers have watched as all major parties hit the campaign trails, waged war in the national media, and revealed their plans for how they would guide the United Kingdom through the Brexit process and into an era free from the restraints of the European Union.
Since then, national tragedies such as the Manchester bombing attacks have sent a nation into mourning and added political fire to sensitive subjects of immigration and terrorism.
The atrocities committed at the Manchester Arena on May 22nd saw political campaigning put on hold as a well-received mark of respect, and when MPs got back to work just a few days later, it was to a world shocked into mourning that they returned.
All the while, political pundits were watching carefully, analysing opinion polls and diving deep into the data in an effort to try and accurately predict who the United Kingdom will call their next Prime Minister after May 8th.
They’re not the only ones.
Bookmakers here in London have also kept a close eye on the campaigns, all in an effort to maximise their business on the back of an election-triggered boom period for political betting.
How the Odds Stand
Current UK elections betting odds at William Hill reveal that the odds on a Conservative majority currently stand at 1/8, compared to 10/1 for a Labour majority, with the Liberal Democrats coming in as an outside bet at 250/1.
However, the odds themselves may not be the only indication as to the current mood of the nation.
Thousands of Pounds Bet on Corbyn victory
A polarising figure since he first took over as leader of the Labour Party back in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn has been as revealed in certain quarters of the British press as he has been revered by the thousands who turned out to support him at recent rallies.
Such has been Corbyn’s appeal with the British public, that according to the telegraph, punters are betting literally thousands of pounds that he and his party will emerge victorious following the June 8th election.
May Still in the Game
Whilst the activity at the bookmakers may be indicative of public opinion, the results of this year’s election are far from a foregone conclusion.
The Conservatives still have their supporters, and Corbyn still has his fair share of critics, meaning this could well be one of the most closely contested elections in recent memory.
What’s more, with several days left of campaigning to go, it’s fair to say that literally anything could happen. After all, in the wake of the Manchester attacks, the world most Londoners are waking up to today is wholly removed from the one we lived in only a few short months ago when Theresa May first announced this year’s election.