The Steamie

Monday, 29 March 2010

David Maddox: The Numbers Game (29) - Bookies' Balls up

As regular readers may know, The Steamie has at times tried to help you add a few pounds to your pockets by offering a tip on the political betting front with mixed success.
Those of you who put money on Iain Gray to become Labour leader may appreciate The Steamie's advice, while those who went for Anne Widdicomb to be Speaker may not.
But we've had some interesting odds regarding who will be the next Chancellor to give a Budget from our old friends at Ladbrokes. Please note these odds are ahead of tonight's debate and may change at 9.10pm, I'm reliably informed.

George Osborne 2/5 (fav)
Alistair Darling 5/1
Ed Balls 10/1
Vince Cable 16/1
Ken Clarke 16/1
Philip Hammond 20/1
Gordon Brown 100/1

So tip of the day would be to put your money on Balls.
With Labour closing the gap there is now a decent chance it will be the biggest party and may even have a majority.
If that were to happen Gordon Brown has already made it clear that he wants to replace Alistair Darling with Ed Balls, despite the fact that many people now believe the current Chancellor is the last remaining minister with any credibility and certainly could claim to have won an election for Labour.

This also applies to the newly published odds on the next Labour leader with the very same Ed Balls at 14/1. Again this tip is based on the fact that the Brownites would support him against the Blairites' David Milliband (the 5/2 favourite). He would also probably have the backing of the major unions including the dreaded Unite.

I'm not just saying this because he is a fellow Norwich City fan, but while Ed Balls is reportedly incredibly unpopular in the Commons he has enough powerful supporters and hangers on to make both sets of odds from Ladbrokes look pretty generous.

Perhaps the clever bet is to actually back Ed Balls on both. Whilst it is extremely unlikely but not impossible to clean up on both it makes a decent each way bet on Mr Balls' ultimate fate based on whether Labour win or lose the election.

Here are the rest of the runners and riders to replace Gordon Brown as Labour leader:

David Miliband 5/2
Ed Miliband 5/1
Alan Johnson 6/1
Harriet Harman 8/1
Peter Mandelson 8/1
Alistair Darling 12/1
Ed Balls 14/1
Jon Cruddas 14/1
Jack Straw 25/1
John Denham 25/1
Andy Burnham 25/1
Hilary Benn 33/1
Yvette Cooper 33/1
Shaun Woodward 50/1
Jim Murphy 50/1
Douglas Alexander 66/1
Peter Hain 66/1
John McDonnell 66/1
Liam Byrne 66/1
Hazel Blears 100/1
Tony Blair 100/1
Alastair Campbell 500/1
Cherie Blair 500/1

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