general election odds - theresa may

“Vic TORY ous”: Come June 8, The Conservatives are odds-on favourites not only to hold power, but increase their majority.

June 8, 2017 is looming for punters and pundits alike. With UK bookmakers readying themselves for huge general election betting interest next month, we take a look at everything you need to know about the general election odds, what’s swaying the opinion polls, predictions, and factors you need to consider when betting on the results of Theresa May’s snap election.

Mrs May claims she called the election early (3 years early to be precise) to prevent those irksome SNPs and Liberal Democrats from disrupting her parliamentary agenda. Though could it be, rather, that she’s profiting from her current popularity in the opinion polls in a bid win even more seats in the House of Commons? Are the general election betting odds in favour of cementing May’s position ruling the party roost and ensuring the Tories gain a larger portion of the lion’s share?

Answer: Yes, long odds-on for a Conservative victory!

Of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, 326 are needed to form a majority government. Currently the Tories hold 330 and Labour 229, a longshot, needing a further 97 seats to win.

As at the end of April, the average of the major opinion polls gave the Tories a 17% lead hovering around 43% compared to Labour at marginally over 25%. If the public vote this way on June 8, Mrs May will have room to further feather the nest she’s made atop the prime ministerial chair.

latest polls uk genereal election betting

(Graph via aggregating service ‘Poll of Polls’, May 5, 2017)

Betting markets have been backing the Tories even before Mrs May called the snap election. With the odds-on favouritism showing she is 17 points ahead of Corbyn, bookies are starting to calculate the odds based not on whether she’ll win, but on the margin by which she’ll win.

This comes after Ipsos Mori polling indicated 61% of people believe Mrs May will make a more capable Prime Minister with results for Corbyn only at 23%.

The polls were wrong last time…. Does Labour have higher odds than the bookies are predicting?

Most polls incorrectly predicted the 2015 General Election AND EU Referendum results. As politics and betting are tricky business, theories bandied about presume they got it so wrong due to a large number of people changing their votes last minute. Other theories attribute this to ‘shy-Tories’, or voters that didn’t want to let anyone, let alone the pollsters, know that they held conservative intentions.

If we take these theories with a grain of salt and apply them to the next general election odds, one could wonder what would happen should a large portion of these ‘impulse voters’, ‘Brexit regretters’ or ‘fence sitters’ err to the left this time around. Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, seems to think this is a major consideration, urging us not to count our chickens before they’ve hatched. On April 13th, he told reporters about his leadership bid; “All I can say is, in 2015 almost exactly two years ago I was given 200/1 as an outside chance.”

Punters could be forgiven for throwing these comments out with the bathwater. Recent odds of Corbyn being replaced as leader of the Labour party before the end of 2017 are at 1/5. So, can we trust the polls for the next general election betting odds?

general election odds - jeremy corbyn

Bookies are, and here are the best odds on offer according to ‘Odds for Prime Minister after General Election”:

BrandOfferWhere to Claim
BoyleSport1/20 Theresa May
8/1 Jeremy Corbyn
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Betfair Exchange1/20 Theresa May
9/1 Jeremy Corbyn
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William Hill1/33 Theresa May
7/1 Jeremy Corbyn
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How does BREXIT affect the odds?

The biggest risk factor for May calling the next UK election early, is the chance that voters will abandon their usual party support based on their Brexit views. Around 1 in 3 of her core constituency is an EU ‘remainer’. She faces the battle to convince them of her strict vision for Britain, and not lose them to Labour or the Liberal Democrats, who are campaigning for a “soft Brexit”.

Though, since her invocation of Article 50 on the Treaty of the European Union in March, May’s hardlined ‘finish the job’ attitude towards a swift (some say ‘harsh’) Brexit has not affected her general election odds.


Should the election be a landslide as the pollsters are predicting, the Conservative party odds have shortened as far as 1/50 to win the most seats in next month’s election. Chalk bettors shouldn’t be disappointed, as they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. As for the feather rustling Corbyn is hoping for, odds are at an average 16/1 for a Labour win with bookies William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfair. Aswell, 888sport and Unibet linemakers have set those odds at 30/1.

The largest bet for the next UK General Election to date was taken on May 5. One North Londoner bet £85,000 on the Conservative Party winning the most seats. This mystery highroller bet this chicken-feed on the slightly more favourable 1/25 price for the same result. The winnings are set to be a whopping £88,400 should the Tories flock to victory as expected.

Latest election odds from Betfair Exchange:

Most SeatsOverall Majority
Conservative 1.06 or 1/18 (94% likelihood)
Labour 19.5 18/1 (5% likelihood)
Conservative 1.1 or 1/10 (90% likelihood)
No Overall Majority 13 or 12/1 (7% likelihood)
Lib Dems 140 or 139/1 (0.7% likelihood)Labour 42 or 41/1 (2% likelihood)
UKIP 1000 or 999/1 (0.1% likelihood)Any Other Majority 720 or 719/1 (0.1% likelihood)
Any other 1000 or 999/1 (0.1% likelihood)

Given the magnitude of the event, most UK bookies are in on the general election betting action. According to ‘Odds for Most Seats’: we’ve compiled a list of the best on offer*:

BrandOfferWhere to Claim
Betfred1/50 Conservatives Win
20/1 Labour Win
150/1 Liberal Democrats Win
750/1 UKIP Win
750/1 Greens Win
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Betfair1/50 Conservatives Win
16/1 Labour Win150 Liberal Democrats Win
500/1 UKIP Win
500/1 Greens Win
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On Election Day

Polling booths will open at 7am on June 8th and voting will take place until 10pm. Counting of votes will begin when the polls closed and ballot boxes are moved to counting centres.

All major bookmakers make the Tories strong odds-on favourites to win both the most seats and an overall majority. Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “May’s change of heart has caught everyone by surprise, but it’s looking hard to see Labour springing their own on June 8th with the Tories long odds-on for victory.”

Counting will continue throughout the night with the results likely to be known in the early hours of June 9, 2017.

* Odds at publication. Subject to change.