I know Professor Curtice and other pundits have been fondly imagining up to 12 gains for the Scottish Tories, based on recent polls. This is wishful thinking. I’ve already discussed and debunked this myself at:
The experts I’m talking about are the people who put their money where their mouths are – bookies. The politicalbetting.com website is by no means against the Tories but they’re telling us very clearly to save our money for surer bets. They might put some money on the Tories taking the Borders but even there, they’re not recommending a big bet on it. Personally, I think a wee Lib Dem ‘surge’ might leave it unchanged. They also wonder about East Renfrewshire but with even less certainty that you should put money on it. Anything else would be quite a big surprise. Here’s an extract. I’ve highlighted key phrases which make clear their skepticism about major Tory gains in Scotland:
‘The Conservatives will in all probability hoover up in the Borders and they may take some other outside prospects but the odds now seem too short to me. One possible exception is East Renfrewshire. While they start with a relatively low vote share of 22% in 2015, they had tallied 30% in successive elections suggesting that Jim Murphy had got a lot of Conservatives to vote tactically for him. He’s not standing this time and I expect the Conservatives to return home, bringing some friends with them. In a very unionist seat, even 8/11 might be fair value. I’m still not backing them, mind.’
I know readers of this, unless you’re Joey Barton, wouldn’t back the Tories anyway but if they gain more than two, I’ll eat something.
What I would bet on is the Lib Dems losing Orkney and Shetland. I don’t care about the odds. It would be worth it.