How punters reacted to Brown’s big day

How punters reacted to Brown’s big day

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    The money piles on Brown after Blair’s apparent endorsement

The above chart shows hour by hour how the betting markets reacted to yesterday’s Queen’s speech debate when Tony Blair apparently endorsed Gordon Brown as his successor. Punters have weighed in to bet on Brown and his best price tightened at one stage to 0.22/1.

    In fiery exchanges with David Cameron Tony Blair predicted that Labour will be led at the next election by a heavyweight with a “big clunking fist” who will “knock out the flyweight David Cameron”. The widespread view is that this was an endorsement.

As Andrew Grice writes in the Independent this morning the “…endorsement is expected to kill off any lingering hopes among ultra-Blairites, who fear that Mr Brown might lose the next general election, or that another cabinet minister might challenge Mr Brown for the leadership.”

The Sun, interestingly was not totally convinced that Blair had in fact endorsed Gordon. This is it’s main editorial this morning “DID we see Tony Blair anoint Gordon Brown as his chosen heir in the Commons yesterday? It looked like it as he warned “flyweight” David Cameron would be knocked out by a “big clunking fist”…The Chancellor showed his appreciation by warmly thumping the PM on the shoulder as he sat down. His path to Number 10 now looks clear. But some believe the PM still holds out hope that another big-hitter might emerge as a contender.And Cabinet bruiser John Reid can pack a haymaker when roused.

What is extraordinary is how sentiment on the betting markets has been transformed in only seven weeks. On October 4th I was writing here about apparent attempts to keep the the Brown price artificially high. Then the Chancellor had moved out to 0.58/1 which seemed great value.

So in the space of seven weeks the profits on a successful £100 Brown win bet have moved from £58 to £22-23. Those punters who got on in early October have done very nicely.

Mike Smithson

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