UPDATE 08:30 Betting was restored this morning with Ed favourite at 5/1 and David pushed out to 3/1 before odds were then suspended on the older Milibrother!

UPDATE 09:10 Now Betfair suspend their market. Odd as, with an exchange model, they are not exposed to losses (unlike Ladbrokes).

In the spirit of it being better to arrive late to a party then never at all: Ed Miliband was in the early hours of Friday morning installed as the bookmakers favourite in the Labour Leadership election. But in the late hours of Friday night Ladbrokes have suspended betting on the younger sibling.

A lot has happened since the last time Scrapbook posted a chart of shifting odds but, until the final days of the contest, little seemed to change in prices offered by bookies. In the previous months the markets actually trended away from Ed Miliband with David recording a record low price of 1/4 on September 4th.  That is, until a YouGov poll gave Ed M a slight lead and put him in the betting with a price of 2/1. The trend then narrowly moved towards Ed Miliband but nowhere near enough to imply a win.

Last night however the betting reversed spectacularly, with Ed Miliband now the favourite. Graphs of Ladbrokes and Betfair prices illustrate the collapse:

Ladbrokes odds compiled by Scrapbook

Betfair exchange odds posted by Poltical Betting

There is now feverish speculation as to what could have triggered this 11th-hour shift.

  • Did posts by Guido and Mike Smithson skew the market as punters flocked to back Ed and sell positions on David? The latter remarked “I sort of expected that there could be some movement on the Labour leadership markets but nothing on the scale of what has happened.”
  • Have back-of-the-envelope sums indicated that David Miliband’s apparently solid PLP support was more soft than previously thought?
  • Are the MiliD camp playing the expectations game?
  • A leak from within the Electoral Reform Society or from other officials with access to the result is a remote possibility.

Either way Scrapbook will be awaiting the result: Blackberry in one hand; popcorn in the other.

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  19. “Ed favourite at 5/1 and David pushed out to 3/1” – there is a mistake here, surely. odds of 3/1 = probability of 1/4, whereas odds of 5/1 = probability of 1/6, so David would be the favorite if those were the odds.

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