Friends, Remainers, countrymen (Brexiteers, presumably, if they identify as that) – lend me your ears. I come to bury Brexit, not to praise it.
Which is what this General Election will definitely do. Right?
In any case, with Britain going to the polls today, we are going to cover the results live – because how else am I going to get this pizza through on expenses?
Below, you’ll get our updates – the latest appearing at the top, because old news is almost as bad fake news – including market moves, feedback on pizza, how to stay awake when nothing is happening, and sassy remarks re political commentators.
0312: The actual end
I’m done and dusted, long after the election – colleagues, pizza, and betting tension have all disappeared.
Thank you for joining me. Particularly those Googling betting tips, I’m sure you’ll be happy with my suggestion of Jess Phillips at next Labour leader.
Here’s to the Office Tory, who called this outcome all along.
0235: The only winning Party tonight was the Christmas Party
It was the Paddy Power Xmas do tonight. Very tame and well-behaved, I’m glad to report. No scandal at all. Nope. No sir.
0223: Would dogs have voted differently?
Re: 1218. Jamie is back in touch, claiming moral victory, because “dogs would’ve voted better than we have”. Speak for yourself, Jamie.
Would dogs be into Brexit? How would they approach the NHS? At what point does over-tiredness transform into a second wind?
0210: Support for Jess Phillips
In the running to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, it’s Jess Phillips who’s attracting the early attention. Sure it’s nothing to do with what this blog said at 0123.
Her price has shortened from 16/1 to 10/1.
0200: Graphic scenes
The news lads are dancing around with lots of fancy screens and graphics.
It’s all adding up to the same thing, really – it looks like the Conservatives have recorded a comprehensive victory in the General Election tonight.
The price on when Jeremy Corbyn will be replaced as Labour leader, by the way, is moving – it’s now odds-on it’ll be 2019, despite there being barely two weeks left of the year.
0145: Big Joe says farewell
Not just for tonight, but maybe for the next five years – say it ain’t so, Joe!
“It could be a very boring five years for UK politics. That Majority is enough for Boris Johnson to do what he wants, pretty much. He could even soften his position on Brexit, as he’s no longer in thrall to the ERG.
“Whatever he does, he has enough backing in the Commons to force it through.”
We can still hang out though, right?
0135: Betting suspended on majority
Yep, it’s game over. After a couple of huge Conservative gains, our traders think it’s all done and dusted. In fairness, it was already 1/200 before them.
0123: Who will succeed Corbyn?
That’s where the chat’s at now – with ‘Magic Grandpa’, as the Office Tory calls him, surely on the way out.
Here’s the runners and riders to be the next Labour leader:
- 2/1, Keir Starmer
- 4/1, Rebecca Long Bailey
- 10/1, Angela Rayner, Emily Thornberry, Yvette Cooper
- 14/1, John McDonnell
- 16/1, Jess Phillips
- 18/1, Clive Lewis
- 20/1, David Miliband, Laura Pidcock
Value in Jess Phillips for me.
0058: Exclusive – pay out confirmed, on pizza betting
Yep, we priced that one right – it was me, at 1/3, comfortably seeing off the competition.
Congratulations everyone who backed me, and thanks again for your support.
0037: Price cut…on Tories, again
Our traders continue to shorten the price on a Conservative Majority. It’s now 1/200.
In percent terms, that’s an implied probability of 99.5%.
0004: How long will the traders stay in the office?
It is the work Christmas party tonight, after all. Currently, there are four traders manning the fort. But for how long?
Big Joe says they’re odds-on to see the night out, mainly thanks to having the golf on one of their tellies, and plentiful supplies of chocolate.
I’ve seen him yawning, though, and they’ve got to put up with my inane questions – I reckon they’ll be home by 3am.
2352: Jacob Rees-Flogged
Big Joe is thinking about Jacob Rees-Mogg. It’s one of his things, I’m told.
“He’s currently Leader of the House of Commons, which means he isn’t officially in Cabinet, but he attends Cabinet meetings. The likelihood is, he will remain in the same position. It’s 8/1 that JRM is promoted to a Cabinet position.
“On the flip side, it’s 1/3 that he remains Leader of House of Commons, and 2/1 he is demoted.”
2342: The pizza has arrived
American Hot and BBQ Chicken, since you ask. I’m the early favourite to eat most slices, let’s go 1/3.
Meanwhile, in ‘sensible’ betting markets…
Just for a laugh I asked Paddy Power for a price on a London independence referendum: 250-1.
— James Moore (@JimMooreJourno) December 12, 2019
2326: Newcastle Central declares first
Bad news for those of you who backed Sunderland to do so – it was 1/8 they would, barely an hour ago.
They declare for Labour. The exit poll suggests that’ll be the exception rather than the norm.
2323: Scottish referendum next?
With the SNP sweeping to victory north of the border, we go 5/1 that there’ll be a second Scottish independence referendum before the next General Election.
Elsewhere, our pizza is on its way. Yeah, I lost out with my kebab shout.
2305: Latest from Power Tower
The exit poll such a buzz kill here we're getting more laughs out of watching pizza ads
— James Moore (@JimMooreJourno) December 12, 2019
2252: Scot us talking
“I need pizza. I’m interested in the market on a Scottish referendum. Because, the way that Boris has hollowed this party out, to no longer be a unionist party, if they let Scotland go – that’s a massive block of opposition MPs gone.”
I liked the pizza bit, but would prefer a kebab.
2248: Big Joe has a big go
“Here, Hugh Grant’s tactical voting went well, didn’t it?”
The Office Tory loves it. The left-leaning members of staff look disconsolate.
Chocolate biscuit, anyone?
2238: What happens now?
- It seems inevitable that Jeremy Corbyn will step down as Labour leader. We go 1/50 that happens before the end of the week.
- In fact, it’s only 3/1 that Corbyn stands down before 9am tomorrow morning.
- Similarly, Jo Swinson is 1/7 to have stood down as Lib Dems leader by the end of this year.
2226: Swinson also on the ropes
It’s not just Labour and Jeremy Corbyn who could take a bashing – Lib Dems leader Jo Swinson is also odds-on to have stood down by the end of the year, 1/7.
In fairness, she might not even win her seat tonight, the way SNP are forecast to dominate Scotland – it’s 1/3 they take her constituency in East Dunbartonshire.
2215: The Office Tory is on the cans
Be warned. This has just dropped in my inbox.
“The champagne is off the ice and the corks are popping here in the village. This is by far the greatest political day of my lifetime. This puts Labour out for a decade and they only have themselves to blame, Corbyn is simply unelectable.”
I actually had to cut that off there, cos it got a bit dark.
2205: Exit poll reaction
Right, you heard it – Conservative win predicted, with 368 seats.
Big Joe says: “Has that moved the odds? That’s game over, that’s monumental. It’s a landslide. We’re going 1/100 on a Conservative Majority. If this stands up, it’s a huge mandate.
“It’s an absolute shellacking. We make it 1/50 that Jeremy Corbyn walks by the end of the week (midnight Sunday).”
2159: He’s a fact man
Jim Moore from The Independent has arrived, bringing with him gallons of Diet Coke, and he’s straight in with the answer to our big office debate – Does the Queen vote?
“No, she’s not allowed. The big question is whether Prince Charles does. That I don’t know.”
2137: Famous faces
As well as Gordon Strachan, I bombarded a few celebs asking for their General Election hot-takes. Derek Acorah didn’t reply to my *brilliant* request for an exclusive early reveal of the results. And then there was this awkward exchange with Richard Bacon.
2128: Introducing Big Joe
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the big man of the Power Tower trading floor, has arrived.
And he’s straight in with this:
“I was just hoping that the Speaker of the House didn’t say ‘order, order’ live on Sky News. Else, we’d get hit for a five-figure pay-out. It was backed in from 16/1 to 6/4. And guess what he’s just said…”
Big Joe with the big news. All while chomping a Celebration (Snickers, since you ask, the weirdo).
2117: More on BoJo under pressure
Political PR expert Amy Jones says:
“The PM has racked up some impressive stats in his time in charge – including for parliamentary defeats – but losing his very own seat would surely be a standout.
“We’ve seen plenty of cash on Labour to take Uxbridge & South Ruislip, though the Tories remain the favourites to do so.”
We’re going to run out of BoJo pics soon.
2108: Want some election inspiration
Here’s former Celtic, Scotland, and Coventry manager Gordon Strachan – aka the nicest man in football – has responded to my (slightly odd) request for his take on matters.
— Lee Price (@Lee_Price) December 12, 2019
2100: 9pm update
Just one hour until the polls close. I think. Ish.
And our odds have just taken another swing, this time back in favour of the Tories.
- …make a Conservative Majority an odds-on likelihood at 1/3
- …rate the chances of ‘No Overall Majority’, i.e. a hung parliament, at 5/2
- …have had to shorten the odds of Boris Johnson losing his seat (see below)
It’s all gearing up. Bring on Sunderland and their strange pride at being the first to announce results.
2048: Breaking news: Odds cut on Boris losing his seat
We’ve just cut Labour in to 3/1 from 7/2 to nick Boris Johnson’s seat.
Surely not? I know a man who’ll have some insight – Office Tory…
Ooh, he’s rattled, ranting: “It won’t happen. Not a chance. Sounds like typical Paddy Power bullshit to grab a cheap headline.”
Now, now, Office Tory. Sometimes we caress a cheap headline.
2040: Not just Boris who is feeling the heat
Dominic Raab – who, more than anyone almost, has made his name through Brexit – is under a bit of pressure in his constituency Esher & Walton.
The Lib Dems have been backed into 11/10 from 6/4 yesterday.
He is still odds-on, mind, to keep his seat (4/6).
2032: Unusual polling stations
Mine was a local primary school, and I thought that was the norm. But maybe not.
Check this out from Paddy Power’s own Amy Jones – any other weird polling stations out there?
This is my polling station. Is this normal? Is anyone else's weirder than this? (Sofas weren't there today FWIW) pic.twitter.com/CON8E3HWWF
— Amy Jones (@amybethjones) December 12, 2019
2013: BoJo under pressure?
A bit of talk online that Boris Johnson is under pressure in his constituency, Uxbridge & South Ruislip.
It’s 7/2 that he loses his seat to Labour.
Among those taking on Boris is Lord Buckethead – or, as he’s now known, Count Binface.
And the protest politician is the most expensive result in our book, with more people betting on him to win than the current PM.
I used the opportunity of taking Mr Johnson's seat to espouse some key planks of my manifesto. pic.twitter.com/yqtjXThuk0
— Count Binface (@CountBinface) December 9, 2019
2001: Confidence building among Conservatives
All the talk, all day, has been about the increasing likelihood of a hung parliament.
But the Office Tory has started to revert to his position of confidence:
“I’m feeling a touch more confident now, but that might just be the first glass of red talking. I keep having flashes of waking up tomorrow with Comrade Corbyn at the helm and the UK immediately back 100 years as we adopt our new Venezuelan lifestyle. Time to get some logs on the wood burner and have another glass of red I think.”
Told you. He’s proper Tory.
1919: Once a Blue, always a blue
Former QPR midfielder Karl Henry is voting Conservative. OK, yes, he’s better known for his time at Wolves, but none of the parties are orange.
Jeremy Corbyn would bring the Country to its knees with his disastrous anti-aspiration, anti-inheritance and anti-business policies. #VoteConservative.
— Karl Henry (@karlhenry08) December 11, 2019
1914: Who are the celebs backing?
Plenty of posting and posturing from famous faces online. But also some excellent calls to action.
Here’s Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson encouraging people in his constituency to back Labour:
Ricky Tomlinson has asked me to post this for the voters of Weaver Vale because he doesn’t have Twitter. Here’s the big man… pic.twitter.com/QT8V71EKsH
— Ralf Little (@RalfLittle) December 12, 2019
1854: Home truth time
Just had this on email from ‘Young Benjamin’, who says:
“Love the early optimism online that this isn’t going to be a Tory landslide…it must be time to back those blue bastards.”
Lovely. The tension is building up nicely.
1844: The Office Tory is back
But he’s still down in the dumps, despite the odds below.
“It’s the waiting that kills you. While I literally can’t comprehend why anyone would want Corbyn in office I have this awful nervousness that it could happen. Just over three hours till the exit poll and every one of those minutes is going to be awful.”
Chin up, Office Tory, we’re about to get some grub in.
1809: Evening latest
No, *you* fell asleep waiting for something to happen. Anyway.
Here’s the lay of the land as we edge closer to something actually happening:
- We make a Conservative Majority an odds-on likelihood at 8/15
- Seemingly the only alternative outcome is a hung parliament, with No Overall Majority rated 6/4
- Our oddsmakers do, though, make a Labour Minority (5/1) more likely than a Conservative Minority (8/1)
- And we’ve priced up a market that is worth staying up for, we make Wansbeck (4/6) favourite to be the last constituency to declare a result. Berwick-upon-Tweed (3/1) and Blyth Valley (6/1) are the other contenders.
1522: Marginal seats could be pretty major today
So where are these fraught constituencies? And can this be communicated visually, in a bitesize clip?
You demand much of me. And yet I continue to deliver.
See this Tik Tok (I’m so hip) from the New Statesman (the second one):
Of course the New Statesman’s first TikTok ? follow us pic.twitter.com/gHeLzz50Rl
— Sarah Manavis (@sarahmanavis) December 11, 2019
1433: What the politicians say
Well, on The Simpsons. Still, seems appropriate.
— SimpsonsQOTD (@SimpsonsQOTD) December 12, 2019
1348: Lunchtime latest
Assuming you, like me, go for a late lunch, to ensure the ride through till hometime is swift…
Trader X is back with some insight from the trading floor.
- A Conservative Majority remains favourite, but has drifted to 2/5 from 4/9
- No Overall Majority has been backed into 9/4 from 15/8
On matters in Scotland, Trader X says:
“Business this morning has been all for the SNP, with a couple of marginal seats potentially set to have a huge impact on tonight’s result. East Dunbartonshire has flipped favourites repeatedly. The Lib Dems are the current 2/5 favourites, but all the money has come for the SNP (7/4).
“Stirling is another key marginal. SNP are 4/9, with the Conservatives 7/4, but most of the money has been for the SNP – having drifted from 1/5 over the past few weeks.”
1252: A late contender emerges?
Golfer Eddie Pepperell lays out his political manifesto – we’d rate his chances of being elected PM at the next election at around 500/1.
We would become history’s most hedonistic society, taking the mantle from the Romans. We would all become dog lovers. Babies would be banned from restaurants. And I’d go further than free broadband; I’d give everyone free Porn subscriptions. https://t.co/WSGi9Gh9eO
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) December 12, 2019
1243: The battle on social, plus who will step down
Latest from the PP PR team, who make Labour the favourites in the online battleground. It’s 1/2 that #VoteLabour gets more shares than #VoteConservative.
While it is 5/1 Boris Johnson steps down this week, 8/1 Jeremy Corbyn quits before the end of Sunday, and 3/1 a politician is pictured with Hugh Grant today.
That Amy Jones is a busy one.
1232: Women more likely to vote for Corbyn
Yep, that’s what our official (ish) and extensive (ish) analysis says.
We also learn that it’s grim up north for Boris – unless you go really, really north and hit Aberdeen.
1218: Mailbox latest – should dogs be able to vote?
Ooh, we’ve had some correspondence. And it’s appropriately surreal.
This, from Jamie:
“Hi Lee. I don’t really have an opinion on who to vote for, but I think dogs should vote – they’re the stars of election day, anyway.”
Cheers for that Jamie, keep them coming. We go 1,000/1 that dogs will be allowed to vote in the next election. Could you really rule it out?
1201: Word from the Office Tory
Some nerves from the usually politically belligerent (he’s a nice guy in real life) Office Tory.
Despite BoJo-like levels of bulletproof confidence in the build-up to this election, his backside has started to go, it seems:
“Trader X’s update has made me nervous – it’s genuinely too close to call between a slim Tory majority and a hung parliament. It’s going to be a long night.”
Don’t worry, Office Tory, I’ve got snacks and a warm embrace.
1154: View from the trading floor
Finally, some real intel. Trader X, as he prefers to be known for reasons unclear, says this:
“Big move for No Overall Majority this morning, as it swung from 5/2 to 15/8 and back again. Early signs are voter turnout will be higher than expected, meaning money continues to come for Labour. We’ve also cut the price of turnout being 70% – 74.99% to 5/1 from 5/2.”
Cheers, Trader X. Juicy.
1136: Footballer votes
Continuing the below theme, our traders have priced up which footballers are most likely to tweet who they voted for.
Confusingly, Eric Cantona is ODDS-ON to do so (8/11), as are Michael Owen (4/7) and former Mayor of London candidate Sol Campbell (1/3).
Make of that what you will. I’m having some biscuits.
1101: Who do you like the look of?
No, I’m not asking for your political analyses – that’ll go right over my head. I mean literally who do you like the look of.
For me, the only way to judge politicians is in football sticker form. Not sure who comes out well from the below…
— No Score Draws (FKA Panini Cheapskates) (@CheapPanini) December 12, 2019
1021: The lay of the land
Ooh, the tension and chatter is building up. I even got a haircut especially yesterday – talk about an election buzz.
Naff jokes aside, our odds make a Conservative Majority the most likely outcome tonight, at 4/9.
You might have heard ‘hung parliament’ bandied about recently. But it’s not an extreme punishment for the ongoing carnage around Brexit – instead, it means no clear majority after the votes are counted this evening.
We rate that likelihood at 15/8, with a Labour Majority 25/1 and anything else fanciful.
Boris Johnson is the clear favourite (1/4) to be PM after the election. Jeremy Corbyn (3/1) is not.
1004: What does Big Sam think?
First, some serious political analysis – from the big man himself, Sam Allardyce. A couple of years ago, we asked him all the important questions.
What's his favourite gravy?
Leave or Remain?
What order does he eat his breakfast in?
Big Sam answers the questions that matter… pic.twitter.com/oIQrrYb3LA
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 10, 2017
0956: Why should I keep on reading?
Especially given it’s taken 26 minutes to follow the below. Sorry, breakfast called – a giant can of sugar-free Red Bull and some vegetable sushi, the perfect combo.
It won’t just be my inane thoughts, when things really kick off, we’ll be harvesting insights from the trading floor in Power Tower, Dublin – boss man Joe Lee is skipping the Christmas party to instead talk numbers.
We’ve dragged James Moore, political columnist for The Independent, into our office under the premise of posh pizza, will compile the best hot-takes from social media, and offer live updates from the Xmas do.
Also attending is Paddy Power’s own Amy Jones aka ‘The Paul Ince Whisperer’. If things get particularly dull, we’ll ask her to text The Guvnor.
0930: Not just another day…
…another day to excel, as a certain jungle-inhabiting celebrity has been saying recently. Yep, that’s the level of insight this blog is going to offer. This is Paddy Power, after all.
Anyway, the entire United Kingdom (even Scotland) is coming together today – to shout ‘fake news!’ at anything said by people of a different political persuasion. Ah, Democracy.
And we’re going to point and laugh at them all here. How else will we survive this madness?
* All odds correct at time of posting.