U.K. gamblers trump pollsters in calling Cameron big victory

David Cameron confounded polls showing his Conservatives were neck and neck with Ed Miliband’s Labour Party and won a second term as prime minister, winning a majority in the House of Commons. As far back as February, betting firms made Cameron favorite to win says Bloomberg

“Punters were piling into a Tory majority at 10/1 on the day, when we thought it had no chance and some political scientists put it at exactly a zero percent possibility,” said Matthew Shaddick, head of political odds at Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes paid out 2 million pounds to clients who placed bets on outcomes such as Cameron winning a majority, winning most seats or becoming prime minister. Meanwhile, the British Polling Council set up an inquiry into what went wrong after Cameron publicly scorned the polls as he celebrated with party workers in London on Friday.

Apologising for a poor performance, Stephan Shakespeare, chief executive officer of YouGov Plc, wrote in a Twitter post that it had been a “terrible night” for the polling company.
“We need to find out why,” he said.

YouGov shares fell 0.4 percent in London trading Friday, even as U.K. shares rallied the most among western-European markets after the Conservatives won an overall majority.

The last day there was more than a 1 percentage-point gap between the Tories and Labour in the daily YouGov poll was April 25. The vote share after all 650 seats had been counted was 36.9 percent for the Conservatives and 30.4 percent for Labour.