What a week. As if things weren’t bad enough for Boris and the UK Government on the Brexit front, he now has the illustrious privilege for being the Prime Minister who officially cancelled Christmas as the result of a mutant strain of coronavirus! This Political Joe will be eagerly anticipating the YouGov December approval rating along with keeping one eye on the January market over at Paddy Power.
Briefly stepping away from the political world, BBC had an action-packed weekend which saw the culmination of Strictly Come Dancing and Sports Personality of the Year. Both markets were volatile late in the day, but ironically enough the biggest twists and turns came away from the dancefloor.
Following a week that saw female jockey Hollie Doyle supported all the way into 9/4 (31% chance) from 16/1 (6%) for SPOTY, it was a late move from Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson who strongly challenged ultimate winner and long-term favourite Lewis Hamilton. At one point during last nights broadcast, Henderson traded at 10/11 (53%) favourite across Paddy Power, Betfair & William Hill having usurped Hamilton at the head of the market. He was an incredible 25/1 (4%) only the day before, with punters strongly of the opinion that ending the league title drought for Liverpool was enough to get the job done. In the end however, Hamilton walked away with the prize as the late money hit the bar as Henderson and Doyle made up the Top 3.
Another long-term favourite who got the job done on Saturday night was Bill Bailey, despite late wobbles as punters latched on to singer and social media star HRVY for the title. Having been 6/5 (45%) favourite heading into the decider, Bailey held off the challenge of HRVY (who similar to Henderson above) briefly traded favourite on Saturday at 5/6 (55%). Bill Bailey described his win as 'surreal' after becoming the oldest Strictly Come Dancing celebrity to lift the title. The comedian, 55, who described his dance skills as 'patchy' when he first signed up, shared the achievement with his professional partner Oti Mabuse, who was victorious on the show for second consecutive year.
Switching to looking ahead, UK Christmas Numer 1 will be announced on Friday. As predicted a number of weeks back there are some late releases who have shaken up things at the front of the market. LadBaby at 1/4 (80%) still heads the betting across Paddy Power & Betfair, but a formidable late entry is no other than Ed Sheeran at 9/2 (36%) with William Hill. Speaking about the new song, Sheeran says, 'Afterglow is a song I wrote last year that I wanted to release for you. It's not the first single from the next album, it’s just a song I love, and hope you love too. Enjoy!' Lad Baby certainly has Christmas form to rely on, but it’s going to be a close one.
To close things out, we switch from the festive theme to one of frustration… Brexit. A deal hasn’t appeared to be far away in recent weeks, but oddly enough fishing appears to be one hilltop that the UK are willing to die on. As of Monday afternoon, Paddy Power still make it 1/2 (66%) a deal will be brokered. But we’ve been here before, as a matter of fact we’ve seen it a lot shorter in recent weeks.
The conspiracy theorists out there will claim this coronavirus mutation that has taken off in the greater London area could well be a ploy to kick the can further down the road, but Boris would surely never want to do that. This Political Joe believes in Christmas miracles as much as the next person, but I’m not so sure even Santa Claus himself could deliver Brexit never mind Boris!