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Type of site
|Created by||Mike Smithson|
|Slogan(s)||Britain's most-read political blog - and the best resource for betting on politics.|
|Launched||7 March 2004|
PoliticalBetting.com is one of Britain's political blogs. Run by Mike Smithson, a former BBC News journalist, Liberal Democrats councillor and general election candidate, the site began in March 2004.
Unlike many other British political blogs, politicalbetting asserts itself to be non-partisan, although Smithson himself is a Liberal Democrat. As the site's name suggests, the focus is on political betting opportunities, but the focus is rather broader, in the sense that political issues of the day affect the various betting markets. The site has a particular focus on opinion polls, and in general is more concerned with the technical aspects of politics than most other blogs.
The site has attracted a large number of people leaving comments, with up to three posts a day (mostly written by Smithson) typically seeing several hundred comments, many of whom have no interest or knowledge of political betting but follow the site for its coverage of the fortunes and likely electoral success of political parties in Britain. Comments often have no relation to the subject of the main post but may continue discussions from earlier posts. On an average day the volume of comments exceeds 30,000 words. People posting comments include MPs John Hemming and Stewart Jackson and the former MP Nick Palmer.
The site sticks almost entirely to British and American politics, with an occasional mention of Australian and Japanese elections, and major elections in other European and Commonwealth countries. Smithson has made some notable betting recommendations, including, in March 2005, backing then-Senator Barack Obama to win the 2008 US Presidential Election at odds of 50-1.
The success of the site has led Smithson to publish a book, The Political Punter, a guide to betting on politics.