After 118 years and 2,553 matches, Tottenham Hotspur say farewell to their White Hart Lane ground this afternoon. They will spend a minimum of one season at Wembley before returning to an all-singing, all dancing 61,559 seater stadium on the same site. Spurs are unbeaten at ‘The Lane’ this season, but how might moving home affect them? Arsenal left Highbury for the Emirates in 2006 and their move has coincided with their fading relevance at the top of the Premier League and a trademark fourth place finish! The most recent club to up sticks was West Ham, and with some acrimony. Many of their fans feel that the club’s identity has been ripped apart by moving to the Olympic Stadium. The results on the pitch don’t make for a great read either. West Ham had the seventh best home record in the 2015/2016 season, compared with the sixth worst this time around. Whilst White Hart Lane’s tight seating, smelly toilets and compromised sight-lines will be replaced by a stadium with the longest general admission bar in the UK (86.8 metres), a micro-brewery and an in-house bakery, Spurs should expect the upheaval to have an adverse on-field effect, irrespective of the obvious long-term financial benefits.
Crossrail, sorry The Elizabeth Line, is coming. In fact, the first passenger services are set to run later this month between Liverpool Street and Brentwood. The new trains will serve what's currently TfL Rail but they will become Crossrail in December 2018 when the stations and tunnels under Central London open. For homeowners, landlords and investors who have bought near one of the forty Crossrail stations in the eight years since construction started, the gamble has certainly paid off. According to recent data from Hamptons, house prices within a mile of any Crossrail stop have risen by 66% since 2009, 15% more than the average across London. For those who bought in Abbey Wood or Woolwich, for example, have seen house price increases of 71% and 57% respectively. So is it too late to jump on board? Well Hamptons are forecasting another price surge courtesy of the home-buyers who have wanted to wait to see an infrastructure or regeneration project come to fruition before committing. Then again, Hamptons wouldn’t be estate agents if they didn’t say that, would they?
Another General Election. Another opportunity for the polls to get it spectacularly wrong. Polls here in the UK have a history of inaccurate performance, with average errors more than double the ones in American Presidential Elections. Nate Silver, a former New York Times journalist, has analysed the accuracy of UK polls both fifty days and seven days ahead of major elections dating back nearly 40 years. His analysis shows that on average, UK polls 50 days out have missed the final margin by 6 percentage points, with the final polling average missing the result by 5 points. Although the most recent poll has The Conservatives sixteen points ahead of Labour, one punter from Norwich is absolutely convinced that the polls will be proven wrong again. He has placed £6,000 on Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next Prime Minister at odds of 12/1 and £3,000 on Labour winning the most seats (at 20/1). His final bet of £1,000 was on Labour winning a majority at odds of 40/1. The bets will return £182,000 if they come off, not to mention kill off the polling industry once and for all!