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Extraordinarily both CON and LAB fall to new lows on the Betfair GE2015 market AT THE SAME TIME

November 11th, 2014

Another hung parliament is looking even more likely

The two charts above represent betting developments that have never happened before. Both the chances of a CON and a LAB majority at GE15 on the betting exchange have moved to new lows together.

This is a odd phenomenon. Normally if the blues collapse then the reds soar and vice versa. Now, with less than six months to go, both appear to have deep problems which will make it harder to put up convincing cases to the electorate next May.

With LAB it’s the continued angst about the leadership while amongst the Tories it is the opening up yet again of the European fault line that has been so corrosive for nearly a quarter of a century.

    All of this coupled with the rise of UKIP and the Greens make the general election even harder to predict. The public don’t like split parties or apparent weak leadership and we are in a remarkable state of flux.

The opportunity is surely there for UKIP or the Greens but neither have leaders capable of resonating amongst voters groups outside their own bases.

Add onto all of this we have the challenges created by the first past the post voting system in each of the 650 constituencies. We could see many MPs being returned with fewer than 30% of the votes in their own seats.

Watch this space!

Reminder. Next PB gathering Friday Nov 21 - the day after Rochester. Usual place - the Dirty Dicks pub in Bishopsgate opposite Liverpool Street station in London. From 1830

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble





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After tonight’s events in the Commons the question that must be asked..

November 10th, 2014



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The opening prices on the GE2015 spread betting markets have LAB 18 seats ahead of CON but well short of a majority

November 10th, 2014

Now the betting can get really serious

For me political betting is about the spreads where things like commons seats are traded like stocks and share and where the more you are right the more you win.

For novices. On the morning of election day in 2010 you could have bought LAB at 222 seats with SportingIndex. They got 258 seats which mean that those who’s put place a bet at that level won the difference multiplied by their stake. In this case 36. Alas losses are calculated in the same way.

For some reason the spread firms have delayed getting their markets up this time and I am absolutely delighted that this popular betting option is now available.

The interesting, and potentially very rewarding bets, are buying/selling UKIP or SNP seats. I think that both are on the high side but I need to do some more analysis.

The Monday polls – UPDATED to include ICM



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The Rochester leaflet that points to how CON will try to make the economy centre stage at GE15

November 10th, 2014

And the polling that suggests they’ll struggle with UKIP voters



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Leading psephologist argues that likeability ratings are better predictor of voting behaviour than “best leader” questions

November 9th, 2014

On this measure Ed is not far behind

One of the issues that the current Ed Miliband issue has brought out is what are the best form of leader ratings.

Prof Paul Whiteley, of University of Essex who ran BPIX, posted an interesting article last night suggesting that some of the standard measures like “best leader” might not be a good indicator of electoral outcomes.

“..Asking who is the best leader is a standard question used by a lot of pollsters to compare the party leaders. However, it is far from an ideal question because it tends to be biased towards the incumbent, regardless of whether they are Labour or Conservatives. The answers, therefore, can give a misleading picture of what people really think.

There is an alternative question which is much better. If you ask voters to provide a score out of ten on a likeability scale, where zero means that a respondent really dislikes a leader and ten means that they really like them, you get quite different results.

It turns out that likeability is closely associated with other desirable traits that a successful leader needs, such as being seen as competent, decisive, in touch with ordinary people and honest. More to the point, it is a powerful predictor of voting intentions and therefore a good guide to what people might do in the general election...”

Looking at the trend in leader likeability Whitley goes on:-

“.. Although Miliband’s score in September 2014 was 3.9, his score among Labour voters was 6.6. In that particular survey 35% of respondents were Labour voters with 33% Conservatives, 7% Liberal Democrats and 12% UKIP.

Labour voters gave Cameron a score of only 2.1 which does not suggest that large numbers of them are about to switch to the Conservatives because they find the prime minister attractive. This was the same score that Conservative voters gave Miliband, so the two leaders are equally disliked by the supporters of their rival parties..

I think that there’s a lot in Whiteley’ analysis. The key thing is, of course, to find the ratings that are the best predictor of how people will vote. Mrs. Thatcher, it will be recalled, was 21% behind James Callaghan as “best PM” three days before she led the Tories to victory in the 1979 general election.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Poll finding of the week: 15% tell YouGov they’d heard of a politician who doesn’t exist

November 9th, 2014



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The big picture is that Cameron’s Conservatives continue to lose much more to UKIP than Miliband’s LAB

November 9th, 2014

While that remains the Tories are heading for defeat

After a massive polling Saturday and the ongoing speculation about Ed Miliband let’s step back for a moment and look at the wider picture.

The chart above is from the latest batch of Lord Ashcroft’s CON-LAB marginals polling with an aggregate sample about three times as large as all the data that came out overnight. It highlights the big development that appears not to be going away – the rise of UKIP.

It shows where the current UKIP vote in the key marginals is coming from a picture that is broadly unchanged on recent months. For all the Farage spin his party is a much bigger threat to the Tories than LAB. The reason why the Tories are doing so poorly in the marginals is that they’ve lost a lot of votes to the purples.

In eleven days time, if the polling is right and there’s been no change, the Tories will lose Rochester to UKIP adding further fuel to the purple surge and possibly encouraging other Tory MPs to jump ship as well,

In all of this LAB has simply to hold its nerve which it doesn’t appear to be doing this weekend.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The Saturday night polling news starts to come out and it doesn’t look good for Ed

November 8th, 2014

The Saturday rolling poll thread

This will be updated as info become available.