To AV or not AV? |This is the Question:

“Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the ‘alternative vote’ system instead of the current ‘first past the post’ system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?”

Bit wordy, and the legislation may yet be blocked by Labour and Tory backbenchers and the Nats.

Currently punters give AV a 64% chance of passing…

Punters versus Wonks

It is fair to say that London Labour’s activists and wonkish elite are by and large behind Ed Miliband, unless they are ideological Blairites (like the Progress crowd) or careerist greasy pole climbers like most MPs, in which case they are behind David Miliband. The headbanging Tory hating activists go for Balls and lefties back Abbott with Burnham picking up a Northern token vote.

Supporters of Ed Miliband are adamant, despite polls showing David has more than twice as much support among Labour supporters, that he will win on second preferences.  Will Straw at LeftFootForward has even built a predictive model that forecasts Ed scraping through. Yet punters persist in making David Miliband the runaway favourite. Are the punters or the wonks right?

Guido accepts that Ed will probably win the union’s endorsements, though the Fabian’s Sunda Katawala argues that doesn’t necessarily mean he will win the votes of union members. Punters agree with Will and give Ed a 60% chance of winning the union votes.

Guido and punters make David the 80% favourite to win the MP/MEPs vote.  Will forecasts it will be closer than that but accepts that David will win this part of the electoral college.

It is over the membership vote that Will’s model and punters differ dramatically. Based on a non-representative, self-selecting poll of LabourList’s readers (DM 34.9% EM 30.8%), he predicts that the second preferences from the more left-wing candidates will switch to Ed and he will thus beat his older brother. The argument being that since Ed is positioned to the left of David, second preferences won’t tack right to the most centrist candidate. This is delusional.

Not all the voters will see the candidates in such finely calibrated positions on the centre-to-left spectrum, much of the electorate will vote on character and personality. Apart from Diane Abbott the policy positions of the candidates are in reality very closely bunched and Ed Balls’ new found tactical leftism is transparently risible.  Experience shows that second preferences tend to break in correlation with first preferences. The correlation isn’t perfect, but nor is it so weak as to be insignificant. Yet Labour sympathisers in the media and even more objective pundits like Toby Young believe Ed will come through.

So if it will be decided by the membership vote, is the LabourList poll accurate? It is unlikely that a self-selecting web poll will be. YouGov actually put Balls ahead of Ed Miliband but behind David with Labour voters (and another private poll by Survation put Diane Abbot within 5% of Ed among union members).  With the polling confusion Guido puts little reliance on the sampling and absent of clear polling evidence Guido opts to “follow the money”. David Miliband has raised more money than all the rest and he has the weight of  punter’s money backing him. It will be close, but Guido suspects Ed will lose to his big brother.

Osborne Ties Up the Bookies

Given the last thirteen budgets have been dominated by cheap tactics and false flags, it was  no surprise George Osborne had a trick up his sleeve. Well closer to his collar actually:

The cunning coin-keeper chose a tie of bluey/green today which caused a bit of headache for Ladbrokes who were offering bets on both blue and green and had to pay up for both. At least someone was a winner out of this budget.

Coronation or Will Cruddas Stand?

Over at Politicalbetting.com thinks Jon Cruddas might throw his hat in the ring for the Labour Party leadership. Guido has spoken to a number of Labour insiders who are divided on the issue. Some say he has to come off the sidelines as a critic and do something now Brown is banished. Others doubt he has the bottle and think he’ll calculate he can’t win and chicken out. If he doesn’t stand it will be another coronation for David Miliband.

The bookies have this morning marked Cruddas up to second favourite ahead of Balls and Ed Miliband. Burnham hasn’t ruled himself out either…

UPDATE : On the basis of a tip and some clues Guido called Matthew MacGregor from Blue State Digital’s London office to ask if his firm was going to be running the Cruddas online operation.  No denial has been forthcoming, so with those clues and the sudden overnight movement on the betting markets it is “Game On” as they say in Labour’s new media circles…

When Will Gordon Go?

As was widely predicted before the election, Gordon is still squatting in Downing Street. He doesn’t seem able to accept that he personally has been comprehensively rejected.

There is of course the possibility that the LibDems could prop up a Labour regime, but that at the moment is a theoretical possibility. The LibDems have made it pretty clear that the message is “don’t call us, we’ll call you”, in any event it wouldn’t be Gordon they would be calling. 

His demise is the first pre-condition of any possible deal…

UPDATE : Punters currently think that Brown has a 28% chance of still being Labour leader at the next PMQs – from either the opposition or government benches.  Meanwhile the next Labour leader betting is pretty busy, Miliband is runaway favourite for some reason, Darling is also well backed as a caretaker safe pair of hands.  Guido has a few quid on Hattie Harman…

Final State of the Campaigns

Above is the Guy News poll of polls taken from tonight’s final round of polls. Below is where we started the campaign.  The big story is clear, the LibDems have gained massively from the TV debates taking 6% from the Tories and 4% from Labour.

The political markets currently rate the chances of a hung parliament at 59%. Punters are predicting a high turnout in the 70 to 75% range

Labour Third, Pollsters and Punters Expect Cameron to be PM

This is the latest rolling average of the last week’s polls.  Political punters give Cameron a 84% chance of being the next Prime Minister, which seems like a bit of a sell given punters currently make a hung parliament a 52% probability.

Drilling down onto seat numbers the punters are evenly divided rating the chances of the Tories getting between 300 and 324 seats, 2 short of an overall majority, at 29%.  They rate the chances of them getting a majority in the 325 to 349 range also at 29%.  The cliche “it is still all to play” for is absolutely true…

State of the Campaigns : LibDems Peaking

The poll rise of the LibDems appears to have been checked in the averages, they are under a lot more scrutiny now with the front pages of the Tory press literally throwing the kitchen sink (on his expenses) at Clegg.  The whole ‘new politics’ baloney of a former corporate lobbyist who had lobbyists paying into his personal bank account isn’t really credible. If the Tories can get cut through on the hypocrisy of this they will undermine Clegg’s shiney newness.

YouGov’s daily tracker last night put the Tories back in front swapping places with the LibDems, Labour cement their third place poll position:

  • Conservative 33%
  • Liberal Democrat 31%
  • Labour 27%
  • Others 9%

The betting on the Politics Markets this morning makes Clegg the slight favourite to be the winner of the TV debate tonight: Nick Clegg 59%, David Cameron 58%, Gordon Brown 9%.  YouGov will have their instant feedback debate poll a little after 10pm…

It’s Not Just the Leaders Debating
Hague, Miliband and Davey Next

Given the profound effect ninety minutes of television has had on the fickle electorate, it will be worth keeping an eye on the other debates happening in the run up to polling day.

The Daily Politics have organised almost all […]

+ READ MORE +

Punters Backing LibDems

As Comres joins YouGov in making the LibDems the second placed party, Graham Sharpe, William Hill’s spinner, emails Guido to say that seven out of every ten political bets they took were for a Lib Dem win :- ‘Pre-debate […]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg : Winning Here!


On Tuesday Guido predicted that Clegg would be the big winner, and so it came to pass.  Bad Al Campbell and Mandy must now realise that they have an impossible job to do in polishing the turd that is Gordon […]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Site Becomes Tweet Spin Room

Labour’s trusted twitterers are on the front page of the party’s website, further confirming the belief in Labour circles that twitter is some kind of alternative to democracy.  They have made sure that it won’t be easily hacked.  Not sure […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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