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 DebatingHague, 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 of the contenders for the senior cabinet positions to have a grilling from Andrew Neil. Today sees the first of such battles between William Hague, David Miliband and Ed Davey. The Beeb’s specialist reporter in each field will also be taking part in the interrogation.

If you want to put your money where your mouth is, Smarkets punters right now reckon Hague is still favourite to be the next foreign secretary and Ed Davey has only a 12% chance of getting the job. The fun and games begin this afternoon on BBC Two at 14.15. Miliband has been on fighting form butting the boot into the Tories since the campaign began, though anyone should be wary of entering the ring with Hague. Especially Davey who is notoriously dull on camera…

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 the Lib Dems would be doing well if one in every ten bet was for them, but their support turned from a trickle to a flood on Friday with a mass of modest bets of up to £100 pouring on them to win with an overall majority or to be the largest single Party, with the larger bets were placed by regular political pundits backing a Hung Parliament.‘ A hung parliament maybe, but backing LibDems to win outright?

If you are bullish about the LibDems here is how the punters rate their chances tonight from on Political Smarkets, the specialist bookies:

Cable looks cheap and worth backing at 21% given the polls are pointing to a hung parliament. Gordon would give him the chancellorship for a Lib-Lab pact at the drop of a hat.

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 Brown.  Mrs Fawkes was scathing about the stiffness of Dave who did seem to be playing it safe too much. Labour and Tory spinners are reluctantly conceding victory to Clegg, before saying their guy came second.

In reality the slightly more objective measures, the immediate reaction polls, are unanimously scoring it Clegg first, Cameron second and Gordon last.

The focus group reactions will be studied carefully in the party campaign HQs and the leaders messages will be recalibrated for next Thursday accordingly.  The punters’ smart money at specialist bookmakers Political Smarkets went from heavily backing Cameron to making Clegg favourite to win the debate half-way through the ninety minutes.  Punters this morning reckon there is a 25% chance Clegg will win all three debates and a 60% chance that Brown will win none.  Guido thinks that it is a racing certainty that Brown is a no hoper in the debates…

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 what the value is – presumably they are hoping that hacks will consult the page to see what the Labour faithful think of the debate.  A virtual twitter spin room… hmmm…  come back to Guido’s later this evening for a rival virtual twitter spin room…

Spin is cheap, punters put their money where their mouth is, currently the punters on Political Smarkets rate the chances of victory for the leaders in the debates thus:

16:45 David Cameron 55%  Nick Clegg 48% Gordon Brown 29%

18:30 David Cameron 65%  Nick Clegg 48% Gordon Brown 20%

Gordon’s price has improved from this morning where punters where giving him only a 10% chance of winning* tonight’s debate, Clegg was favourite though in late betting Cameron has pulled ahead.   All to play for…

*Winning defined by ICM’s post debate polling results.

The Success Benchmark : How Many Will Watch the Debate tonight?

After months of speculation, hype, arguments, tantrums and rule changes the first of the debates are finally here. Guido hears that after all the effort that Sky News put in to make the debates happen, they might be a little miffed that they won’t be chairing the first of its kind. But what will tonight actually achieve for the political class and more importantly how many will actually watch?

Ten million people watch Coronation Street, a similar number tuned in to Doctor Who on Saturday. Eight million tuned into see Nick Griffin on Question Time. The BBC are sending over sixty staff to cover ITV’s debate, so who know’s how much taxpayers cash will be spent when it’s actually their turn. For these debates to be worth the millions being spent they need to be a game-changer and need to pull in the viewers.  They need, in the jargon of spin, to get cut-through…

The smart money seems to be on nine to thirteen million viewers, less than a quarter of the forty-five million registered voters. Guido has a feeling the debates may just be stirring up apathy…

State of the Campaigns

Tonight is debate night, the single event with the potential to alter the direction of the campaign more than any other. Punters on the PoliticSmarkets website can bet on who will win the debate tonight : the smart money gives Gordon Brown a 10% chance of emerging victorious, David Cameron a 47% chance and makes Nick Clegg the narrow favourite with a 48% probability of winning tonight’s debate.  In one sense Clegg is already the winner just by getting equal billing…

Who Has Really Learnt About Campaigning from Obama?

A few months ago Guido was speaking at events and pontificating on panels with politicians who were going on about how they had learnt from Obama’s campaign.  We were told there was going to be online fund raising on a major scale in the manner of Obama.

So far as Guido can tell Compass, 38 Degrees, Old Holborn and Anna Raccoon‘s smoking landlord campaign, MyConservatives.com, YouFund.Me.uk and the Taxpayers’ Alliance are the only groups successfully raising money from the many via small online donations resulting from advertising and email lists.  Even so we are talking thousands of pounds rather than tens of thousands of pounds.  Labour’s efforts so far have not borne much fruit by all accounts.

The stand out candidate who has raised more online than any other candidate ever is Antony Calvert, who is standing against Ed Balls in Morley & Outwood.  Although trying to over-turn a notional majority of 9,000 against the Unite-backed bruiser, Ed Ball’s price at the bookies has steadily moved in from sure-fire favourite towards only a 50% chance of  him holding his seat.  Antony Calvert  is running him neck and neck.  Why is that?  Could it be because Antony Calvert is Britain’s unlikely answer to Obama, having raised more money in small online donations than other candidate in Britain.  George Osborne singled out Calvert’s campaign for praise in a speech to CCHQ staffers, calling it “a castration strategy”.

The truth is, if Antony Calvert takes Morley and Outwood, he will be Britain’s first digital election winner…

(Incidentally, you can donate to his campaign here and you can bet on him winning Morely & Outwood at PoliticSmarkets.)

VIP Maguire Enjoys the 'Sport of Kings' at Cheltenham

Kevin Maguire never tires of telling us thatnothing is too good for the workers so it was no surprise when a co-conspirator sent this picture of our Kevin with the toffs in the VIP enclosure at Cheltenham.

Guido’s tipster at the races revealed that Kevin had the “Premier” package, including a table for the day, champagne reception, morning coffee, 4 course luncheon including wine, afternoon tea and a complimentary bar.

Whilst his mate Charlie Whelan brings the country to a halt Kevin was enjoying the sport of kings and cheering on his bets. 

Guido caught up with Kevin yesterday just before the last 5.15 race, it was clearly a long hard day:

Kevin Maguire Blackberry bloke was so obvious it was laughable.
Guido Fawkes You could have smiled.
KM Got any tips for the 5.15?
GF Free World at 7/1
KM I’ll put £5 on cause couldn’t bear it to win and not be on.

It lost.

Get Down to William Hill Fast

Just got £100 on Labour to win Glasgow East tonight @ 1/2. A 50% return overnight?  Seems way too generous.  Labour should be home easily…

Guido Laid Widdecombe

That is not something many can say. Laid her at the bookies on Betfair of course. Selling her price down….

UPDATE : Sir George Young has gone favourite in late betting.

Punters Shun Bercow, Beckett Now Favourite Horse for Speaker

speaker-betting

Nag BeckettLadbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison says: “Bercow has been drumming up support since Michael Martin announced he was stepping down. But his chances now appear to have gone for a walk.” Punters on Betfair have also shifted the smart money onto Beckett, making her the new favourite.  Bercow has come across badly at hustings, proving that the more you know Bercow, the less you like him.  The realisation is also growing on the Labour benches that as Speaker he will be like a football referee who thinks the crowd are cheering for him.

There are is also a suggestion that his “back story”, the supposed “journey” from the right to the left under his wife’s influence, will not withstand scrutiny.  Her political past is a little more interesting than hitherto has been understood…

Euro Results

Euro Vote 09Everyman and his blog is doing an election results service based on, well, mostly watching TV, so Guido won’t bother with that. Very disappointed that Guido’s Libertas vote looks like it went to waste. At the New Ross polling station in Wexford on Friday a neighbour said “it is our job to choose between the liars”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Leader of Anti-UKIP Protest Embroiled in SWP Rape Scandal Leader of Anti-UKIP Protest Embroiled in SWP Rape Scandal
Hollobone Agrees Tory-UKIP Pact Hollobone Agrees Tory-UKIP Pact
David Mackintosh Quits David Mackintosh Quits
Happy Ed Balls Day Happy Ed Balls Day
Campaign Report: 42 Days To Go Campaign Report: 42 Days To Go
Zac Back? Watch Our Guy News Special Zac Back? Watch Our Guy News Special
Campaign Report: 43 Days To Go Campaign Report: 43 Days To Go
Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch
Farron U-Turns and Sacks David Ward Farron U-Turns and Sacks David Ward
‘Spring’ Breaks: Jolyon’s Short-Lived New Party ‘Spring’ Breaks: Jolyon’s Short-Lived New Party
More Selection Shenanigans More Selection Shenanigans
Bouattia Ousted Bouattia Ousted
David Ward Becoming a Problem for Farron David Ward Becoming a Problem for Farron
Clive Lewis Slammed by ICM for Fake News Poll Clive Lewis Slammed by ICM for Fake News Poll
Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today
Mirror Chicken Fattened for Election Slaughter Mirror Chicken Fattened for Election Slaughter
Len Tries to Stitch Up Liverpool Walton for His Bag Carrier Len Tries to Stitch Up Liverpool Walton for His Bag Carrier
Starmer on Corbyn: Then and Now Starmer on Corbyn: Then and Now
Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down? Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down?