Charlie Whelan Wins by a Whisker

Unite’s massive effort to persuade disinterested union members to vote for Ed Miliband paid off. Ed won 50.65% of the vote. He lost in the MP and membership sections of the electoral college but took so much of the union vote it didn’t matter. The unions bought the election, endorsements and incredibly heavy promotion of their chose candidate paid off. Charlie Whelan and Derek Simpson can justifiably claim it is their victory, they got Red Ed the job…

It Ain't Over till the Electoral Reform Society Sings


Guido has basically got his betting book flat on the Labour leadership, after backing David originally, flipping around onto Ed last Friday and adding to his position substantially during the week. Guido took the book to basically neutral last night, after selling Ed at ridiculously high prices going into the result.

Why? Because it is just too close to call with confidence.

Unless the Electoral Reform Society has leaked – something Guido doubts – the Thursday night flip happened because punters put money on Ed, it snowballed taking him beyond evens and making him favourite. There was no new poll or information on Thursday, the price moved simply and only because there were more buyers than sellers.

At the time of writing the specialist political bookies Smarkets* have Ed with an 80% probability of winning, it should be nearer 50/50 based on the polling and closeness of the count. Guido is tempted, on a valuation basis, to sell Ed at that price…

*As far as Guido can see they are the only bookies still making prices.

The Battle of the Brothers

The BBC have produced a round up of the campaign so far:

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It is an accurate insight into the Miliband brothers’ relationship with a revelation that Hague likes Balls. The Guidoisation of politics continues…

Little Bro Has Big Mo (Too Late To Vote Though)

You can bet your bottom dollar that David Miliband is rueing the day he didn’t stab Gordon this morning. Suddenly the race to be the next Labour leader got interesting. The late-in-the-game switch to Ed as favourite has been aided in no small part by the fact it was left-wing Red Ken beating right-wing Blarite Oona in a miniature version of the national race. This must be torture for David…

Nice to see the lobby are catching up with the fast pace this morning, it seems the pack have realised some people actually put their money when their mouths are.

You read it here first.

+ + + Ed Miliband Now Bookies Favourite + + +

David Miliband Preparing for Defeat

This morning the Guardian is reporting that Jim Murphy, one of David Miliband’s two campaign managers, attended a meeting with members of the Ed Milband camp to map out how they would handle Saturday’s leadership result in the event of Red Ed winning. The Telegraph saysThe overture is being seen as a signal that the elder Mr Miliband, long regarded as the front-runner in the race to succeed Gordon Brown, is bracing himself for defeat.”

Bookmakers overnight saw a big move onto Ed Miliband, some suspect that any deep pocketed operation to manipulate betting markets on behalf of David Miliband to keep his odds low has come to an end now that voting has closed. The odds are now more accurately reflecting the closeness seen by the pollsters. Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting.com is calling it for Ed and predicts that the brothers will soon be at evens or Ed will go favourite before the result is known on Saturday…

Counting Begins

The campaigning is over, the counting has begun. For political punters like Guido there is a fascinating divergence between the punters and the pollsters, YouGov is calling it narrowly for Red Ed, the punters reckon it will be David Miliband. Why?

Guido has heard various theories:

  • YouGov got the weighting wrong for the union affiliates – being peddled by some Mili-D supporters.
  • YouGov / LeftFootForward have analysed the distribution of second preferences incorrectly – something Guido has questioned.
  • Someone is deliberately manipulating the betting markets on behalf of Mili-D to influence the MP/MEPs’ votes – they want to back a winner for careerist reasons – they can be influenced by the publicly available odds.

We’ll find out in two days…

Paddy Power and William Hill are no longer taking bets fearing something might leak. The latest prices from Political Smarkets* are:

David

Ed

Next Labour Leader :

64%

34%

MP/MEPs’ Favourite :

89%

35%

Member’s Favourite :

67%

36%

Union affiliate’s Favourite :

11%

93%

In the humiliation stakes punters still reckon that despite Guido’s never-ending support, Ed Balls is still the favourite to to be eliminated in the first round. Guido thinks he might not come last and is a seller at 41%.

*These are implied probabilities, when they add up to over 100% it is called the “over-round”, the bigger the over-round the less efficient the market is, for an explanation see here.

A Clear Conscience

In a move completely out-of-place for someone who can put their head on the pillow confident in the knowledge that they hadn’t relied on information from tortured terror suspects, David Miliband decided yesterday he would return to the FCO to “look over some papers”. But of course he isn’t worried about anything.

The last thing the ailing front-runner would have wanted is to have his murky involvement in this matter splashed across the Guardian, again, but it seems they have decided not to make an enemy of him forever by holding off with their attack until its almost too late for any real impact to the leadership vote. As ever Guido will take a balanced approach and encourage fair play about it dredging up a political figures past. Just as Labour suggest that Andy Coulson should be held responsible for what happened on his watch with their now well-worn line, is David Miliband lying or incompetent?

'Red Ed' Has CCHQ Licking Lips

If as many expect Mili-D wins the MPs’ vote, splits the members vote with his brother, but Mili-E still wins overall because the union vote goes overwhelmingly to him, Guido gets the impression that the few remaining Tory strategists sitting in CCHQ won’t believe their luck.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Bigger Brother Twists Arms

Labour Uncut claims that “This Saturday, David Miliband will be elected. It will not mean that we are on the path back to power. Nor that we have fully come to terms with our election defeat. But we will have a new leader.” Well at least half of that is true, but that hasn’t stopped David’s campaign team putting a bit of stick about amongst the 2010 intake of MPs to secure their support in the non-secret ballot.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Mandy's Midnight Mili-Mischief

Guido commented yesterday on the nervousness in the David Miliband camp, but it seems things could be worse than previously thought. After so many years it is impossible to take anything Peter Mandelson says at face value so when his head pops up above the parapet it is not without reason.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Nervousness in David Miliband's Camp

After reading endless tips from Mike Smithson on PoliticalBetting.com to back Ed Miliband, Guido switched his bets on Friday. David Miliband’s implied probability of victory had already dropped from 75% to 65% by the time Guido shifted his money from one brother to the other.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Windswept Tom Harris Applies for Shadow Cabinet

If Chris Bryant was somewhat over-detailed in his resume – including every boy scout badge was hardly necessary, Tom Harris is going to the other extreme, or, as he puts it “cutting to the chase”. He looks manly, as he says, he can hold his own at the dispatch box.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

AV Means Labour's Self-Perceived Lesser Miliband Could Win

YouGov’s data is now out from the Sunday Times Labour leadership poll which forecasts Ed Miliband winning. The Labour party’s use of AV shows how perverse that electoral system can be.

  • 44% think David Miliband “would be most effective, as leader of the opposition, at holding the present government to account”, versus 21% for his brother Ed.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Pollsters Backing Ed V Punters Backing David

Someone is going to get a shock based on these Sunday Times/YouGov polling results. With two weeks to go until the results are known and voting already taking place it is, all are agreed, going to be close. Punters are predicting a win for David Miliband whilst pollsters YouGov are predicting a narrow win for Ed Miliband. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Ed Miliband Admits Defeat

In a chat with Mumsnet the Labour leadership contenders were asked which historical figure they would be. Cue standard answers like Nye Bevan (Burnham), Republican president Lincoln (Mili-D) and, er, Elvis (Balls). However most telling was Ed Miliband’s answer – Bobby Kennedy.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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