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LAB could win an overall majority with not much more than a third of the national vote

January 2nd, 2013

Why I’m now betting on a LAB majority

AndyJS, who’s done a splendid job on the US election, has produced an online spread-sheet showing Labour’s target seats for the election. It’s presented well with a lot of good data and links and I’ve little doubt that we’ll be referring to it more and more as we get closer to polling day.

One feature he highlights is a big reminder of the overwhelming factor in Labour’s favour – the way, with or without the boundary changes, the system works so well for EdM. Andy notes:-

    If you hold all the other parties’ vote constant apart from Con and Lab then Labour would need 34.72% to Con 31.98%, a lead of 2.74% for an overall majority of 1 seat, still below 35% to win (GB vote). That’s a direct swing from Con to Lab of 5.02%

The reasons for this have been well-rehearsed here. LAB sees much lower turnout levels in seats where the outcome is not at stake – its heartlands and CON ones. Also there’s little evidence of tactical voting by Tory supporters to keep LAB out in the way that anti-CON voters have worked in the past to block Cameron’s party.

In 2005 we all remember how the Tories won an overall majority on votes in England but were nearly 100 MPs down.

    These challenges for the blues are still there so that even if the Tories had a GB lead of 2.5% on the popular vote then LAB could still end up with about 10 more seats.

Over the holiday break I’ve started building up a Betfair position on a LAB overall majority. As I Tweeted earlier – anything longer than evens seems good value.

Mike Smithson

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