Archive for the 'Lib Dems' Category


Betting on the number of Lib Dem MEPs

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Ladbrokes have a market on how many MEPs the Lib Dems will have after the Euros.

If we apply UNS to the ICM poll for the Guardian, they will end up with zero MEPs. Now this election is conducted in regions under the d’Hondt  method so a straight UNS calculation may not be apt.

That said, the poll fits is a continuation of of dire European Election polling for the Lib Dems, and the trend isn’t in their favour. The polling may get worse for them, as there’s very little opportunities for them to do so  and increases the likelihood of them getting zero MEPs, on that basis, and the expectation that the price wont last, (It was at 5/1 this morning) I’ve gone for the zero MEPs option.



Are we reaching a tipping point for Nick Clegg’s leadership?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

One of the constants in this parliament is each May, in the local elections, the Lib Dems lose a significant number of councillors and the Lib Dems insouciance to it all. With other parties, it may have triggered speculation about the Leader/a Leadership election. The Lib Dems motto seems to be “Keep Calm and Carry On”

I suspect this year the Lib Dem response is going to be different to another night of bad results, as this cycle of elections features a nationwide election, The European Parliament Elections.

If you look at the above graph, the Tories have seen a slight recovery in the last year, but their coalition partners have not, which must be galling for the Lib Dems. The current polling is pretty dire for the LDs, with them polling around 7 or 8 per cent with a lot of pollsters.

On inspection of the Guardian ICM Euro poll, table 7 shows more voters are planning to vote Green than Lib Dem (24 to 23). Whilst this is but one poll, the fact it is with ICM, the pollster most favourable to the Lib Dem, finishing fifth behind UKIP and The Greens a year before the General Election will cause the Lib Dems to review  their whole strategy and leadership.

I think it is a distinct possibility that the SNP will have more MEPs than then Lib Dems will have in Great Britain. Those are the things that trigger leadership elections.

Add in Nick Clegg’s poor performance in the debates, particularly the second one, which was meant to be an opportunity for the Lib Dems to do well, the polling showed it was pretty dire for Clegg and the Lib Dems. In hindsight, putting a man with the negative ratings of Clegg against the man with the positive ratings of Farage may have been a blunder. The one saving grace was more people didn’t watch it.

Given the prominence that the Leaders have in general election campaigns, the Lib Dems may conclude thanks Nick, but it is time to move on.

The other interesting aspect is that it may well be in David Cameron’s interests that Nick Clegg is replaced. A more left leaning Lib Dem leader such as Tim Farron or Vince Cable maybe the way to get those 2010 Lib Dems switchers to Labour back, as the block of the electorate is currently of one of the two biggest obstacles to David Cameron remaining in Downing Street post May 2015.

It maybe worth looking at the Lib Dem leader at the next general election market as the value has gone out of the next Lib Dem leader market.   Cable and Farron could represent value, as I think the next Leader will be someone who is perceived to be the left of Nick Clegg. Or back the 3/1 Paddy Power are offering on Clegg not being the Lib Dem leader at the next election. 



The post Nick v Nigel debate reaction

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The YouGov poll on who won the debate is out.


My own feeling is that the real loser from tonight is David Cameron and The Tories, today and next week, Nigel Farage has been given one hour to hoover up the Euro-sceptic vote.

I’ll update this thread if further polling is released.



Ladbrokes open betting on all 57 LD seats and make the yellows favourites to hold on to 35

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’ll be interesting to follow the changing prices

This afternoon Ladbrokes put up betting markets in every one of the 57 seats that the Lib Dems will be defending at GE2015.

In 35 of them, all but one of them defences against the Tories, the Ladbrokes opening prices make the LDs favourite and in a further three Clegg’s party is join favourite.

From a quick look down the list the MPs most likely to be still there on May 8th next year are Tim Farron who is priced at 1/20 to hold on to Westmorland & Lonsdale and the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, who is at 1/100 to hold Orkney & Shetland. This far out you can get a better financial return putting your money in the building society!

All the party’s cabinet ministers, including Danny Alexander in Inverness/Nairn are priced as odds on favourites.

    Where the yellows face the reds as their main opposition Ladbrokes have in all the seats bar Simon Hughes’ Bermondsey made LAB the favourites. It is hard to argue with that.

It is amongst this group where you can get the longer odds and our friend Shadsy has just tightened the 8/1 that I put £100 on in one seat to 4/1. I’m not revealing which one because I hope to get good value from other bookies.

The best advice here is to use what local knowledge of the seats that you have.

I have bet against the LDs in three seats and on them in three others – all the prices were longer than evens.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Newly published Ipsos-MORI polling finds fewer voters hostile to LAB than the other main parties

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

And there’s a whiff of good news for the LDs at the Euros

What I’ve found to be a fascinating piece of polling for the British Future think tank has just been published by Ipsos-MORI.

Rather than the conventional voting intention questions interviewees were asked for views of the four main national parties and whether they’d consider voting for them in both general elections and the Euros, general elections only, the Euros only, or whether they’d never consider voting for them.

    The big message is that there fewer anti-LAB voters out there than those opposed to the other three parties.

I’ve tried to extract the headline figures in the interactive chart above. Note that the don’t knows are excluded from the chart. So in the case of the Tories 26% said they’d vote for them in both elections, 7% said GE only, 3% said Euros only with 26% saying don’t know.

What’s not surprising is that UKIP do well for the Euros with 14% saying they’d consider supporting them in both sets of elections and a further 12% saying the Euros only.

Interestingly, given the way that the Lib Dems are planning to fight the May Euros 8% said they consider going yellow for those elections only. Clegg’s gamble on there being a specific niche market for being “the party of In” appears to be supported by these figures.

There’s lots of other data in the polling which I’ll probably return to. This post is about the headline figures.

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed 2,244 British online adults aged 16-75 between 6-11 December 2013. Interviews were conducted on Ipsos’ online panel. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.
  • Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


    Lib Dem deposit losses at the General Election

    Monday, February 17th, 2014

    The Wythenshawe & Sale East saw for the eight time in fifteen Great British by-elections since 2010 the Lib Dems lose their deposit.

    At the 2010 General Election, the Lib Dems were the only party out of the three established GB wide parties not to lose their deposit in any seat. 

    The above graph shows just how badly the Lib Dems have done, all bar one, their share of the vote has fallen, it was only in the unique circumstances behind the Oldham East and Saddleworth by election that could explain the increase.

    Whilst by-elections are very different to General Elections, I think the Lib Dem focus in 2015 will be on the seats they already hold. The Ashcroft polling on the Wythenshawe & Sale East by-election, showed the Lib Dems trailing fourth when it comes to contact with the voters. There’s no point in expending  resources such as time, money and activists on seats you’re never ever going to realistically win.

    So it’s time to review Paddy Power’s betting market on how many deposits the Lib Dems will lose in 2015. When this market first opened last summer, I backed 126 to 150 at 6/1 and more than 150 at 9/2, I still think there’s value in backing these bands at the current prices.

    PBer AndyJS has compiled a list of the Lib Dem share of the vote in each constituency at the last General Election, it can be viewed here.



    The Tory survival plan is based on the Lib Dems staying strong in CON-LAB battlegrounds but collapsing in CON-LD ones

    Friday, January 24th, 2014

    The evidence suggests that it’s working the other way round

    It’s been repeated often enough on PB that an essential part of Labour’s polling position is based on the very large proportion of 2010 LD voters who’ve now switched to Labour. If this hadn’t happened or starts to slip away then EdM’s dreams of becoming PM are in trouble.

    So far, at least, the evidence is that such a move that is even more pronounced in the key LAB-CON marginals that the Tories have to hold to prevent a LAB government.

    The other side of the equation is that in the LD-CON marginals there’ll be a collapse in the LD vote which will help the Tories secure the easy pickings that will boost their seat totals. This was seen earlier in the week I featured a projection from Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus on the projected seat outcome with CON 35: LAB 35: LD 12: UKIP 10 and Miliband’s party were 5 seats short of a majority. Amongst the changes were 18 CON gains from the yellows.

    But there’s strong evidence from the most recent marginals polling that we have is the LDs would do much better. That was published by Lord Ashcroft in September and, clearly, it could have take a knock by recent events. But if “Rennardgate” works out like “Falkirkgate” and “Plebgate” the effect could ease off in the days and weeks ahead.

    The chart above based on that data suggests a LD>CON swing of just 0.5% in seats that the blues will be defending against the yellows. If that was translated to seats that the LDs are defnding against the Tories it would lead to just two changing hands.

      At the moment the LD collapse is underpinning Labour but not offering much to the Tories. That could make the blue GE2015 challenge even harder.

    Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


    By 40% to 39% men say Rennard should be allowed to remain in LDs. By 43% to 27% women say he shouldn’t

    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

    What we have is a gender and a generational divide

    There’s a YouGov poll in the Times this morning in which there’s the first detailed questioning on whether Lord Rennard he should be allowed to stay with the Lib Dems or leave following the allegations of sexual harassment

    According to the paper’s report 40% said he should stay and 39% said he should leave. Among women, the split was 43% leave with only 27% saying he should stay.

    Amongst Lib Dems voters, where the sample size is probably too small to do a gender split, 32% said he should “remain in the Liberal Democrats as it has not been proved that he’s done anything wrong”, while 47% believed that he should leave because “he is damaging the wider organisation”.

      So Clegg’s actions yesterday appear to be in line with Lib Dem voters specifically and women generally

    The full dataset is not yet available but my guess is that the older age groups will be more supportive of the peer than younger ones.

    Given that the cohort of Lib Dem peers is much more male than female and also much older than the adult population as a whole then the polling highlights the challenge facing the party in dealing with such a sensitive issue.

    Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE Westminster’s bubble