Archive for May, 2005


What’s best for Brown and Clarke – a OUI or a NON?

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

With just a week to go before the French EU constitution referendum betting price on a “Non” have continued to tighten and now a full range of bookmakers are offering Order Tramadol American Express markets. The OUI position is still ahead but the best price on a NON is now 5/4.

But the result, whichever way it goes, could have an enormous impact UK domestic politics and particularly on the when will Blair go question, the Order Tramadol Cod Online next Labour leader and even the Tory leadership – all the subject the subject of active betting markets.

Many in the Gordon Brown camp are hoping that the French yes would make it easier for Tony Blair to lead a successful campaign in the UK next year which would provide the positive pretext for him to step down and their man to take over. Tramadol Online Overnight Usa Matthew d’Ancona describes it well in the Sunday Telegraph today.

…..And if you think Mr Brown is relishing the potential embarrassment to Mr Blair of a “Non”, think again. As I have said before, the Chancellor applies only one test to such questions: what will smooth my path to Number 10? A French “No” would certainly weaken Mr Blair’s chances of holding and winning a referendum next year. This, in turn, would scupper one of the most elegant exit strategies that the Chancellor’s allies hope the Prime Minister might take: triumph in the first national plebiscite for 31 years, followed by rapid departure from Number 10, undefeated. If France says “No” next Sunday, the odds on that tidy outcome will be much smaller. More to the point, the diplomatic ramifications of a “Non” might rumble on for years. Whenever he inherits the top job – assuming he does – Mr Brown does not want to be embroiled in a draining European crise d’identité.

And what about the Next Tory leader – could a French No boost the chances of follow link Kenneth Clarke whose uncompromising position on Europe set him apart from the grass-roots of his party in 1997 and 2001.

Already the question of what he would do during the UK referendum campaign is being raised as a reason why he could never take over at the top. Could a French rejection make it easier for the Conservatives to support the veteran campaigner?

click here Mike Smithson


Could the economy dish Gordon Brown’s leadership chances?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

With Gordon Brown continuing to be the heavy odds-on favourite in the see url Next Labour leader market anything that might hurt his chances has to be taken seriously. And today, in one of those front page splashes that have becoming a characteristic of the Tramadol Buy Online Independent in its tabloid form, the paper pulls together a series of economic indicators to question whether the UK might be in trouble.

Philip Thornton, Economics Editor, notes ……mounting concern that after eight years of stability under Labour, the UK faces the prospect of a sharp economic slowdown. Within days of Labour’s election celebrations, the economy has started to look very sick. Last week saw a rash of shockingly bad figures pointing to a slump in retail sales and manufacturing output and stagnation in the housing market. Several high-street names warned that sales had fallen and profits would be hit. The Bank of England admitted it had been “surprised” by the speed of the high-street slowdown. Labour campaigned on its record of strong, stable growth and low inflation, but economists in the City are queuing up to cut their growth forecasts for this year. …The Government’s economic record was a key part of the election campaign that was immune to the attacks on Labour over issues such as Iraq. It was also seen as Gordon Brown’s credentials for taking over as Labour leader when Tony Blair finally steps down as Prime Minister.

We’ve always been sceptical of those who’ve regarded Brown as a certainty to take over from Tony Blair and certainly the current betting return is far less than the risk, particularly as you could be waiting for years to unlock your stake and collect your small winnings.

But do the current economic worries mean that there might be value in one of the other candidates? The conventional bookies make Charles Clark the second favourite at 11/2 while the current Betfair price on the Home Secretary is 45/1 – a huge difference which is seen right down the list of other potential candidates on the betting exchange.

    here Another thought is that if the economy is starting to create problems could this be an opening for the 33 year old George Osborne in the source site Next Tory leader market. As Shadow Chancellor Brown’s difficulties could provide a platform for him to shine. His conventional bookie price is 7/1 but you can get nearly twice the potential return with Betfair. SPENDING MY GENERAL ELECTION WINNINGS I am off on holiday for a few days so unless anything remarkable happens the next article by me will not be until Sunday.

go to link Mike Smithson


Did postal voting lead to a lower overall turnout?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

    follow link Why did so many on the postal list not vote?

The move to extend postal voting was said to have been Labour’s “big idea” to deal with ongoing challenge that many more people say they support the party than actually vote for it.

There is little hard evidence available but looking at what information we have from May 5th and hearing anecdotal reports the question has to be asked as to whether the five-fold increase in applications for postal votes before May 5th might have led to reduced overall turnout levels? In Birmingham, which admittedly is a special case, it was reported that only about two thirds of those who applied actually returned the completed ballot forms. But from other reports it seems that there might have been similar low response rates elsewhere amongst those who had requested to vote by post.

Given that those who have gone to the trouble of applying for a postal vote in the first place have indicated some desire to take part in the election then something is wrong, surely, if a significant proportion could not be bothered to return the completed ballots?

No doubt there’ll be some serious studies of the impact of one in six electors applying to vote in this way and it will be interesting to see if this is borne out. But my hunch is that three factors were at play here:-

  • The process of voting by post is quite cumbersome. You have to mark the ballot paper and then put it in one envelope. Then you have to fill in a form and get your signature witnessed and finally you have to put all the bits together and ensure that it is put in the mail. If there were local elections in your area as well then all this had to be done twice over.
  • enter The aftermath of the Birmingham case caused the parties to be extra careful about how they handled postal voters and there was not the usual effort, as in previous elections, to contact them before May 5th to make sure they had got their votes in.
  • click here The publicity about postal voting during the campaign may have caused some on the postal list to feel that in some way their vote would be “devalued” and therefore there was less point in returning the envelope.
  • What’s been the experience of other people on the site? This is a debate that will contiune.

    go Mike Smithson


    Could the Tony Blair show go on and on and…..?

    Monday, May 16th, 2005

    Judging by prices in the When will Blair go market the expectation is that Tony Blair will be handing over to Gordon Brown or AN Other within the next eighteen months. It’s just 2/1 against him making the change this year and 5/4 against him stepping down in 2006. You can get a massive 20/1 against Tony Blair still being Prime Minister on January 1st 2010.

    It’s the same picture on the Spreadfair “How many weeks will Blair’s third term last” spreadbetting market where the current range of 80-89 weeks, starting last week, takes us until the end of next year.

      enter site But as each day has gone by since the General Election Tony Blair has looked increasingly less like a Prime Minister with a finite life.

    The Queen’s Speech at the opening of Parliament might give us more clues but what are the factors that will cause him to make this final decision? And what is Tony Blair, who is still in his early 50s, going to do on his “retirement”?

    Could it be that the famous statement about him not fighting another General Election, made on the night of the Hartlepool by-election last September, was just another “device” to deal with the issue of the moment. There have been precedents – the alleged discussion at the Granita restaurant and what was reported to have been said at John Prescott’s infamous Admiralty Arch dinner with him and Gordon Brown at the end of 2003?

    Tony Blair’s parliamentary position is not as strong as it was and the scope for rebels to exert pressure is that much greater. But how easy would it be for dissidents to seek to force issues in this way especially as Tony Blair would do what he has always done when faced with a threat to his leadership and waved the threat of a Tory victory at those seeking to discomfort him?

    As a general rule we do not like these long-term markets where you hand over money to the bookmaker for years. But the odds on Tony Blair going in the next eighteen month seem far too tight.

    Tramadol Order Overnight Mike Smithson


    YouGov stakes its claim to supremacy

    Monday, May 16th, 2005
      click Will the internet polling argument ever be resolved?

    In a move not designed to win him any friends within the UK polling industry the boss of YouGov, Peter Kellner, has posted a strongly argued piece, under the provocative heading “YouGov – consistently right” to reinforce his claim that his firm’s approach to taking the nation’s political temperature is the right one.

    Although he acknowledges that all the polls were within the same area in their eve of poll prediction and NOP got it spot on “…the difference is that YouGov, alone, consistently published figures throughout the campaign that were close to the result.

      Tramadol Buy Online Cheap Polls, Kellner says, should be judged not only against their final election-day prediction, but against their results throughout the campaign.

    And here he points to the Tramadol Drug Buyers fifteen polls published by the company during the campaign fourteen of which got the Labour share to within one point. This was in sharp contrast, he says, to the others of which the telephone pollsters …during the five weeks leading up to polling day were far less consistent. They ranged from a Conservative lead of five points to a Labour lead of 14 points.

    There’s little doubt that the consistent overstatement of Labour’s position by ICM, Populus, Buying Tramadol Online Uk Communicate Research and source url NOP had a big impact on the betting markets. In their final surveys before the ones for May 5th itself ICM reported an 8% Labour lead; NOP a 10% one; CR had 8% and Populus 9% – figures which led to projections of 130-140 seat majorities for Labour and which over-stated the winning vote share margin by 2-3 times what actually happened.

    Although the spread markets did not get into the 100+ majority area they did get it above 90 in the closing period. Right from their inception the vote share markets over-stated Labour and everybody who sold came out with a profit.

    I am indebted to Anthony Wells of Tramadol Canada Online UK Polling Report for maintaining and excellent record of each of the surveys and for making it easier to look at each firm’s record.

    Purchase Tramadol Cod Shipping Mike Smithson


    Put June 25th in your diary for the PB.C party

    Sunday, May 15th, 2005

    Whenever in the past few months the idea of a post-election party has been raised my main concern has been that it could turn into an occasion for gloating and that only those supporting the winner would feel comfortable being there. Well the great thing about Election 2005 is that nobody got quite what they wanted so there’s been no gloating.

  • Cheap Tramadol Online Labour, as predicted, got back with a reasonable majority but losing one vote in seven on four years ago, only getting 35.2% of the overall UK vote, and seeing a lot of seats fall took the edge of their victory.
  • The Tories certainly made progress on the previous two elections but did not quite make the 200 seat target and saw their vote share increase by just 0.5%.
  • The Lib Dems saw a big increase in their vote and ten more seats than 2001 but it wasn’t quite the hoped for breakthrough.
  • The pollsters all got a bit closer and one got it dead right. But we are still waiting for a poll that when tested against real results under-estimates Labour.
  • The party is being organised by Book Value and it would be helpful if people could post here whether they can attend so we can get an idea of scale. The plan is to book a room in a pub or club near Westminster. We have not worked out the finances yet and but we are hoping to find some sponsorship to cover the core costs.

    Mike Smithson


    Our competitions – deciding the winners

    Sunday, May 15th, 2005

      At last the Politicalbetting forecasters of 2005 are…

    In my introduction on May 2 to our General Election Competition I took the precaution of stating..” My rulings, however unreasonable, on all matters relating to this competition are final. I am right even when I am wrong.

    There are two issues which could affect the result. Was Labour’s majority 66 or 67 seats (because of the South Staffordshire situation) and how do we handle the rounding on the vote shares. A further issue is that I did state that potential winners should make a claim.

    There were three entries where the scores were almost dead level depending on how you dealt with South Staffs and rounding up or down. BigGibbon (182), Kevin (118) and Zach Veitch 183.

      Taking everything into account I declare that entry number 183, Zach Veitch is the Politicalbetting General Election Forecaster of 2005.

    His entry was Labour majority 67; Lib Dem seats 66; Labour GB vote share 36.2%; Conservative vote share 33.3%; LD votes share 23.4%; pollsters over-estimating Labour 6; Nick Palmer’s performance 43.4; Richard Willis’s performance 38.9% and Charles Anglin 27.8%.

    What makes this entry outstanding is that as well as getting the majority right Zach’s vote share forecast for Labour is correct and he is only one tenth of a percent out with the Tories. He was also dead right with the number of Labour over-stating pollsters. Well done Zach and well done to the two runners-up Kevin and BigGibbon.

    Zach now receives the prize of a Binary Bet account with £1,000 cash in it.

    On the New Year competition the top entrant from those who made claims was Harry Hayfield.

    My apologies for the delay in announcing this but coming to a decision between the top three in the final week competition was difficult.

    Mike Smithson


    Back Balls as a good value way of backing Brown

    Saturday, May 14th, 2005

      Prepare for an early promotion for the former advisor

    Before Christmas we were saying that that the 5/1 then available against David Blunkett returning to the cabinet during 2005 was a great value way of betting on Labour to be top party. That proved to be a profitable punt.

    Now a similar bet is available on who will be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer. For if Gordon Brown, now just 2/9 to become next Labour leader, does make it to Number 10 then his former advisor Ed Balls will, surely, be appointed Chancellor. These two have been so close in their management of the economy over the past eight years that it is hard to envisage Brown being happy with anybody else in the post.

      So our strong tip is to take the 4.2/1 that’s currently available on Betfair and back Balls to be Brown’s successor at Number 11.

    On the face of it such accelerated promotion for somebody who only became an MP nine days ago seems to lack plausibility. The Westminster way is that you wait for some time as a back-bencher and then get a very junior role as you start your progess up the greasy poll. But Ed Balls, the new MP for Normanton, is different and it is no wonder that he is now second favourite, behind Alistair Darling, to succeed Brown.

    The fact that Tony Blair’s desire for an orderly transition seems to be more on track this weekend than last makes Balls’s chances that much great.

    LATEST COMMENTS FEATURE RESTORED. We suspended our latest comments feature to help deal with the overwhelming demand on the site’s technical capacity in the final two days before polling. We were being so overwhelmed with traffic at the time that we needed to do something to maintain the service and on just one day, the Wednesday beforehand, we had more demand than in the whole of January. Thanks to my son Robert for everything he did to keep the site open.

      Thanks to all those who have helped us to keep the site going by using the links to open accounts and/or by making donations. The response has been really good and the funding has gone a long way to defraying our costs. It is also very pleasing to know that so many people value what we do that they are prepared to support us in this way.

    Mike Smithson