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Calling Mr. Betfair – what about the locals?

April 26th, 2006

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    When are we going to see betting on next week’s elections?

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With so many unpredictable factors and the main polls painting completely different pictures there looks as though there will be shocks of some sort in next week’s local elections. A lot could depend on the outcome for the three main party leaders.

For Ming Campbell a successful May 4th will be the ideal start to his term as party leader. But what are we to make of the polls? YouGov has the party going in reverse gear and standing at just 17% nationally. Meanwhile ICM has the party surging forward to 24%. Which is right and how successful will the night be. We want to bet on Lib Dem gains and losses.

For David Cameron
this is also his first big electoral test. Expectations had been high but started to fade a bit following a Newsnight feature suggesting losses and the Tories edging down in the national polls. Will a week a tomorrow be a bountiful day or will it be the moment that the Cameron honeymoon officially comes to an end. We want to bet on Conservative gains and losses.

For Tony Blair many have been pointing to the elections as the point that could see the end of his leadership. if Labour does really badly then could the moves start to get him unseated? Or is he there for another couple of years. We want to bet on Labour gains and losses.

For the BNP
May 4th is being set up as a big opportunity. The 7% showing in the YouGov poll following the warnings by Margaret Hodge should surely give the party its best chance yet of picking up council seats. But could the pollster be wrong?. We want to bet on the number of BNP seats.

If you do have an account with Betfair and/or other bookmakers then please email them to ask that markets be established. It would be crazy if next week’s critical elections take place without punters being able to back up their judgements with cash.

MORE GOOD POLL NEWS FOR THE LIB DEMS?
Meanwhile BBC News 24 reported overnight that “a poll” had a split of CON 30: LAB 30: LD 25. I have not been able to find out anything online. This could well be the April Mori poll.

If the figures are right then Labour would be down 9%, the Tories down 4% with the Lib Dems up 6% on the March figures. The others total would be 15% – up seven points on March. These would be massive changes if it is, indeed, confirmed as the Mori poll.

The Mori headline figures are usually based on those “absolutely certain to vote” and the pollster does not weight by past vote recall. Without this control factor Mori tends to fluctuate an enormous amount – although the trend here, if it is indeed Mori, is in line with the ICM poll yesterday.

UPDATE. This has now been confirmed as the April Mori poll which is being carried by the Sun.

In the last six months Mori has reported:-
The Tories in a range from 30-40%
Labour in a range from 30-42%
The LDs in a range from 15-25%

I do not believe that public opinion fluctuates by as much as this and this is happening because the pollster does not use past vote weighting.


Mike Smithson






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