Archive for October, 2012


LAB jumps six points in ComRes phone poll

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The party’s 44% is the best with the firm since the election

Labour has moved into its biggest lead over the Conservatives since the general election, according to a ComRes telephone poll for the Independent.

David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne are also seen as out of touch with ordinary people by two-thirds of voters.

The survey put CON 33%(-2): LAB 44%(+6): LD 12% (-3). The change in the Labour vote is well outside the margin of error and suggests that Miliband’s party has been prospering from the government’s problems.

The LD drop is large but Clegg’s party will be relieved to still be in double figures.

Labour’s 44% rating is the highest it has achieved in a ComRes poll since the election two and a half years ago.

67% agreed the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were out of touch with ordinary people, with 26% disagreeing. Even 40% of Tory voters viewed the two men as out of touch.

Mike Smithson

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Mayor Mallon could give Miliband a Migraine in Middlesbrough

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Henry G Manson on a possible 2nd LAB by-election defeat

There have been a very strong series of by-elections taking place in Labour – held seats over the last couple of years. More than I can recall. This puts a little pressure on the Labour side to win handsomely each time.

The Corby by-election has been the exception and gives the party a chance to chalk up a thumping win in a seat the party must win in 2015 if it is to hope of a majority. While a lot of attention and campaigning activity has been focused on Louise Mensch’s former constituency, it would be worth the red team sending a few people up North to Teesside where the seeds of a shock could be in the making.

The Labour Party has already lost one safe seat in Bradford West, that time to George Galloway. The defeat still gives some Labour Party staff nightmares. Now Stuart Bell MP’s death has meant that there will be another by-election, likely to take place on 29th November.

    This is a seat Labour should win handsomely in the current climate and even larger than the 8,689 majority from the 2012 the general election, despite a likely modest turnout. However there is a bluebottle in the ointment – the threat of popular local independent mayor Ray Mallon running.

Ray Mallon, known as ‘Robocop’ from his time at Cleveland Police is a controversial character to say the least. One thing that cannot be denied is his popularity with the Middlesbrough electorate. He is tough, working class and doesn’t mince his words. He’s pleaded guilty to a range of offences while as a police officer, he’s been up against the Standards Board as mayor and has been accused of racist remarks in the past. In a nutshell he is a Guardian readers’ nightmare.

Despite his flaws Mallon has bested the Labour candidate for directly elected mayor on all three occasions. Most recently in 2011 he received 17,901 votes – over 8,000 more than his Labour rival. This is a guy who knows how to win in Middlesbrough.

After Bell’s death, Mallon in characteristic style announced to the local press that he would be looking closely at the candidates that the main parties put up and if they weren’t to the standard he felt Middlesbrough required then he would stand in the by-election. This is no idle threat. Mallon has told friends that he won’t stand for mayor again and will be looking for a way to bow out. I can see him fancying finishing his career as MP for the town from 2012-2015.

Like Galloway, Mallon would be able to pull in support from across the political spectrum as well as rely on a core part of Middlesbrough’s working class voters to turn out for him again. Unlike Galloway, he has roots in the area he seeks to represent and has already proven he can beat the political parties.

    Labour has not found a way of defeating him in the last ten years and there’s nothing to suggest they will over the next month either.

Whether the current crop of aspiring candidates passes muster with Mallon is debateable. However with such a short timescale (Labour applicants must submit their application by noon tomorrow) the chances of recognised big-hitters coming forward seem remote. No-one quite knows the mind of Ray Mallon, but his professional and political career shows that he is vain, egotistical and a risk-taker. Ed Miliband and the Labour team should be quietly praying that the mayor does not stand while at the same time urgently preparing for a bruising battle in case he does. Any boost from a Labour Party gain in Corby could prove very shortlived.

Henry G Manson


Punters still rate the White House race as a 67-33 chance to Obama

Monday, October 29th, 2012

On Betfair alone there have been £11m of matched bets

The chart is simply showing the Romney price on Betfair expressed as an implied probability.

As can be seen that apart from the Romney bounce on Wednesday ahead of what turned out to be the non-announcement from Donald Trump, things have been static. It’s been about 2/1 Romney and 1/2 Obama.

There are lots of other bets about but the overall winner is the big one.

SportingIndex have been suspending their ECV spread markets overnight but I don’t expect any change from yesterday’s close Obama 291-296.

Ladbrokes have further tightened the price on the ECV winner not coming top in the popular vote. It’s now 5/1.

Mike Smithson

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The latest swing stake polling suggests that the battle is getting very tight

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

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The change in public opinion that the blues should most fear: The return of the “Toxic Tories”

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Over the last couple of days there’s been a lot of focus on the Ipsos-MORI finding that more people now dislike David Cameron than like him.

The same polling also produced findings on like and dislike of the Conservative party itself which were, perhaps, more worrying for the party. The chart above based on Ipsos-MORI data going back to 2007 shows how perceptions of the party have changed over time – and the trend is not looking good.

In the latest polling the blues had the worst figures of all three main parties with 60% saying they didn’t like the party against just 35% saying they did. The Lib Dems, by contrast, had 52% dislike to 40% like. The Labour figures were 42% dislike to 51% like.

    Where this matters in electoral terms is what it could do to tactical voting – a dynamic that saw has hurt the blues over many elections though to a lesser extent in 2010.

One of the main drivers behind the poor votes-seats return that the Conservatives experience has been that in many marginals the desire of a significant segment of voters has been to stop the Tories rather than to back one of the other parties.

Cameron and Osborne must hope that an improving economy will change this.

Mike Smithson

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The White House paradox: Romney’s lead in the national RCP aveage gets wider but Obama becomes a firmer favourite

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The one certainty is that this is very tight

Embedded above is the latest national polling average from Real Clear politics which has Romney edging further ahead and in doing so magnifying the paradox of this campaign.

For the betting markets where punters invest real money on the outcome are moving even further to the incumbent. Until this morning it was still possible to get 1/2 on Obama on Betfair but that’s now at 0.46/1.

    One thing we do know is that a tight election which could go either way makes it especially attractive to political punters

This absorbing market with that betting exchange alone has chalked up £10,667,007 worth of matched bets making it almost certain that it will be the firm’s biggest political market ever.

Other bookies and spread firms have also reported high levels of activity.

My money remains on Obama but I remain cautious about going all in on him.

Mike Smithson

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A new book on Osborne could open up the sores about why the Tories failed to win a majority

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

How the last seven years have been seen by George

Patrick O’Flynn in the Daily Express is reporting this morning that a new book on George Osborne by writer Janan Ganesh, could be damaging to David Cameron.

According to O’Flynn the chancellor emerges as a towering figure “while the shortcomings of Dave” are dealt with at length.

One aspect featured is the background to the famous much-spoofed posters that were unveiled at the start of January 2010. It’s said that Cameron insisted that “his own image should domninate.

    O’Flynn writes that generally: “..Cameron is outmanoeuvred by civil servants and his successes are often credited to Osborne. We learn that “Osborne was intimately involved” in his Brussels veto last December.

    And Osborne’s policy change on inheritance tax in 2007 is credited with saving Cameron from a snap election he would have lost.”

    ……This characterisation defines the Chancellor as the real power and the Prime Minister merely as a salesman for his policies…

In many ways the relationship that is portrayed is similar to the Blair-Brown one although George and Dave are said to be much closer.

Whatever the book is hardly going to help relations between the two men and you can bet that Ed Miliband will use extracts at PMQs.

Mike Smithson

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With just 10 days of campaigning left for Mitt Romney punters seem to think that he’s a loser

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Meanwhile the ad onslaught in the swing states continues

Latest swing state polls

Colorado: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (OnSight Public Affairs)

Florida: Romney 51%, Obama 46% (Sunshine State News)

Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (Gravis)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (Gravis)

New Hampshire: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (New England College)

North Carolina: Romney 53%, Obama 45% (Gravis)

North Carolina: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Civitas)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (American Research Group)

Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

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