Cruz drops out after big defeat in Indiana. Trump is declared the presemumptive nominee

May 4th, 2016



A big win for Trump in Indiana overnight has caused Ted Cruz to step aside and the Republican National Committee to declare the property billionaire as the presemumptive nominee.

In the Democratic race Hillary got beaten by Sanders but because of the way the party allocates delegates it is now almost impossible for him to secure enough for the nomination.

Hillary though had been damaged by her failure to win in the state.

Regularly updated odds: Winner 2016 White House Race

Mike Smithson


Unless the there’s a polling disaster bigger than GE2015 Sadiq Khan looks set to win the London Mayoralty

May 3rd, 2016

The LAB man is widening his lead in London

By far the biggest betting market on Thursday’s election is on the London Mayoralty where Zac Goldsmith is seeking to hold on to the post for the Tories from the LAB contender, Sadiq Khan.

A big question for those having a punt is whether the aggressive Tory campaign against Khan personally and low turnout levels might just give it to Goldsmith.

The very latest polling, from Opinium for the Standard, is out and the message is that Khan is extending his lead. Opinium’s fieldwork ended on Sunday so is pretty up to date.

    The 14% Khan lead after the allocation of second preferences looks convincing and it would be a bigger blow to the the polling industry than GE2015 if this went wrong. Other recent polls have had Khan 20% ahead.

But I’m still not totally convinced. Turnout is going to be everything and we can expect that to be higher in outer, more blue-friendly, London than in the capital’s LAB heartlands.

One thing that is surprising in the polling is how few second preference vote Zac appears to be picking up. Given he made his name as an environmental campaigner you’d expect that quite a significant proportion of Green first choices would go his way. That doesn’t seem to be happening.

Mike Smithson


Boris now 4th in ConHome members preferred leader poll. Gove extends lead

May 3rd, 2016

ConHome leader

The monthly ConHome members survey of preferred next party leader is just out and sees Michael Gove once again top extending his total by five points.

The former Education Secretary is the fourth person to have been there this year because it does have a tendency to chop and change. Thus in January, Theresa May was top, then it was Liam Fox, and in March Boris moved into poll position. The other big mover is Theresa May up five on April.

Boris is suffering, I’d suggest, by his less than sure footed approach to the BREXIT referendum with his blustering style raising questions about him as a future PM. By contrast Gove is having a good referendum campaign.

What makes the survey important is that it is of party members only – the group who will make the final choice when Dave does step down. It also did very well with the 2005 race that saw Cameron crowned as leader.

Live Next CON leader Betfair odds

Mike Smithson


Three days to go and three big developments overnight

May 3rd, 2016

New Holyrood poll suggests that the Tories could still overhaul LAB to come 2nd

Ex CON general election candidate quits party over Zac’s campaign

And a plot to oust Corbyn


My Bloomberg programme on BREXIT and political betting

May 2nd, 2016


At GE2015 the big picture from online polls was that LAB was leading but CON was well ahead in phone surveys

May 2nd, 2016

A pointer to EURef polling?

With the huge split between online and phone polls that we are seeing for the referendum it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves how the two modes did during the official GE2015 campaign period.

The chart could not be more clear. Throughout the campaign the big picture from phone polls was that the Tories had the edge while with internet polls it was Labour.

    We should note that being lumped in with all the other online firms is unfair to Opinium. All but one of its GE2015 polls recorded CON leads and the other one had it as level–pegging. Amongst the latest batch of EURef polls Opinium is one of just two online firms to have IN ahead.

A guide to June 23rd? Maybe. It is interesting the punters seem more influenced by the phone surveys.

Mike Smithson


If Zac loses London and the Brexiters fail it will say a lot about the declining influence of the press

May 2nd, 2016


If the London mayoral race and the BREXIT referendum go according to the betting then it will be very much against what most of the press has been promoting.

The Sadiq Khan campaign for the Mayoralty has to overcome a strong media bias in favour of Zac Goldsmith. The above from yesterday’s Mail on Sunday is typical.

The capital’s main newspaper, the Standard, has been very anti-Khan and has been more than willing to echo the Goldsmith campaign efforts to try to smear the LAB man.

It’s coverage of the election’s polls has been abominable even those which it has commissioned itself. Sometimes trying to find the key figures has been hard and there’s barely been a mention of other surveys such as the one on Friday that had Khan 20% ahead.

In the BREXIT race the line up of national papers has been very much for OUT. The Times, Telegraph, Mail and the Sun have been highly partisan and in terms of circulations totally dwarf those in favour of IN.

So if London and the referendum go according to the betting (Sadiq and REMAIN are strong odds-on favourites) it will suggest that the printed press has nothing like the influence it used to have.

It’s known that REMAIN is following the successful Tory general election campaign and making big use of social media to reach selected audiences with bespoke messages.

Mike Smithson


Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life

May 1st, 2016

These don’t appear to be the actions of a PM confident of winning the referendum

Typo alert – The below tweet I think he means Foreign Sec, I hope