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UKIP looks to the seaside for that elusive first past the post Westminster breakthough

August 27th, 2014

CON-held seats are the primary focus

Whenever kippers talk about their progress in 2014 they point first to their success in the May 22nd Euros. Coming top of the poll was a major breakthrough, helped by the unique closed regional list voting system.

In the first past the post elections held on the same day it was a different story – dropping 6 points on national equivalent vote share on their 2013 performance and securing 3.8% of the seats.

In this year’s Westminster by-elections they’ve chalked up respectable second places but to get an MP you need to top the poll in one of the 650 constituencies and they’ve been a long way from that.

    On the face of it a party that’s polling in the high teens should be expecting some MPs on May 7th next year but first past the post can be brutal to parties whose support is relatively even spread across the nation.

So the news that they’ve drawn up a short-list of 12 seats to be their GE2015 is important. Eastleigh, where they secured their best ever Westminster vote share in February last year is there and, so, too, are eight other seaside type seats.

Just one is currently held by Labour – an interesting decision given Farage’s rhetoric a couple of months ago about Labour being the main target.

The list above, based on one from the Ladbrokes political specialist, Shadsy, highlights first the Ladbrokes odds. In olnly one, Thanet South is UKIP the favourite.

Ladbrokes make zero seats at 11/8 the odds on how many of the 12 will go purple.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter





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Take the Ladbrokes 10-11 IndyRef NO victory with turnout under 80% bet

August 27th, 2014

The best value punt, surely, for those who think independence will be defeated

One of the problems for those wanting to bet on NO in the September 18th Scottish Independence referendum is that prices are so poor. About the best you can get is 1/6 which means that to make a profit of £50 you have to risk £300.

A far better wager has just been made available by Ladbrokes.Odds of 10/11 (almost evens) that the referendum will be lost and that the turnout will be lower than 80%.

That was the turnout prediction that Alex Salmond made in Monday night’s debate which to my mind is on the high side. At the Holyrood elections in 2011 the level was 50%. A year earlier at the general election 63.8% of electors voted north of the border.

What’s driving the high turnout prediction for September 18th has been the certainty to vote levels in the referendum polls. Ipsos-MORI, the only phone pollster, had this at 81% in its last survey.

    But you have to distinguish between the turnout certainty of those ready to take part in a polling interview or fill in an online questionnaire and the electorate as a whole.

    The very fact that people are happy to be polled, I’d suggest, inflates the certainty level.

I think that turnout three weeks tomorrow will be high, certainly in the 70s, but I’d be very surprised if it hit the levels seen in the polls.

I’ve had a bet with Ladbrokes at 10/11 and plan to put more on.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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PB Nighthawks is now open

August 26th, 2014

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB NightHawks.

If you’re a lurker, why not delurk tonight.

The round up of recent events (click on the links below, and it will bring up the relevant link)

  1. A do-it-yourself election prediction kit. What’s going to happen if Labour and the Conservatives are neck-and-neck in May?..
  2. What we can learn from the list of UKIP target seats
  3. Boris Johnson confirms plan to stand as MP in west London
  4. If Boris Johnson is a Westminster outsider, why has he just applied for club membership? 
  5. Nigel Farage selected by Ukip to fight South Thanet constituency in 2015
  6. Labour’s successful summer (the story you won’t read in the papers)
  7. Labour must call for an in/out EU referendum
  8. What will the party conference fringes be worried about this year? Ukip
  9. Why David Cameron has kicked John Bercow in the groin
  10. Dirty Money Funds Tories
  11. Cameron camp confident of beating Scottish independence campaign
  12. Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling put aside differences in fight for UK. The former Prime Minister and his former Chancellor are to share a platform for the first time in the independence referendum debate following Alex Salmond’s damaging TV debate victory. 
  13. The establishment uncovered: how power works in Britain.  the political, social and business elites have a stranglehold on the country
  14. Have you heard the one about Isis and the ‘Ebola bomb’?
  15. Ed Miliband Aide Anna Yearley Called Northerners Backwards
  16. That the UK’s counter-terrorism policy relies on flawed polls and survey questions for estimating the number of likely terrorists is truly scary
  17. The Stop the World Coalition
  18. Nato plans east European bases to counter Russian threat
  19. 400 gnomes disappeared in Austria, and it’s causing a political scandal
  20. British Embassy celebrates burning down of White House in ‘tasteless’ tweet
  21. Neo-Nazi group in Sweden holds rally in town. Town hall responds by playing Schindler’s List theme tune on 80 bells
  22. The. Best. Apology. Ever.
  23. Tomorrow is the 1,604th anniversary of the Sack of Rome by the Visigoths.
  24. Tomorrow is the 86th anniversary of the signing of the Kellogg–Briand Pact which outlawed war, that was signed be 61 countries. The pact was ultimately unsuccessful in its aims.

 



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Away from the IndyRef – today’s Populus poll sees UKIP up 4% to a record high for the firm

August 26th, 2014

This follows an increase in the UKIP share in the ComRes online poll for IoS/S Mirror – published at the weekend and the last YouGov poll have Farage’s party up from its average for the month of about 12% to 14%.

We need to see more polls, of course, but the theory was that UKIP would fade after the May Euros and headed for GE2015.

Well these numbers suggest that that is not happening.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Salmond’s ICM victory in the 2nd IndyRef debate triggers a 2.5% move to YES on Betfair

August 26th, 2014

But did punters misinterpret the ICM voting data?

Three weeks ago during the first Salmond-Darling TV encounter the first indications that NO was having the best of it came on the Betfair betting exchange where full data on trading is made available instantly and where you are able to track it.

In the two hours of the STV hosted confrontation a lot of money was traded and YES moved sharply backwards from the 22% chance position it had reached in the aftermath of the Glasgow games. The ICM poll that came afterwards merely confirmed what punters had seen for themselves – Salmond was losing.

So last night I kept a close at the markets which barely moved throughout the 90 minutes of the debate. YES started at a Betfair price of 7.4 (a 13.5% chance) and finished at 7.4.

The movement came after the the debate was concluded and the Guardian published details of its ICM poll of 505 people who had watched it.

As well as the “who did best” the 51-49% leads for NO on referendum voting intention before and after the debate in the poll were widely reported. This led to an assumption on PB and elsewhere that the referendum voting intention findings now had YES and NO very close. People were mistakenly comparing the debate figures released with other ICM referendum polling.

With its debate results the firm issued the following guidance:-

“It should be stated this this sample was pre-recruited on the basis of watching the debate and being willing to answer questions on it immediately after the debate ended. While we have ‘forced’ it via weighting to be representative of all Scots, it SHOULD NOT be seen as a normal vote intention poll as it is premised on a different population type i.e the profile and nature of Scots who watched the debate is different to a fully nationally representative sample of Scots.

If punters moved to YES because the ICM debate sample appeared to be split down the middle they were drawing the wrong conclusion.

UPDATE: YES price back to almost where it was before debate started

The chart above has been revised.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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ICM has it as a decisive win for Salmond – but will his performance swing votes?

August 25th, 2014



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Darling versus Salmond – the 2nd leg: Live discussion with regular betting updates

August 25th, 2014

debate bbcc



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Ladbrokes make Salmond the favourite to “win” tonight’s debate

August 25th, 2014

Salmond in debate (1)

Surely the SNP leader will be better prepared than last time?

Tonight’s the big one in the the IndyRef campaign. With postal packs due to go out by the end of the week large numbers of Scottish voters could have cast their votes a week today.

The election itself is not until September 18th but the nature of the increasingly popular postal voting is to cut sharply the length of time to make the argument.

Tonight’s debate, broadcast live on BBC2 throughout the UK, could be the final opportunity the SNP leader has to turn things round. He was widely regarded to have lost the first TV encounter.

I thought that he went into the STV debate believing that Darling would be a push-over and really hadn’t thought it through or put in the serious preparation. That, surely, won’t happen again. It reminded me of Cameron in the first TV debate of the GE2010. He was poor.

A problem for the betting is that generally those polled give their verdicts in line with which side they are on and, of course, all the polls are currently recording more NO voters than YES.

On the buzzword bingo I’ve yet to take a view.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble