Does Glenrothes point the way for November by elections?
The weather reports from Glasgow point to a pretty nasty day as voters go to the polls in what is likely to be the last big test of opinion before the general election.
This has led to some pundits to suggest that we are in for a low turnout and, indeed the Ladbrokes price on it being under 38% has tightened since the market went up.
I’m not convinced and have put my money, at 6/4, on it being greater than that percentage.
Just look what happened a year ago in the last by election where Gordon Brown campaigned. That was held in early November and we saw more than 52% of those on the electoral roll recorded as voting – which wasn’t that far short of the general election figure.
Like that battle Labour have had a long time to prepare for today’s encounter and a big effort has gone on to get more names on the register and more postal votes, which, of course, won’t be affected by the weather.
In the neighbouring Glasgow East by election in July 2008 most people disagreed with my prediction and betting that it would be greater than 40%. It was 42.25% and the contest took place during the city’s traditional holiday period.
Also the idea that the weather can reduce turnout significantly has been knocked on the head time and time again.
The Ladbrokes bet look great value.