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D’Hondt You Want MEPs? Who will win the most European Parliament seats in the United Kingdom?

April 7th, 2019

This market by Ladbrokes is very intriguing, because as if seems likely, the UK takes part in the European elections there’s going to be quite a few betting opportunities.

I don’t think Labour or the Tories should be the favourite for this market, the latest poll from YouGov shows why the Tories and Labour aren’t really loved and led by unloved leaders.

This election will see politics in this country further polarised. I’m backing UKIP, Lib Dems, and Change UK in this market with varying stakes.

I think the 10% UKIP received in the Newport West by election on Thursday shows the resilience of the UKIP vote.

Just think about it. The disgraced Neil Hamilton who was the embodiment of Tory sleaze in the 1990s, polled nearly 9% for Gerard Batten’s party which many have condemned, including Nigel Farage, for having an anti-Muslim fixation. Compare that to the 2.5% UKIP polled in Newport West at the 2017 general election.

Nigel Farage’s name will only appear on the ballot in South Eastern Region of England so those who don’t follow the news like political anoraks might not realise Farage is no longer connected to UKIP after its transformation into the political wing of the English Defence League.

What makes this bet attractive is that it might take only 22% to win the European elections so the bar to win this election is quite low. UKIP won the 2014 elections with just over a quarter of the vote.

There are a few reasons this bet on UKIP might not win, especially as I (over)extrapolate from one by election.

A boycott by Leavers as suggested by former UKIP MEP Roger Helmer will harm UKIP’s chances of winning.

Although the way the Brexit reality is going the X in Brexit will end up in the Lib Dem or Change UK box and some enterprising agent will say that’s a clear preference for a revoking party.

The reason I’m backing Change UK and the Lib Dems are that they are the only ones fishing for the votes of the 48%. As I said upthread this election has the potential to polarise the country further. I’d expect the election to become a de facto referendum on reversing Brexit, which I think is one of the reasons Mrs May is insistent on the UK not partaking  in the European Elections.

We saw with the petition to revoke Article 50 and the rally in London for the People’s Vote (especially compared with Leave Means Leave march) that Remainers are more motivated than Leavers.

One of the great ironies of the Leave vote is that now the UK is home to one of the largest pro EU movements in Europe. That should help the Lib Dems or Change UK to win this election.

TSE

PS – Hopefully Change UK and the Lib Dems will come to a pact which sees only one of them stand, splitting the seats won’t help my bet.