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Just six months ago Betfair punters were making LAB the favourite to win most seats

November 14th, 2019

How things can change rapidly in politics

The above betdata.io chart shows how views of the general election “seat winner” market have changed so much in the past six months. On May 12th Corbyn’s party was rated as a 48.1% chance ahead of what was then TMay’s Tories.

This reflected the polling. The Tories failed to record a single polling lead between April 5th and May 30th.

That was all a time when the party was totally divided by Brexit and the repeated failed attempts to get the withdrawal agreement passed by the Commons. It was in that context that TMay quit as leader thus opening the way for Johnson.

Her real problem is that the repeated failed commons votes highlighted the huge divisions within her party and generally voters don’t warm to parties that are split.

That Johnson’s party should now. if punters have got this right, be a 94% chance of coming out as seat winner with a 62% chance of a majority is, in many ways, a testament to his ruthless approach and the continued divisions with the official opposition.

If this turns out to be right then LAB would be heading for a fourth successive general election defeat.  The last time LAB suffered a fourth consecutive defeat paved the way for Tony Blair.  Somehow I don’t see a figure like that emerging after December 12th.

Mike Smithson