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The polling that’s persuaded me that turnout will be greater than 66.4%

November 25th, 2019

My 66.4% or more turnout spread bet

When it became clear that we were going to have a December general election the general view was this would inevitably lead to a lower turnout than the 68.8% of GE2017. The argument was that at this time of year the days are getting very short and and it will be harder to both campaign and to persuade voters to turn out on.

My view is that what drives turnout is how important the election is seen to be not when it is held.

Just look at the chart above. This was published a few days ago by Ipsos-MORI and as can be seens suggests that those saying that this election was important to them personally was higher than at any election since the pollster started asking the question nearly a third of a century ago.

Looking over the chart and comparing it with turnout levels there is a broad correlation. GE2001 was, as the polling shows, an election which voters deemed to matter less to them personally and turnout dropped to just below 60%. GE1992 on the other hand was seen as the most important and saw more votes cast than in any general election before or since. The driver there was that right up to election day the polls were showing that Neil Kinnock was on the way to Number 10.

With Ipsos-MORI finding an even high level people saying how important GE2019 was to them I’d argue that is a pretty good indicator for what will happen a fortnight on Thursday.

My spread bet from SportingIndex is a buy at 66.4%. Anything above that and I win the bigger the turnout the most profitable.

Mike Smithson