Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


Swinson’s successor may have only become an MP yesterday

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

It is a sign of the sheer carnage that the LDs suffered at the general election that one of the names being actively floated as a leader is one of those who have just been elected to the House of Commons.

The reason is clear. Even though the party increased its vote share by 4% it saw a reduction in its seat numbers and there is a very small pool from which the new leader can emerge.

The current fourth favourite in the betting is the new St Albans MP, Daisy Cooper, who has seen her odds move in sharply from 60/1 yesterday morning to 16/1 now. My guess is that she is more likely to be a runner than at least two of those ahead of her in the betting.

She is relatively well known within the party having been runner-up in an election for the party president in 2014. She is also very much without the baggage of having served within the Coalition.

The fact that there is a large Conservative majority and a smaller contingent of Lib Dem MPs is going to make the role of the leader that much less. No longer are there going to be a key Commons votes taking place when what the LDs are doing mattered.

Mike Smithson


Punters on CON & the LDs are more bullish than the MRP projections while punters on LAB much less so

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

The betting markets have now had time to assimilate the YouGov MRP projections and it is interesting to compare the current spreads with what was published last night.

The spread on LD seats is out of line with the estimate of 15 seats from YouGov. As can be seen the latest spread has then at 18 SELL and 22 BUY. My guess is that this is reflecting the impact of the series of single seat polls from Deltapoll and Survation with the possibility of nicking a few seats by tactical voting.

The MRP 339 seat projection for the Tories is just within the 338 SELL – 344 BUY range from Sporting Index. You’d expect the MRP to be at about the midpoint which it is not.

The biggest oddity here is LAB where the MRP is projecting 231 seats. That compares with the 218 SELL and 224 BUY from Sporting Index. If we believe that the MRP is along the right track then buying ar 224 would seem a good bet.

The big thing now that could change perceptions are the final voting intention polls from just about all the pollsters. These are numbers that they will be judged on and there is an awful lot of nervousness about.

Mike Smithson





Chuka Umunna’s political journey: From 2015 favourite for the LAB leadership to trying to make a GE2019 gain for the LDs

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Next LAB leader odds May 12th 2015

Chuka’s GE2019 campaign with a different party

One of the most intriguing battles next Thursday is in the city of London and Westminster – seat which has been held by the Conservatives for well over a century.

At the referendum the constituency voted just under 72% for remain and only 28% for leave making it it a tasty target for the Lib Dems in an election where Brexit is the dominant issue.

The party’s candidate is Chuka, who joined the party earlier in the year and has been playing a major role in the LDs national election campaign. He’s got high name recognition and is media-savvy.

A week and a half ago Deltapoll had a seat survey from there and the numbers looked promising for Chuka even though though the first voting intention question had him 5 points behind.

To a second question that asked “ How would you vote if you felt that the only two candidates with a realistic chance of winning here in Cities of London & Westminster were the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats?” it was LD 52%, CON 42%, LAB 5%.

If the Deltapoll cities of London & Westminster has this right Chuka at 2/1 or longer is a value bet

Mike Smithson


A suggested new cross-break for GE2019 pollsters – separate numbers for Remainia and Leaverstan

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

One of the distinctive features of polling for this general election has been the number of single constituency polls and we seem to be getting a new batch every Saturday night. In the main these have been showing something of a different  picture from the main national polls.

I think that just about all of them have been in Remain seats which might explain why some of the seat findings are far less friendly to the Tories.

These are mainly being carried out by Deltapoll for whom GE2019 is its first general election.  But there is plenty of deep experience of UK political polling there. The firm is run by Joe Twyman, formerly of YouGov, and Martin Boon from ICM. I think the firm presents its detailed data better than any other firm out there. We’ll know on December 13th how well they have done with their national polls and the seat-specific ones.

Generally all pollsters have in their cross-breaks splits for those who voted Leave and those who vote Remain.

Wouldn’t it also be helpful also if we could see another more general split – what those polled in Remain seats and those in Leave seats are planning to do. This might give us a better guide to trying to predict outcomes in single constituencies where some of the most interesting  betting opportunities lie.

My guess is that we’d see a bigger swing to the Tories with even larger leads in Leaverstan but struggling a bit in Remainia.


My Lib Dem Mailings

There’s has been much discussion on the site and elsewhere about a tactical voting letter from me that was sent out last week by the Lib Dems to selected voters. Quite a few PBers have received one. As is widely known I have been a member of the Lib Dems since its foundation and make no apologies for seeking to help the party during elections.

I should explain that while I approved the text of the letters I did not have a prior view of the list of constituencies they were going to. This was unlike GE2017 when a similar exercise was carried out with me approving every single seat on the constituency list. If I had had an input this time most of the seats would have been the same but I would have had a different list.

For this election letters were put into the Royal Mail system near the start of the election campaign where the post European election result dominated the most recent polling landscape. Since that time of course the YouGov MRP poll and other events have moved the needle.

The party has given me assurances about the future.

Mike Smithson


In the fight for the Democratic nomination Biden leads the betting with Buttigieg now not far behind

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Chart of Betfair exchange price movement from


Tonight’s Andrew Neil-Corbyn interview – this is as tough as it gets

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

One thing’s for sure: Johnson and Swinson won’t be looking forward to their sessions


A 14% CON lead would give Johnson the margin to stuff the ERG

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Survation adds to the LDs misery

A new poll was published by Survation overnight and as can be seen the Lib Dems are the worst hit down 4 points. This means that the last two polls to be published, Deltapoll is the other one, have had very poor news for Jo swinson’s party.

Interestingly these two polls have been from firms which have been leading the way with constituency only surveys the majority of which have been very encouraging for the Lib Dems. The latest round for three London seats from Deltapoll, published in yesterday’s Observer, had them within striking distance in Wimbledon and Kensington.

Maybe what we are seeing is opinion hardening up in both leave and remain areas of the country.

What CON poll leads on the Survation scale do is make the prospect of a Corbyn premiership more remote with LAB facing its fourth successive general election defeat.

If indeed the Tories do romp home with a double digit lead on votes then that would give Johnson a very clear majority in terms of seats which could make him more immune from the ERG faction within his party. There’d be much less risk of ERG rebellions which made the final days of TMay’s tenure at Number 10 such a misery.

There is a wide view that Johnson is not a true believer in Brexit but that he used its cause to help him win the leadership and become PM.

Maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. It used to be that general election campaigns only last last three weeks. The last one in a winter, February 28th 1974, was actually called on February 7th. What is now the legal standard of a minimum of five weeks gives plenty of time for moods to change.

Mike Smithson


Throughout the whole of 2019 every time YouGov has asked its Brexit Tracker question voters those polled have said it’s wrong

Friday, November 15th, 2019