This time, surely, the Tories look set to exceed 38%
This year’s elections cover those seats last voted on in both 2016 and 2017 because, of course, last year’s elections were postponed because of COVID and so will be substantially larger than usual.
It is quite difficult devising betting markets for the locals but this year the innovative Smarkets has been creative and is now taking exchange bets on the BBC’s Projected National Shares. These are the market rules:
This market will be settled based on the national equivalent vote share of the Conservative Party, as published by the BBC, at the 2021 local elections. National equivalent vote shares will be rounded to the nearest whole percentage, and 0.5% will round up.
One of the challenges looking at the locals is making comparisons between different years for over a four year cycle different sets of council seats are at stake. In order to get round this the BBC team, usually headed by Prof John Curtice, produce what are termed Projected National Shares based on the results in selected wards.
Above in the table, from David Cowling, is what the PNS has been at local elections since 2010 and as can be seen in 2019 the Tories and LAB ended up level pegging on 28% with UKIP taking a huge 25%.
The last time there were English local elections was in May 2019 elections which took place during dark days for the Tories. It will be recalled, TMay was still PM without a majority and was having a terrible time losing the Commons vote after Commons vote in her efforts to get a Brexit deal agreed by MPs.
This year things could not be more different for the party. Brexit is now settled and Johnson is reaping the political rewards for what is widely acknowledged to be a hugely successful COVID vaccination programme. On top of that UKIP or its successor Brexit party is no longer there and Farage is struggling to get his latest political venture established.
The Smarkets exchange has markets on both the CON and LAB PNS with options for the Tories of below 34%, 35%, 36%, 37% and more than 38%. The latter currently at 2.45/1 looks like a good bet.
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