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CON has a good chance of coming out top on votes: holding and winning seats is going to be a lot more challenging

April 7th, 2014

The Tory vote will be boosted by UKIP returners and fewer 2010 CON don’t knows

At the end of last week Ladbrokes put up a GE2015 market on whether the Tories could come out with most votes but be behind on seats.

The price when I got on at was 8/1 which seemed a good value bet. I am increasingly coming to the view that this might happen.

As we get closer to May 7th 2015, election day, I think that two things will happen that will boost the blue vote total from current polling levels: a significant proportion of the CON-UKIP switchers will return as will many of the GE2010 CON voters who are currently saying “don’t know”.

Labour which has lost far fewer voters to UKIP also has a smaller pool of 2010 voters now saying don’t know to tap into. Its major challenge is hanging on to the 2010 LD switchers who who represent about 18% of current LAB voters. My view is that they will largely remain.

    So all this could bring the Tories very close to LAB or even ahead on national vote share. The real problem is going to be on winning seats.

For on a uniform swing almost all the potential Tory gains up to a lead of 7% come from Lib Dems and those are going to be much harder to achieve than the simple mathematics suggest. Almost the entire campaign effort of the yellows will be focused on defending what they’ve got and there will be few easy pickings for the blues. This is reflected in the single constituency betting markets.

My reckoning is that even with a national vote lead of 4% the Tories would struggle to come out with most seats.

The result is that there’s a pretty big window for the Ladbrokes CON win on votes but LAB get most seats bet.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble