The worsening situation in Iraq is taking its toll on the Bush campaign according to the latest batch of US polls. Almost all of them are showing healthy leads for John Kerry even when the potential wrecking candidature of the independent, Ralph Nader is factored in.
These are the biggest totals for Kerry since he became certain of taking the Democratic nomination and the first that have him touching the 50% mark. What’s interesting from the full round-up of polls is that those taken most recently, upto Friday, are showing a better position for Kerry.
The Observer columnist, Andrew Rawnsley, speculates today on the likely consequences of a Kerry victory for Blair’s premiership. He notes the extraordinary difference in view on the Kerry’s campaign between almost all of the Labour Party and Blair himself. He goes on-
Preying even more heavily on the Blair mind is what the defeat of George Bush might portend for his own authority and prospects. He has always been an avid devotee of the momentum theory of politics. He especially believes that how America votes has a magnetic effect on British behaviour. The ejection of Bush would be widely interpreted as the rejection of the war, even by the country that led it. It could intimate Mr Blair’s own political mortality. Two of the prominent European supporters of the Iraq war, Spain’s José Maria Aznar and the Prime Minister of Poland, are already goners. If George Bush was removed from the scene as well, the Prime Minister fears that it would leave him looking like an increasingly vulnerable and isolated figure.
As last week the British betting market continues to lag behind with at least three bookmakers pricing Kerry at 2.5. A good indicator that the bookmakers have got it wrong is when the betting exchange prices are tighter than those that they are offering. At the time of this post the Betfair back price on Kerry is 2.28 and the lay price is 2.34.
So you could back with a UK bookmaker at 2.5 and lay your bet on Betfair at 2.34 making a certain profit
There is a big gap with the leading US market, the Iowa Electronic Exchange price (see archive for details) where the price at time of posting is the equivalent of 2.13. Note that this is based on share of vote not who actually wins.