It’s inevitable as politicalbetting.com gets known that candidates running for office are going to use what’s said here if they think it to their advantage. The website of the Steve Norris campaign in London has included some of our observations on the opinion polls.
When we make a call here we do so because we believe that on the basis of the evidence the chances of something happening are less than the current betting odds. Our objective is solely to aid the political gambler. The fact that we think that a particular outcome might happen does not mean that we actually want that outcome. That is beside the point.
Steve Norris’s chances in the London Mayoral race are based on two things – his ability to mobilise the Tory vote and whether for the second election running Ken Livingstone is able to assemble a broad coalition of support from Londoners who do not normally vote Labour.
Last time Ken got in because 160,000 Tories and Lib Dem supporters gave him their number one preference as did 125,000 Green voters and he was able to attract more than 105,000 people to the polls who did not take part in any of the other elections that day. This time he’ll get the full Labour vote – the question is whether he can attract enough switchers and the non-local election participants.
My reading is that the Tories will get 35-40% of the GLA vote and hardly any will switch to Ken for the Mayor vote. The LDs will get 20+% in the GLA poll and most will stick with Hughes – but there could be quite a number of Greens who will make Ken their number 1. The critical group on June 10 could be those who turned out last time just to vote for Ken and do nothing else. Will enough of them do so in June even though Ken is now the official Labour candidate?
Be very careful about opinion polls in this election. At precisely this stage in the 2000 campaign this appeared.
The actual result was-
Livingstone 39% (DOWN 22%)
Norris 27.2% (UP 14.2%)
Dobson 13.1% (DOWN 2.9%)
Kramer (LD) 11.9% (UP 3.9%)
However you look at it the chances of Livingstone winning are much lower than the current odds.