What happens if they never come back?
All the General Election betting markets have been reacting to the by-elections and the Butler report on the assumption that voters will automatically return to Labour. The spread-betting market, extraordinarily, thinks that all this means that Labour is going to get more Commons seats. But what happens if those who stopped supporting the party because of the war just never come back?
The conventional theory is that they’ll return to stop the Tories. But will they do this if Michael Howard’s party is seen as a spent force?
In almost every election since Tony Blair took the UK into the Iraq War Labour has been hammered by the voters. With the lone exception of Ken Livingstone in London the past year has been unmitigated bad news for the party.
The result that has really impressed us is Hodge Hill where the Lib Dems came within a few hundred votes in spite of one of the dirtiest and toughest Labour campaigns for years. The candidate’s day job in the mobile phone mast industry was used repeatedly in stunt after stunt to undermine her. Yet the voters still smashed into Labour.
Can we be certain that Labour’s appalling period is going to come to an end by the time of the General Election? Is it just a wild Lib Dem dream to think there could there have been a permanent shift in British politics?
Or are we just seeing the normal mid-term blues of a party that’s been in power for nearly three-quarters of a decade?
The history books show that wars cause fundemental shifts in British politics – 1918 and 1945 being good examples. Is the conventional view correct that Labour will just return to its normal popularity next May or will things be different?
We don’t know but in almost every arena when Labour is fighting the Lib Dems it’s Charles Kennedy’s anti-war party that comes out on top. In all of this the Tories did not do too badly with vote share drops of 2-3%. They are just irrelevant.
Today the spread markets have moved further to the Lib Dems and we think that the could be real value in the latest BUY price. The Labour change is perverse.
LAB 337-347 (+2) : CON 228-238 (-5) : LIBD 57-62 (+2)
The other good Lib Dem bet is the 10/11 on them winning 61+ seats with Bet365 – a market that they try to hide from us but link in from here.
Picture – http://peacenowar.net/Iraq/News/Photos/London-3.JPG