Don’t be carried away by the conference euphoria
In an attempt to cash in on the euphoria of the Lib Dems Bournemouth conference William Hill today launched two new General election markets for the party netiher of which is online yet. They are quoting them at odds of 7/1 to record a higher percentage of votes polled than the Conservatives and at 10/1 to get more seats than the Tories.
These prices are NOT GOOD VALUE even though we’ve been saying repeatedly that anything could happen with voters deserting Labour and the Tories failing to capitalise.
The bets are also restrictive to the order being 1. LAB, 2. LIBD, 3. CON. What happens, as we saw in the June 10 locals, if Labour came in third? Under the terms of both bets you lose.
The forthcoming demise of the Tories, predicted by Lord Razzell at the LDs’ Bournmouth conference, seems to be based on entirely the received wisdom in the Westminster village – not on actual facts. For although the Lib Dems have been eating into Labour core heartlands they’ve been finding it much tougher this year to win over Tory votes.
In the excitement following the July by-elections the Lib Dem’s relative failure to squeeze the Tory vote was hardly commented upon. Their proposition as the party most likely to get Labour out was strong yet very few Tories shifted.
The decline in both seats the Tories was just over two per cent and the Lib Dem success was almost totally down to votes swinging from Labour which had falls of 25-28%. This experience does not bode well for the party in Hartlepool where Labour remain firm favourites.
To try to base a case that the Lib Dems will replace the Tories on this year’s election performances is nonsense. Labour’s the party the voters’ have deserted most.
LAB DOWN 25% & 27% in July By-elections. CON DOWN 2.5% & 2.4%.
LAB THIRD in June 10 local Elections. CON 38%: LIBD 29%: LAB 26%.
LAB’s WORST PERFORMANCE by a governing party in a national election in Euro Elections. CON 26.7: LAB 22.6: UKIP 16.1: LIBD 14.9: GRN 6.3.
LAB LOSING 29% of all the seats it’s defended in 2004 Council by-elections. CON total up 17% – the LDs 7%.
If you want to be on the Lib Dem coming second the Betfair “Second Place” market is better. The odds are longer and there are not the same restrictions.