Labour at best ICM position since the “Gilligan WMD Affair”

Labour at best ICM position since the “Gilligan WMD Affair”

    If you want to bet on Labour – hurry before prices move

Labour are back to 40% with ICM for the first time since the notorious Andrew Gilligan interview on the Today programme in May 2003 according to the December ICM survey in the Guardian today. The shares are:- CON 31%(+1), LAB 40%(+2), LD 21%(-1).

This will be disappointing news for both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats who had both, perhaps, been hoping for a boost from the David Blunkett affair which seems to have worked the other way.

Four years ago, in the December before the 2001 General Election, ICM recorded LAB 44%: CON 34%: LD 16%, so both the Tories and Labour are behind what they were then but the Lib Dems are ahead.

Today’s ICM poll is in contrast to the two YouGov polls at the weekend which both had the Tories on 32% and Labour on 35% – a difference, we think, that is explained by the differing methodologies. ICM uses the telephone while YouGov surveys are online amongst groups of people who have previously registered. Both pollsters claim to be the “most accurate”.

    ICM polls are usually the most price sensitive and we expect changes

Labour have moved forward on the spread-betting markets and the latest spreads from SportingIndex are LAB 347-355 seats: CON 198-206 seats: LD 71-75 seats. IG have LAB 348-356: CON 190-198: LD 69-73.

Last week we suggested that those who wanted to bet on Labour should do it immediatly. The prices have moved since then and look set to move even further so the case for action is even greater.

    The sentiment is running very much to Labour at the moment and prices will move accordingly.

My personal betting. We think that there is no value on the Tory or LD buy prices at the moment. Having taken my profit on the Lib Dems in October my strategy will be to sell Labour when I think the price is right. The polls so over-state the party that there will come a moment when there’s really good value in such a bet. I had been looking towards the 350 seat mark but now I’m holding off until it gets to 375-383 seats which I think is what it will reach.

Mike Smithson

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