Is it all over bar the shouting?

On the assumption that Tony Blair has decided to go to the country on Thursday May 5th then this Tuesday there’ll just be 100 days to go before polling day.

If you believe the conventional telephone pollsters have got it right and think that the Commons seats will be distributed on the basis of the Martin Baxter uniform national swing then there is absolutely no question about the result. Labour to win with a majority of at least 80. This is certainly where the money has been going.

    And it’s hard for anybody to call anything other than a Labour victory with Tony Blair having a majority sufficient to see him through a historic third term for Labour.

The only clouds on the horizon could be Iraq getting much worse or the housing market starting to collapse bringing back the spectre of negative equity that so dogged the final days of John Major’s 1992-1997 adminstration.

The polls, however, are nothing like as clear-cut as they were four years ago. At this point in 2001 ICM had Labour at 47%, the Tories on 32% and the Lib Dems on 15%. – a spread of 32% between the three parties. The weekend’s YouGov poll had Labour at 34% – more than a quarter down on last time; the Tories just one point down but the Lib Dems on 25%. Instead of a 32% spread there is one of just nine points.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that a General Election covers the whole of the UK and not just England, Scotlands and Wales. The politics of Northern Ireland are equally fascinating with an enormous amount at stake. As the bookies step up activity for the election IG Index has now widened it’s spread betting market to include all the Northern Ireland parties. This is the latest range.

LAB 358-365 (-1): CON 183-190 (nc) : LD 71-75 (+1) : SNP5.75-6.25: PC 3.75-4.25: RES 0.5-1: UKIP 0.1-0.6: DUP 8-8.5: SF 5.5-6: UUP 2.5-3: SDLP 1-1.5

I work during the day and do not get much chance to monitor the site so there is no active moderation. If Politicalbetting is to be useful then people from all parties have to feel comfortable about coming on and joining in the discussions. Can we keep the noise level down and not let our comments become personal or offensive. This is going to get much harder as we approach polling day. Of the 11033 comments that have been posted here I’ve only had to edit two of them. Can we keep it that way.

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.