Will the “bottom up” approach give us a better indication?
A comment by Bluemoon last night has prompted the exciting thought that we might be able to project an overall outcome for May 5th based on the betting on individual consituencies where there are online betting markets. (scroll down for all the seats)
For rather than do this on a “top down” basis the collective decisions of gamblers about what they know in specific seats could start to give us a good overall pointers. A lot of local betting like this is driven by activists within the parties who will start to get a real feel of what is going to happen on the ground.
The local party machines will have a fair idea, for instance, how the postal voting applications have gone and shortly before the election they will have access to lists of all those who are being given them. From this they’ll be able to work out pretty quickly who is winning this war and their confidence might be boosted enough to be tempted by a bet.
At the moment do not take too much notice of the local betting markets because there is not much liquidity. This will change the nearer we get.
This was Bluemoon’s assessment…as far as bookies are concerned Top 10 Labour marginal seats 8 Con gains 1 LD gain( Cardiff Central) and 1 Plaid Cymru gain( Ynys Mon).Second 10 seats 8 Con gains No information on Edinburgh South or Thanet South. Third 10 seats 2 Conservative gains. Oldham East and Saddleworth neck and neck between LD and Lab. No information on Rugby Gillingham Harwich Calder Valley Ayr Redditch Peterborough. Fourth 10 seats 1 LD gain Bristol West and one neck and neck between Con and Lab in Putney. Fifth 10 seats One LD gain( Birmingham Yardley)Two neck and neck between Con and Lab-Finchley and Golders Green and Croydon Central. The only seat in the top 50 where Labour are favourites is Wimbledon at number 48. That is not the stuff of a 100 plus majority or a 10% lead in the polls. Admittedly there is no information on a lot of seats in the top 50( come on bookies pull your finger out). As for the Lib Dem decapitation strategy only Haltemprice looks close although Cons are favourites. There has been some movement to LDs in West Dorset but Tories clear favourites. Maidenhead and still more Westmoreland looking safe. Folkestone will be held easily,
New polls: In the Telegraph tomorrow the shares are LAB 36 (nc): CON 33 (-2) : LD 23 (nc)
Meanwhile ICM in the Mirror has LAB 41 (+1): CON 33 (+3) LD 20 (-2) which is almost exactly the same as the 2001 General Election result. So compared with yesterday the Tories go down on one poll and up with another.
My weekly article. Also in the Telegraph is the second of the articles I have been commssioned to write on election betting.
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