Sporting Index reported a Â£3,000 a seat buy bet on Michael Howard’s party and IG yesterday told me that a senior figure in the party had bought at the Â£1,000 level on the market we have been tipping – the number of seat changing hands outside Scotland.
This last bet seems to offer a reduced risk because it simply covers seat changes. So the tidying up of the party defectors, Shrewsbury and Robert Jackson’s Oxfordshire seat should be included as well as expected changes in Northern Ireland.
We wondered whether Howard Flight’s Arundel seat could be treated as a Tory gain – after all, at the dissolution of parliament the seat did not have a Tory MP.
We have been putting less focus on the polls of late but Tory backers might be encouraged by today’s MORI survey in the Financial Times showing CON 34(+2): LAB 36 (-3): LD 23% (+1). Like other Mori surveys the headline figures are of those certain to vote while other pollsters include those who are less certain about whether they will turnout.
UPDATE. Meanwhile treat the Guardian’s report of Labour’s private poll with the utmost scepticism. This is not subject to any of the normal tranparency rules of normal polls and is being made available for a reason. Similar sources recently said that Labour’s private polling had had the party substantially behind in November – contrary to every opinion poll that month. I am amazed at the way the paper is reporting it[updated]
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