General Election spreads: Labour just 16 seats ahead

General Election spreads: Labour just 16 seats ahead


    No sign yet of a let-up in the Cameron honeymoon

In the first posting of 2006, just nineteen days ago, we noted that the Cantor Spreadfair General Election – Commons seat spreads market opened the year on CON 260-267: LAB 296-303: LD 53-57. Taking the mid-points the collective view of punters was CON 265.5: LAB 299.5: LD 55 seats.

In this form of gambling the number of seats a party gets becomes like a share price. If you think that Labour will do better you BUY at the high end of the spread. Your winnings or losses are calculated by multiplying the difference, plus or minus, of your agreed price by the stake you have placed. What’s attractive to many punters is the ability to close down a position at any time and take a profit or cut down a loss.

  • This morning the market has CON 272.2-274.8: LAB 284.4-294.5: LD 50.2-55.5.
  • So the current mid-points are CON 273.4: LAB 289.5: LD 52.4 seats.
  • So if this was the general election result Labour, presumably under Brown, would be 33 MPs short of an overall Commons majority.

    Clearly this is being driven by the continued good media coverage for Cameron’s Conservatives and the continuing spats within Labour on education policy.

      The received wisdom is that parties which are split get punished in the polling booths and the sight of the former Labour leader, Lord Kinnock, launching a full broad-side on Tony Blair’s plans cannot help.

    Within the next week there should be the January ICM poll in the Guardian and the YouGov poll in the Telegraph.

    Mike Smithson

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