Will you bet that the “named leader” question is wrong?

Will you bet that the “named leader” question is wrong?

    Why’s Labour deficit 6% bigger when the leaders are mentioned

As predicted here on Monday there has been a move back to Labour on the general election betting markets in response to the improving poll situation – seen overnight in the May survey for the Guardian.

That Labour are now just 2% behind the Tories has seen some movement to Brown’s party on the betting markets – though there has been very light trading. Labour has tightened from 1.54/1 just two weeks ago to 1.32/1 this morning.

But even though the ICM’s shares of CON 34%: LAB 32%: LD 21% would lead to a substantial Labour lead on seats, if not an overall majority, the Tories remain strong favourites, at 0.74/1 to come on top.

Are punters being influenced by the continuing huge differential in Labour’s polling position when Gord’s, Dave’s and Ming’s names are mentioned? For exactly in line with last week’s Populus poll ICM this morning shows that Labour’s deficit increases by six points when the “named leader” question is put.

    The words “Cameron” and “Brown” clearly do something to voters that you cannot easily dismiss – certainly that’s what people betting on these markets seem to think.

  • In the first question ICM ask “The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and other parties would fight a new election in your area. If there were a general election tomorrow which party do you think you would vote for?” So respondents are asked for a party choice.
  • In the second question – which is put immediately after – ICM ask “If at the next General Election the Conservatives are led by David Cameron, Gordon Brown leads Labour and Menzies Campbell leads the Liberal Democrats, how would you vote? Would you vote Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or for another party?”
  • My guess is that we will still be arguing about this until at least 1am in the morning on the day after the general election.

    My general election betting is on the Spreadfair Commons seats market – because here you can take your money in and out as sentiment changes and you don’t have to wait years for the results to pocket a profit. At the weekend I completely turned my position round in anticipation of the Brown poll bounce. In March I had sold at 277 seats and reversed that so I was a buyer at 271 seats. The buy spread has now edged up a notch to 274 seats.

    Mike Smithson

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