Will the election betting markets move the other way?
By the standards of the media coverage of the past three months Team Tory must be breathing a sigh of relief after day one of the party conference in Blackpool. As the TV bulletins and this morning’s front pages show the party has been commanding attention and Cameron’s phrase “The Great Conservative fight-back” is being picked up.
Also there has been no really bad internal news. If there are dissident voices in the seaside resort they are not being focussed on by the media and, as yet at least, there hasn’t been a high profile defection.
For this they can thank Gordon Brown. The threat of an imminent general election seems to be doing wonders for party unity.
The Sunday polls, particularly, Mori, have slightly taken the edge away from the atmosphere of disaster. The gaps are still large but not on the scale of the double digit deficits that greeted the party on Saturday morning.
Everything now depends on whether the unity can continue and whether there are decisive moves back to the Tories in the polls. One of the things about the scale of the YouGov and Populus 11% and 10% Labour leads is that it does not take that much change for the narrative to develop that Cameron has some momentum behind him again.
This will affect the betting and I expect changes in the general election timing markets and the spreads on commons seats. A significant Tory poll recovery, such as YouGov down to a 5% Labour lead, would cause punters to bet on the party again. As part of my short-term trading I’ve closed my Labour seats buy position.