Will Labour’s position, once again, have been massively overstated?
Those who are basing their betting on Labour in Glasgow on the opinion polls should be warned – the pollsters have a long record of over-stating the party’s position and, occasionally of getting the outcome wrong. Just look at the record:-
Hartlepool September 2004: The only poll suggested that Labour would hold onto the seat by margin of 33%. On the day the party won by 7%. Labour’s position was overstated by 26%.
Blaenau Gwent June 2006 The only poll suggested that Labour would regain the seat from an independent by a 12% margin. On the day the independent won by a 10% margin. Labour’s position was overstated by 22%
Crewe & Nantwich May 2008. The polls showing the Tories 6%, 8% and 13% ahead. Actual result had the Tories with a 19% margin. The best poll overstated Labour position by 6%
So what’s going to happen? I don’t know and won’t be risking the sort of sums that I have wagered on other elections in the past three months. But a characteristic of by elections is to give the government of the day a good kicking and for voters to switch allegiance and choose the most effective means of doing this. It’s close and if the prices much further to Labour then I’ll be betting.
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