Is it now “Game On” for the general election?

Is it now “Game On” for the general election?

A day for humble pie from punters?

There’s little doubt that Labour’s successful defence overnight of Glenrothes, and by such a margin, is a sensational result that has the potential to change the political landscape. It is also one in the eye for punters who got this terribly wrong.

My initial call on this, just ten days ago, was to back Labour at prices that were then about 7/4. The opinion polls in Scotland were running in the party’s favour and I had been impressed by the way the party had managed to focus down onto one decision of the SNP controlled council and make this the big issue.

The row over increases in charges for home carers was a brilliant one for Labour to exploit and they pulled it off magnificently. If only I had stuck with my initial judgement. Alas I shifted my position four days ago after getting reports of the apparent massive effort that the SNP had put into the seat over last weekend.

    The lesson for the future is that in contests like this MESSAGE MATTERS MOST – in that famous phrase from the Australian election guru, Lynton Crosby, who ran Boris’s campaign earlier in the year. Labour had a powerful message that they were getting across irrespective of how many SNP volunteers there were.

There’s another factor as well – by not calling the by election immediately Labour gave themselves the chance to prepare and build up an effective organisation. Maybe Glenrothes marks the end of the “quickie by election”.

So where are we now? There’s little doubt that this will give a real boost to Labour and will enhance even more Gordon Brown’s growing confidence. His personal involvement in this has proved to be a master-stroke.

    Labour will now start to believe that it can hold on at the general election and confidence is everything. The only caveat is that Glenrothes was north of the border where the Tories are irrelevant.

My Labour buy and Tory sell positions on the general election spread markets look quite good and I have placed further bets overnight.

On this election I haven’t come out too badly after backing Labour at good prices in the earlier stage.

PLEASE NOTE: I’m off on a short break to France to spend some of my Obama profits and my intention is not even to look at PB until next Monday evening. There’s another thread set up to be published after lunch but then you are in the capable hands of Paul Maggs and Morus.

Mike Smithson

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