Can we nail the “EdM result was leaked” myth?

Can we nail the “EdM result was leaked” myth?

Tom Harris Tweat

Tom Harris is wrong to make this assertion

As those who follow the political betting markets will be aware there was a massive turnaround in the betting on the Labour leadership race in the forty-eight hours before the result was announced at 4.45pm on Saturday September 25th.

For several months David Miliband had been the hot odds on favourite until about 8pm on the Thursday evening before the results were announced. The betting then moved rapidly so that by the Friday afternoon Ed Miliband was the tight odds-on favourite. The chart below shows the Betfair price moves.

This has caused a myth to develop that news of the result got leaked as Tom Harris suggests in his Tweet.

Having been in close touch with some of the key players during the final stages and having followed the betting very closely I believe strongly that Harris has got this wrong. There was no leak.

The first that the Ed Miliband team know that there man had made it was about fifteen minutes before the announcement. The campaign manager, Sadiq Khan was seen leaving the room where the candidates had been given details of the outcome wearing his security pass round his neck. That was the pre-arranged signal to his team that they had won.

The betting change had been sparked off on the Thursday evening when punters started to eat into a £6000 David Miliband lay bet at the 1.6 level that had been there for a day or so which was distorting the markets. Such a sum had prevented punters moving towards EdM. Once that was taken there was very little betting support for DaveM leading, inevitably, to his price widening.

On the Friday morning I posted here calling the race for Ed Miliband. That was based on my reading of the YouGov polling indicating that EdM had a near 20 percent lead amongst trade unionists and also reports that were coming to me from the EdM campaign team and other sources suggesting that the DaveM lead in the MPs section was narrowing sharply.

To suggest that there had been a leak is wrong.

Mike Smithson

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