Reminder: There’ve been only 2 published LAB polls the latest a month ago

Reminder: There’ve been only 2 published LAB polls the latest a month ago

LAB4 looking right

At this stage in 2007 deputy race Alan Johnson was odds-on favourite as was DavidM in 2010

Unlike in the 2010 Labour contest there has been no published polling of those eligible that has taken place since voting actually started.

Last time the final YouGov poll was carried out about 6 days after the ballot packs went out and a key question was whether people had actually voted at that stage. This time the final poll was published just as the ballot started going out.

Even with the advantage in September 2010 of knowing which Labour members said they had voted at the time of filling in the online questionnaire the findings overstated Ed Miliband and understated David Miliband. On the final split Ed had a 4% lead over his brother. When the actual votes were counted David had a 9% lead.

YouGov did far better then with the trade union section which at the time made up a third of the party’s electoral college.This time we have a very different single selectorate and there is no polling experience to fall back on.

    YouGov might have this right we simply don’t know. There’s been little polling and what there has been is a month old.

The data we have suggests that Corbyn is doing better with trade union voters and those who have signed up under the £3 scheme. What could be critical if this is indeed closer than it appears are the turnout levels in the various sections.

My point is that the election result could still come as a surprise – either Corbyn winning by a far bigger margin than YouGov had or maybe him falling short of 50% of first preferences required and him struggling to win. Polls, as we saw on May 8th, might not always be giving us the full picture.

The last two big LAB elections have caught the pundits by surprise. Harriet’s victory in the 2007 deputy race was a huge shock. Everybody thought Alan Johnson would win easily. And, of course, David Miliband was odds on favourite until the day before in September 2010,

The uncertainty is why I’ve maintained an all green book on Betfair. I make money whichever of the four gets it.

Mike Smithson

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