Ignore the GE2017 result & look at what’s happening on the ground
Yesterday on Betfair someone wagered a few pounds on the Tories at 1000/1 to win Thursday’s Lewisham East by-election. This means that if he bet £10 he’ll lose £10 for all the signs are that the blue team is just running a token campaign in the seat where LAB got 67.9% of the vote in June last year. To make things harder the CON candidate is a leaver in a seat that was 65% remain.
The LDs who came second here at GE2010 are throwing everything at getting a good result and expect a big squeeze on Tory voters to tactically vote yellow. I’d expect their message to be something like “If enough CON supporters lend their votes the LDs they could yet defeat LAB and end years of Labour domination in Lewisham. That outcome would shock Corbyn’s Leadership to the core.”
To LAB voters you can envisage a message on the lines of “A good result for their Lewisham-born candidate could force Corbyn to reconsider his support for Brexit – and help turn the tide in favour getting another vote on Brexit“
The signs are that Labour is getting a tad concerned. This is from leading party MP, David Lammy, under the heading “Lewisham is not a done deal” on LabourList.
“… there is a real problem with voter fatigue. The people of Lewisham East have had election after election – a general election in 2015, the mayoral and the referendum votes in 2016, another general in 2017, the council and Lewisham mayoral this year, and now this by-election. Voters really like Janet, and why wouldn’t they? She is an amazing candidate – a local who set up a foodbank, a keen campaigner who has already done a lot for the area. But people still need encouragement to go to the polling station. The fatigue goes for Labour members too..”
The info I’m getting from the campaign has been enough for me to gamble every day the maximum amount that Ladbrokes will allow me on the market featured above. I plan to go on betting almost however tight the odds get.
By-elections are one-off events. People aren’t electing a government and as we have seen voting pattern can be very different from normal elections.
LD Lewisham E voting projections which proved to be spot on at Richmond Park in Dec 2016 have with changes on GE17
LAB 49% -19
LD 25% +21
CON 16% -7https://t.co/Fes2P7qSw9
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) June 11, 2018