How many seats will the Lib Dems win?

Fancy trying to predict exactly how many seats the Liberal Democrats will win next May? Ladbrokes have now issued some odds on their exact total.

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Just in case you need any help, I’ve collated some predictions/forecasts from a few others on the chart below.

You can read Iain Dale’s seat by seat guide here, which helped him get to his prediction of 28 a few weeks ago.

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East Dunbartonshire: SNP now favourites.

Constituency profile courtesy of ukpollingreport.co.uk

Constituency profile courtesy of ukpollingreport.co.uk

Pretty amazing. Having come fourth with 11% in 2010, the SNP are now favourites to win the East Dunbartonshire seat next May and unseat the Lib Dem incumbent, Jo Swinson.

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This could be one of the most interesting three way marginals in the whole of the UK, and we’ve seen support for all three main contenders. The shrewdies who took 50/1 about the SNP in the days before the referendum can be quite pleased with their position now.

Perhaps the SNP should be even shorter. If you take a look at electionforecast.co.uk their probabilities would produce odds of:

  • 4/9 SNP
  • 4/1 Labour
  • 10/1 Lib Dems

I would advise anyone to have a good look at the FAQs on their site before committing too much money on the basis of their forecasts. Predicting Scottish seats is incredibly tricky at the moment. The basic problem is how much can you anchor forecasts to the 2010 results, or do we just accept that the world of Scottish politics has totally changed and start from scratch? We’ll have a better idea once we get some constituency level polling in the New Year.

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The 50/1 unknown who might be the next Liberal Democrat leader

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The Liberal Democrat PPC for Ashfield, Jason Zadrozny, has been the subject of some interesting market support to succeed Nick Clegg as party leader in recent days. We added him to the betting at 100/1 a couple of weeks back; he’s now 50/1 and we took some more money at that price today.

Sure, we’ve only taken a few hundred pounds on him, but that’s already more than we’ve taken on better known possibilities like Jo Swinson and Simon Hughes.

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The first major hurdle for him to clear is getting into parliament. The Lib Dems did a great job of getting within 200 votes of winning the seat in 2010, making it the second biggest Lab-LD swing in the country. It might seem unlikely that they can gain any new seats next May, but we make it only 4/1 that they unseat Gloria De Piero here. This is a seat where it’s easy to imagine that UKIP might poll quite well and disproportionately take votes away from Labour.

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I suppose it’s extremely unlikely he could win an immediate post-election leadership contest, if Clegg does step down. Perhaps a few years down the line though; after all Clegg was only an MP for two years before he became leader (although he already had a reasonably high profile as a former MEP).

One other relatively unknown name to keep an eye on is the PPC for Watford, Dorothy Thornhill. The popular Mayor is only 13/8 to win the seat for the Lib Dems next May and if the party wanted a female leader, there might not be much competition around after the election. She’s only 33/1 to succeed Clegg.

Farage v Brand on Question Time: Place Your Bets

Nigel Farage AND Russell Brand on Question Time tonight? We had to roll out some betting, so here are our Buzzword Bingo odds. Your bet is a winner if any of the panellists mention the exact words or phrase on the BBC1 broadcast edition. Audience members and Dimbleby do not count.

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“Trumpton” has been the big mover so far; 16/1 into 8/1. For anyone who doesn’t already know what that’s about, give it a search on twitter and you’ll soon find out.

The betting will probably be suspended around 7.30pm tonight, as the show will be pre-recording about then. You can find the latest odds here.

The Top 10 Labour seats under threat from UKIP

Lots of talk today about which party will be most affected by UKIP in next year’s general election. The Evans & Mellon article above suggests the Tories still have most to worry about, but I thought I’d have a look at which Labour seats are most at threat, as indicated by Ladbrokes’ latest constituency odds. The UKIP Win % is their chances of gaining each seat, as implied by the latest prices.

Seat Region UKIP Win %
Great Grimsby Yorks & Humber 32.9%
Rotherham Yorks & Humber 28.5%
Dudley North West Midlands 17.9%
Newcastle-under-Lyme West Midlands 15.1%
Rother Valley Yorks & Humber 15.0%
Walsall North West Midlands 12.9%
Heywood and Middleton North West 10.2%
Walsall South West Midlands 10.1%
Hull East Yorks & Humber 10.1%
Plymouth Moor View South West 10.0%

So, UKIP are not (yet) favourites to win a single Labour seat, whereas they are outright favourites in five Tory held seats (we’re including Clacton in there). It’s worth mentioning that seats like Thurrock and Great Yarmouth, which are among those five, might very well have had Labour as favourites to win if it were not for an expected strong UKIP showing.

Of UKIP’s top 20 most likely wins overall, 16 were won by the Conservatives in 2010. So, as far as the betting markets are concerned, this is still more of a problem for David Cameron than it is for Ed Miliband,

#CameronMustGo – But when?

Which year will David Cameron leave the post of Prime Minister?

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2015 is obviously the most likely – If Labour get the most seats at the general election (the betting markets say that’s about a 50% chance) Cameron will probably be leaving Downing Street. A very close result might leave him in place even if the Conservatives weren’t the biggest party, but such a result might also precipitate another general election quite quickly, when his position would be back in doubt.

If he gets through next year than anything is possible, especially if he’s in charge of a government with an uncertain majority. 2017 could be another trigger point if we get an EU referendum that year and PM Cameron is campaigning for IN but the result goes the other way.

You can find the latest odds here.

Tory and Labour majority chances fading fast

The new forecast from Stephen Fisher at electionsetc shows Labour’s chances of being the biggest party increase, but the probability of a hung parliament hitting a new high.

Similarly at Ladbrokes, the odds of no party getting a majority have now hit their lowest level at 2/5, having been Evens less than two months ago. Labour and the Tories remain tied at 10/11 each to win the most seats. Combining our odds on the most seats market and majority betting, we can produce the following implied estimates (for the purposes of this I’ve ignored the chances of UKIP and the Lib Dems, although plenty of people are backing the former):

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One caveat about the Fisher numbers: They haven’t yet properly dealt with the recent SNP surge in Scotland. Once they’ve built that in, I expect their Labour majority estimate will be a bit closer to ours.

All of this has led to a totally wide open market on the make up of the post-election government.

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