Tory polls suggest all is not lost for Labour under Ed Miliband
After suffering the ignominy of going backwards in real terms at the local council elections, allied with the prospect of Ukip coming through the Euro equivalent as winners, Ed Miliband and Labour will be glad of the respite, however slight, provided from a curious source.
Noted fundraiser Michael Ashcroft has fallen out of love with Prime Minister David Cameron since paying for attacks on Gordon Brown at the last election, with the offshore peer ploughing his dough into high-quality polling instead, presumably to get an accurate read on the nation’s pulse, for some use or other.
The polls show a large percentage swing towards Labour in key marginal constituencies due to Nigel Farage’s party eating into the Tory vote and, projected across the country, the results translated at a General Election would give Mr Miliband a meaty majority of 50-plus MPs.
A Labour majority next May was cut from 2/1 into 7/4 on the back of the news, with Mr Cameron now a top-price 11/4 to succeed where he failed four years ago and win outright.
No majority remains the favourite at 5/4, understandably so considering the disappointing local results for Miliband’s party, who gained 341 seats when the expectations game set them a target of at least 500.
The red team did well in London, but Ukip hit Labour hard in heartlands such as Hull and Rotherham, which has worried vocal backbench MPs who believe an “ effete” (courtesy of Simon Danczuk MP) elite does not speak for the working class.
He may be right, but with economic indicators clearly on the rise and Miliband still struggling for brand recognition, a Labour outright success still seems implausible.
In other political betting news, the Liberal Democrats continued their scurry down the political well in search for rock bottom, with predictable mass losses in the locals and a near-wipeout of Brussels representatives.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s odds to resign as leader before the General Election were slashed from 8/1 to 4/1 over the weekend, and clues from how some of his high-profile troops shaped suggests there’s something in the air regarding the junior coalition partners.
There was a marked change in tone from former and current Lib Dem government ministers regarding the attractions of the likes of Mr Farage and Boris Johnson, insisting the ‘Westminster village’ tribe (within which they clearly belong) has become wildly out of touch, and as a result ineffective.
With that in mind, the 2/1 favouritism bequeathed on Westmorland and Lonsdale MP and confirmed northerner Tim Farron makes sense, as the party president has kept himself/been kept out of the coalition and could make a clean break to the left of the ‘orange book’ Liberalism now tainted by government.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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