Conservatives: Av u/o seats = 369.5 – 24hr change = -10
Labour: Av u/o seats = 202.5 – 24hr change = +13
Lib Dems: Av u/o seats = 11.2 – 24hr change = -0.3
Spreadex | Con 364-370 (24hr = -10)| Lab 196-202 (+14) | LD 12-15 (-1.5)
Sporting Index | Con 365-371 (-10) | Lab 196-202 (+10) | LD 13-15 (-0.5)
(2015 result | Con 330 | Lab 232 | LD 8)
High drama overnight as The Times published a YouGov poll/prediction/model/forecast (no one quite seems sure what it actually is) suggesting the Tories are set to lose 20 seats on June 8th and we’d end up with a hung parliament.
It’s an extraordinary prediction given that throughout the campaign the question has been how large the Tory majority will be, not whether they manage to win one at all.
The forecast has been met with some scepticism and it’s worth bearing in mind that yesterday a ComRes poll gave the Tories a fairly comfortable 12pt lead. Nevertheless, YouGov’s numbers are driven by a poll giving the Conservatives 42% and Labour 38% – certainly close enough that Tory losses from 2015 are possible.
As you’d expect, the betting markets have responded by shifting up expectations of Labour seats and, again, slashing (I think we can sensibly use that word) Tory lines. On the spreads for example, Spreadex moved its Labour quote up 14 and the Tories down 10. Nevertheless, the betting at this stage still implies a Tory majority of 80 or so.
Conservative most seats is still best price 1/12 and a Tory overall majority 1/6. However, Corbyn is now as short as 9/2 to be PM after the election.
If you’re a YouGov believer it’s worth looking at the constituency betting for opportunities. For the prediction to be realised Labour would need to gain a chunk of seats from the Tories and in many of the party’s top target constituencies, the Labour candidate remains odds against.
Taking the target list from psephologists Rallings and Thrasher, Paddy Power offer the following for Labour wins in the Conservatives’ most marginal defences:
Derby North 10/3
Croydon Central 2/1
Vale of Clwyd 9/4
Bury North 7/2
Morley & Outwood 4/1
Plymouth Sutton & Devonport 5/1
Brighton Kemptown 6/4
Bolton West 13/2
From that list the two Welsh seats (Gower and Vale of Clwyd) as well as Bury North and Bolton West look like exceptional bets. I’d leave Thurrock as I think we’ll see the UKIP collapse help the Tories there and whispers suggest the Tories are doing OK in Plymouth.
Good luck and remember to keep breathing.