Conservatives: Av u/o seats = 367.5 – 24hr change = -2
Labour: Av u/o seats = 201.8 – 24hr change = -0.7
Lib Dems: Av u/o seats = 11.2 – 24hr change = -0
Spreadex | Con 362-368 (24hr = -2)| Lab 198-204 (+2) | LD 12-14.5 (-0.25)
Sporting Index | Con 361-367 (-4) | Lab 198-204 (+2) | LD 12.5-14.5 (-0.5)
(2015 result | Con 330 | Lab 232 | LD 8)
Much like last night’s election debate, May is now not with us and this time next week the polls will be open for hashtag GE2017. I can hardly contain my excitement.
The last two weeks have seen a dramatic narrowing in the polls which has been reflected in the betting with money coming in for Labour. For ten days or so after the local elections Ladbrokes pitched its under/over Tory seats line at 400.5 – the firm now goes 370.5. For evidence of Labour’s impressive campaign consider that at the election’s call Paddy Power offered 5/6 under/over 167.5 Labour seats (this was to drop to as low as 157.5 on May 8th) – the line is now 210.5.
See below for a graph of how the bookmakers (Paddies, Sky and Labdrokes) have bet the under/over party seats line through the campaign. Notice SkyBet have generally been more optimistic about the Tories and more pessimistic about Labour than the other bookmakers (the Murdoch influence no doubt!).
Doesn’t need me to tell you that the polls have been all over the place recently, with the Con lead pegged at pretty much everywhere from 3 to 12 pts in the last week.
One thing that is emerging is just how important turnout – and in particular differential turnout between age groups – will be in determining the election’s outcome. Indeed, the narrow Tory advantages in certain polls appear to be a symptom of younger voters a) disproportionately backing Labour and b) according to self declaration, this demographic being more likely to turn out to vote than at previous elections.
But how do the bookies bet overall turnout?
SkyBet set the line at 63% with Unders 10/11 and Overs 4/5
Paddy Power also have a 63% line and go Unders 6/4 and Overs 1/2
On the spreads, Sporting Index are offering a turnout market and quote 62.3 – 63.
[For context: 2001 = 59.4%, 2005 = 61.3%, 2010 = 65.5%, 2015 = 66.1%, EU ref = 72.2%]
Recommendation: Back Over 63% turnout with SkyBet 4/5.
Both the 2010 and 2015 elections saw turnouts in excess of 63%. The EU referendum engaged many previous ‘non voters’. The 2017 campaign, although unwanted in some quarters has engaged others. The narrowing of the polls means complacent Tory voters or resigned Labour voters staying at home is less likely. I don’t expect turnout to exceed that of the Brexit referendum, but is likely to go above 63%.