Politics.co.uk Blog

Monday, 25 January 2010

We're still on for May 6th

Ladbrokes has slashed its betting on a February general election from 66/1 to a mere snip at 25/1, following a rush of bets on a snap winter poll.

The logic behind this thinking is that, despite slipping back in the most recent opinion polls, Gordon Brown is hoping the wave of euphoria over the end of the recession will cause the electorate to welcome Labour back into government with open arms.

No one really knows when the election is going to be called, although at his monthly press conference this morning the prime minister did display distinct smugness as he explained it was his "privilege" to name the date.

Brown would be mad to plump for a February poll. Apart from anything else Labour relies on turnout far more than the Tories. With the weather displaying definite tendencies towards disruption No 10 strategists will be more than aware of its off-putting effect. Even a rainy day is bad news.

As a result the most likely date by far remains May 6th. That's the Thursday when local elections take place and is perfectly-timed for an Easter kick-off.

The real lesson from today's speculation is how temperamental the betting markets can be. Brown's strong polling performance led to intense speculation around the new year that an early election would be called; it melted away as surely as the snow has.

The most likely scenario is today's flicker of interest will meet exactly the same fate.

1 comment:

  1. Out of curiosity, if such a blogger was a gambling man, what date would you bet on?