Back The Green Party Surge To Compound Tory Humiliation
Barring a miracle that would confound every indicator, this week’s European Elections will deliver a historic kicking to Britain’s two main parties. How can we profit from it with the best political betting sites?
The very best political betting opportunities have now gone. Those shrewdies that took odds-against about the Brexit Party winning most seats early are laughing all the way to bank. Ladbrokes now rate the insurgents 1/33 to achieve that target and the last five polls show their lead ranging from 6% to 19%.
Brexit Party almost certain of victory
Nigel Farage’s party polled between 30 and 35% in all of them and I think that’s the correct range. An improvement on UKIP’s 27% in 2014 but, like them, restricted by a limited ceiling. On the basis of regional breakdowns, my prediction is they’ll win 30 seats. A resounding win but still less than half the 70 up for grabs in England, Scotland and Wales.
The remaining 40 will be shared between the Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour and Greens, plus the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. Last week’s tip on the Lib Dems to win eight seats is no longer available and looks nailed on according to the latest polls.
Lib Dems and Greens also have momentum
Thanks to their clear ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ stance, they are eating away at Labour’s core vote in the cities and could well finish second nationally. However they are not the only Remain party thriving on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of clarity. The latest Yougov poll had the Greens up to 11%, showing solid improvement across most regions and only 4% behind Labour.
It is important to note that Yougov are notably out of line with other pollsters. Whereas they have recorded Labour no higher than 16% in their last three surveys, nobody else has them below 20%.
It may well prove that these numbers are an outlier but Yougov have been known to excel in minor elections and they have surveyed far bigger numbers than their rivals. The last two poll samples were 9260 and 7192, compared to an industry norm around 2000.
Polling evidence aside, a Labour collapse seems logical. However much Corbyn talks about austerity, that isn’t on this ballot paper. The only subject meaningfully in play this week is Brexit and strong believers on either side will make up a disproportionate percentage of the turnout.
Greens have never been stronger
Just as there has never been a more obvious time for voters to rebel against the big-two, the Greens have never enjoyed such a favourable backdrop to elections. In the wake of the Extinction Rebellion protests, environmental politics have never been higher up the agenda. Their appeal, however, goes far beyond those definitive policies.
They have been every bit as fervent in campaigning for a second referendum as the Lib Dems. Caroline Lucas has become a household name and would be an obvious, popular leader for Remain in any second referendum.
Moreover, whereas the yellows are bound to pick up disaffected Remainers, their brand is still damaged from the coalition years alongside the Tories. There is still plenty of resistance among Labour supporters.
To English opponents of austerity who also support Remain, the Greens are a better fit. Indeed there is much crossover these days with Labour and not just in the UK. The German Greens have overtaken the Social Democrats as the top Left party. Long-term - were the voting system to change to PR - their British counterparts could pose a similar threat to Labour.
Earlier this month, they enjoyed a best ever performance in local elections. Repeating the trick in these Euro polls is a tough ask but just about possible. Their high-point came in 1989, earning 14.5% of the vote. That latest Yougov poll had them at 11% overall - two points ahead of the Conservatives - and at double-figures in nine of the 11 regions.
Even at this late stage of the campaign, I suspect two dynamics could further aid their cause. First, this trend away from Labour and to Remain parties may still have some way to go. Tactical voting, for which advice galore is doing the rounds on social media, will draw more to the Greens. I also expect we will see a huge rise in under-45 turnout on 2014.
Tories set to finish fifth
Whether that is enough to get that close to Labour - who still have a solid bank of core support - is questionable but not beyond the realms. Beating the Tories, though, is perfectly realistic.
Ladbrokes are offering a market on the Conservatives’ finishing position, with 7/4 available about fifth place on vote share. There is absolutely no good news for them - Comres matched their dismal Yougov rating of 9% which, in their case, amounted to a tie for fourth with the Greens.
Of the two, there’s no contest for which side’s supporters are better motivated for this low turnout election. Based on the confident assumption that the Tories will beat Change UK and UKIP, this amounts to a three-way heat with the Greens and Labour. I would price it no better than even money.
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