November 29th, 2010

breaking bad

Some suggestive figures

A blog I check about once a week is UK Polling Report, which just summarises the latest poll findings.
YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%. On the regular approval trackers everyone is down – government approval is minus 14, with 50% disapproving of this government for the first time. David Cameron’s net rating drops to plus 2, still positive but the lowest he has recorded as Prime Minister (he recorded much lower scores as Leader of the Opposition back in 2007). Nick Clegg’s approval rating plummets to minus 22, down from minus 13 a week ago and by far his lowest ever score as leader. Ed Miliband’s approval rating has also dropped into negative territory for the first time, down to minus 9 (28% think he is doing well, 37% doing badly).

Another interesting place to look is the betting arena. Of course bookmakers don't really use judgement to set odds on events - they just use loss-adjustment based on amount of money placed.

Paddy Power is offering the following odds on the year of the next general election.
2010 (an absurd bet): 25/1
2011: 3/1
2012: 6/1
2013: 4/1
2014: 7/4

So there's been quite a lot of betting on an election in the next 12 months. But how can that be? Surely the rules have been changed to prevent us voting until 2015.

Answer - The probability of a split in either/both of the coalition parties is increasing. The issue around which each might split is clear (for the Tories, Europe). However, the likelihood of a split is unclear in my opinion. Clegg is currently looking vulnerable, but he's probably eyeing the Tories, and if he leaves then the LDs will probably remain intact indefinitely. It might even save them from electoral wipe-out.