As the betting markets continued to reflect the SNP’s rise in the polls, a new milestone was established this week when they became favourites to win a seat in Glasgow this May. The nationalists are also breathing down Labour’s necks in the other six, according to Ladbrokes’ latest seat-by-seat odds.

2010 Lab vote %2010 SNP Vote %Lab OddsSNP Odds
Glasgow North44.511.911/104/6
Glasgow Central52.017.54/611/10
Glasgow East61.624.78/1511/8
Glasgow South51.720.28/1511/8
Glasgow North East68.414.11/39/4
Glasgow North West54.115.32/75/2
Glasgow South West62.516.32/75/2

Glasgow North, a constituency in which they got under 12% of the vote in 2010, now has the SNP as favourites. In the days before the Independence referendum, you could have backed the SNP at 10/1. It’s tricky for those of us who attempt to predict elections to simply ignore the results of the last election; perhaps we all have to accept that the Scottish political landscape has changed for ever and that anchoring our expectations to 2010 is pointless.

Interestingly, this seat saw a huge gamble on the Liberal Democrats to take it at the last general election – they went off at 5/4 on the day. You can have 100/1 for them to win it this year.

Glasgow East was an SNP by-election gain in 2008, only for Labour to win it back easily at the general election, so there is some history of nationalist success in the city. If they are going to do as well in May as current polls suggest, they will almost certainly end up winning seats like this. Perhaps the 11/8 is still a value bet.

If you want to reduce the election to just two constituencies, here are today’s candidates: Keighley & Sherwood.

Based on Ladbrokes’ odds on every seat in the country, we can calculate the tipping point contests which could decide the election. If the Tories are to remain as the largest party, our latest odds suggest they will have to win 281 seats. Their 281st most likely win, as implied by those odds, is Keighley.

Labour narrow favourites to win, which is strange in some ways because the Tories are currently marginal favourites to win most seats. Lord Ashcroft polled the seat back in October and found Labour ahead by 6%.

I might expect it to be a little closer if it were polled today, given that the national surveys have moved slightly towards the Conservatives since. One of the crucial factors here is how that 23% UKIP vote holds up. If the Tories can win a few of those back, and perhaps if the #GreenSurge causes a few Labour voters to switch, this could be on a knife edge.

If they want to win a majority, we need to look at their 326th most likely win;

An unexpected tipping point seat, given that the Tories hold it already and don’t have a majority. The betting implies that they have 325 more likely seat wins, though. A tiny 214 vote majority for the Conservatives and Ashcroft has already polled it twice.

Similarly to Keighley, there is a very high UKIP vote here and I would assume that incumbent MP Mark Spencer will be targeting that in a bid to achieve re-election.

The Ladbrokes’ Election Forecast is produced by looking at our odds in each of the 650 constituencies and simply adding up which party is favourite in each seat.

The full breakdown and changes since we last published on March 5th:

  • 277 Conservatives (+1.5)
  • 273.5 Labour (-1)
  • 42.5 SNP (nc)
  • 30 LD (nc)
  • 3 UKIP (-0.5)
  • 3 PC 
  • 1 Green 
  • 1 Respect
  • 1 Speaker
  • 18 N.Ireland

The half-seats occur in constituencies where we have joint favourites.

A very small shift since two weeks ago, and one that doesn’t really change the post-election maths. It’s going to be very hard for David Cameron to remain as PM with a result like this.

Which year will David Cameron leave the post of Prime Minister?

2015 is obviously the most likely – If Labour get the most seats at the general election (the betting markets say that’s about a 50% chance) Cameron will probably be leaving Downing Street. A very close result might leave him in place even if the Conservatives weren’t the biggest party, but such a result might also precipitate another general election quite quickly, when his position would be back in doubt.

If he gets through next year than anything is possible, especially if he’s in charge of a government with an uncertain majority. 2017 could be another trigger point if we get an EU referendum that year and PM Cameron is campaigning for IN but the result goes the other way.

The new forecast from Stephen Fisher at electionsetc shows Labour’s chances of being the biggest party increase, but the probability of a hung parliament hitting a new high.

Similarly at Ladbrokes, the odds of no party getting a majority have now hit their lowest level at 2/5, having been Evens less than two months ago. Labour and the Tories remain tied at 10/11 each to win the most seats. Combining our odds on the most seats market and majority betting, we can produce the following implied estimates (for the purposes of this I’ve ignored the chances of UKIP and the Lib Dems, although plenty of people are backing the former):

 

 

 

 

One caveat about the Fisher numbers: They haven’t yet properly dealt with the recent SNP surge in Scotland. Once they’ve built that in, I expect their Labour majority estimate will be a bit closer to ours.

All of this has led to a totally wide open market on the make up of the post-election government.

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