Sky News have reported on some “internal UKIP polling”, which the say reveals UKIP’s top dozen target seats. Ladbrokes have odds on every seat in Britain and, based on those, we can allocate a probability of UKIP winning each of these twelve seats.

SeatWin 2010Maj%UKIP OddsUKIP Win %
Thanet SouthConservative16.611/1043.09%
Great YarmouthConservative9.915/832.01%
Boston & SkegnessConservative28.85/225.76%
Thanet NorthConservative31.24/117.63%
Great GrimsbyLabour2.24/118.01%
Portsmouth SouthLib-Dem12.64/118.00%
Sittingbourne & SheppeyConservative25.58/19.91%
Forest of DeanConservative22.712/17.02%
Worthing East & ShorehamConservative22.912/17.08%

The top three in the list are especially promising as there is every chance they could be three-way contests and something around 35% of the vote could win any of those.

If UKIP high command had just looked at Ladbrokes’ odds, then the bottom four on the list wouldn’t have made the cut. All look like ultra safe Tory seats and it will take a huge effort to win any of these. Aylesbury has a majority of over twelve thousand, but I guess the party are hoping to exploit the HS2 issue here.

Party workers in Castle Point, Folkestone and Rotherham will be a bit disappointed not to have been included, as the betting would suggest that they are all much better prospects than the likes of Forest of Dean.

We’ve got some betting on how many seats UKIP will win in total next year; it’s 5/1 that they manage ten or above.


LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 26: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (R) and UKIP (UK Independence Party) leader Nigel Farage, hosted by LBC’s Nick Ferrari, take part in a debate over Britain’s future in the European Union, held at 8 Northumberland Avenue on March 26, 2014 in London, England. Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage will go head to head in the first of two debates about whether Britain should stay in the EU. (Photo by Ian West – WPA Pool / Getty Images)


Just over two years ago, Ladbrokes opened a market on which of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats would get most votes at the next general election. We made UKIP 5/1.  Today, for the first time, they are now favourites to out-poll the Lib Dems.

YouGov’s latest poll has UKIP ahead 14-8. Survation has it at an incredible 22-7.

There are many reasons for thinking that the Liberal Democrats will recover and UKIP drop down. But the lead that UKIP have had for many months shows no sign of diminishing right now.

Ladbrokes have a market on which constituency Nigel Farage will stand in at the general election.

When deciding not to stand in Newark, he cited the fact that he had no personal connection with the area. That should pretty much rule out everywhere outside of the South East. He dropped another hint last week; when asked if he would be standing in Essex he replied that it would be somewhere “south of the river”.  I’m assuming that refers to the Thames, but perhaps he has cleverly given himself the wriggle room to claim the river in question was, in fact, The Humber.

45% of all the best we’ve taken on this market have been for Thanet South, and it was favourite from the start. Farage stood here in 2005, was born nearby and UKIP have polled very well in local elections in the area.

It’s also a seat that could be won with about 35% of the vote and has a retiring MP, so no incumbency effect. Ladbrokes’ latest odds* on the constituency were:

  • 5/4 Conservatives
  • 2/1 Labour
  • 9/4 UKIP

If Farage goes for this seat, I expect UKIP would instantly go odds-on.

The betting now implies that it’s pretty certain that wherever he chooses, it will be somewhere in Kent. UKIP’s local election results were actually fairly poor in Eastleigh, which had been talked up as a possibility after their close placed second in the Westminster by-election.

*Ladbrokes have temporarily suspended betting on individual constituencies to give us a bit of time to re-assess after the locals/Euros/Ashcroft poll. Should be back up in a week or so.

UPDATE: Is Clegg under threat?

Probably not. In response to the speculation today, we’ve resurrected our market on whether Clegg will be LD leader at the general election and it’s 1/10 that he is. You can get 5/1 he is replaced before then. I guess this could get a bit of traction if they get zero seats and finish behind the Greens in the European vote.

Initial media reactions to UKIP’s local election results have been slightly tempered by various well informed commentators pointing out that their performance probably wasn’t that much better (perhaps even worse) than in the 2013 locals.

We’ll see on Sunday night whether they’ve topped the Euro poll. If not, I think Thursday’s results will come to be seen in a whole different light by the rest of the commentariat.

Here are Ladbrokes’ latest odds on how they’ll do in next year’s general election:

The price on them to win a seat has moved significantly in from 4/5 to 1/2.  It’s hard to believe that Farage on his own won’t be odds on once he picks his seat (South Thanet most likely, according to the odds). And there are several other extremely plausible targets in Rotherham, Grimsby, Eastleigh and plenty of places in Essex and Kent.

The mid point for their predicted vote share is around 12%, according to Ladbrokes’ odds. If they turn out not to have won the Euros and then fail to win or get close in Newark, I expect there will be a lot of talks of bubbles bursting.

Could Darling get back to No.11?

One other bit of betting activity that caught my attention – a customer in one of our London shops put down £500 on Alistair Darling being the next Chancellor of the Exchequer at 16/1. I wonder if they are thinking that Balls would be unacceptable to the Lib Dems in a possible Lab/Lib coalition government? We’ve cut his price to to 10/1.

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