Wednesday, 15 September 2010

It has to be Dave, say pollsters and bookies

The bookies William Hill say 80% of bets since the weekend have gone on Ed Miliband which has helped shorted the odds on him becoming Labour leader to 7/4.

It's an old tactic, to put a big wodge of money on your candidate to change the odds as the race comes to an end. If you win, you win big, and if you lose, well, the tears get lost in the rain.

Behind the hype David Miliband is still 2/5 on to win the race and the former Foreign Secretary is the Labour voters’ choice to become the next leader of the Labour Party, according to a ComRes survey for the Independent.

He is more than twice as popular than his nearest rival, his younger brother Ed, when voters are asked to name their preferred candidate; who would make the best leader of the opposition; the best prime minister and have the best chance of leading Labour back to power.

The poll, conducted amongst more than 1,500 people who have voted Labour at least once since 1992, found that David Miliband was also the most likely of the five Labour leadership candidates to win over wavering voters and people who backed Labour in 2005 but switched to the Liberal Democrats or Conservative Party this year.

The poll evidence was a strong counter to claims by Ed Miliband’s team that they “felt” the election moving their man’s way as the race entered the final stage. There was no sign of that apart from reports that some Labour MPs had shifted their vote to Ed without telling Dave, and without telling us either.

True or not the cold stats from Comres show David Miliband is the preferred choice of 26 per cent of Labour voters, compared to 11 per cent for his brother; 8 per cent for Diane Abbott; 7 per cent for Ed Balls and 5 per cent for Andy Burnham. Some 44 per cent replied “don’t know.”

The former Foreign Secretary enjoyed a bigger lead when people were asked who would make the most effective leader of the opposition. Thirty per cent said David Miliband; 12 per cent Ed Miliband; 7 per cent Ed Balls; 5 per cent Diane Abbott and 4 per cent Andy Burnham.

According to ComRes, David Miliband is by far the most popular candidate among people who voted Labour this year.

He is the preferred choice of 31 per cent of them, while 12 per cent opt for his brother; 8 per cent for Abbott and Ed Balls and 5 per cent Andy Burnham. Significantly, 40 per cent of people who voted Labour this year believe David Miliband is most likely to get Labour elected to Government, well ahead of his brother on 11 per cent.

The result of the vote will be announced on Saturday 25th September at the beginning of the Labour conference in Manchester.

ComRes interviewed 1,569 Labour voters online between September 3-10, 2010. Respondents were UK adults who have voted for the Labour Party at least once at a general election in the last 20 years.

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