AUTHOR: William Kedjanyi

VOTE 24: Week 3

It was the BBC’s Henry Zeffman who told Newscasters that “this was one of the Newsiest General Elections in recent times” and given the events of this week, it’s hard to disagree, writes WILLIAM KEDJANYI.

Of course, this is all with the caveat that I’m an election obsessive – and you might well be too if you’re reading this – but even then it’s only Wednesday at the time of writing and the past three days have seen Nigel Farage decide to stand in Clacton, the first head to head debate, and a huge tax row between Labour and Rishi Sunak after that, Wales’s First Minister Vaughan Gething has lost the vote of no confidence in the Senedd. Oh and Faiza Shaeen’s standing as an independent candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green.

PRESS RELEASE: Can Faiza Shaheen upset Labour in Chingford?

🗳️ Election Countdown:

💷 Money, Money, Money, Moneyyy

The biggest story from Tuesday’s ITV debate between Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak was the false suggestion that Labour planned to increase taxes by more than £2,000 for every family. This wasn’t immediately shot down by Starmer in last night’s debate – to the bemusement of many – but it’s now the leading story on the campaign trail.

Labour pushed back strongly against this in the spin room after, and on the airwaves in the morning media round, when this happened;

In the body of Henry’s tweet is a after a Treasury letter sent to Labour two days ago, seen by the BBC, said the Tories’ assessment of Labour’s tax plans “should not be presented as having been produced by the civil service.”

Despite this, Sunak repeated it twice on social media today, and earlier Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott, said the figure was “underpinned overwhelmingly by Treasury analysis”.

Cue social media bedlam and a back and forth between senior members on both sides – and then a furious intervention from Starmer himself. I’ve quoted it below:

“I’ll spell that out, no income tax, no national insurance, no VAT. What you saw is the prime minister with his back against the wall desperately lashing out and resorting to lies.
“And he knew he was lying. I don’t say that lightly, it’s not the sort of thing that I say. He was lying, he was lying about our plans, he was lying about the boats, he was lying about waiting lists.”

In the last few moments as I write this, Ed Davey has also accused the Prime Minister of lying, telling the BBC: “I think… they feel a bit disillusioned when people see the Prime Minister or Boris Johnson essentially lying to people. It just is not good enough.”

Another bombshell was dropped, this time on the social media pages of the Spectator. It speaks for itself:

What does this mean for the election and the markets? It’s likely that it’s very little for reasons we’ve discussed. However, the discourse and narrative of this election is important – especially for those of us betting on individual seats, seat totals and also spreads – and here we have a leading story that could take on a life of its own.

Veterans/Suffers of the Brexit Referendum will remember the many arguments about the Big Red Bus and the £350,000,000 a week figure – something which both sides contested fiercely that eventually ended up aiding the Leave argument, as the figure stuck in people’s heads regardless of how much money the UK sent to the EU or the value of being there.

The situation here is different – the Tories are well behind in the polls, not trusted and official sources have quickly moved to rubbish the figures, but days of debate referencing an inaccurate figure have caused damage to political campaigns before. Watch this space…..

🔴 Faiza for Chingford?

The fallout from Labour’s row with Faiza Shaheen has ended in – with the power of hindsight – was the most obvious outcome; a run for the seat as an Independent candidate, which in turn gives the local Labour party a possible headache whilst also providing a fascinating betting contest.

YouGov’s latest MRP – conducted without Shaheen as an independent option – has Labour 25 points ahead of the Conservatives, although a successful candidacy would surely be targeting that voter base. It would be no surprise if Shaheen, initially priced at 9/1 with Star Sports, was able to take up plenty of the predicted Green Vote whilst the Workers’ Party of Great Britain has also stood down their candidates, although it remains to be seen if that is a positive or a negative for her chances given the area.

The big question for all to consider is how much of the Labour lead Faiza can cut into. It remains to be seen!

Chingford and Woodford Green Betting:

Labour ?
Conservatives (Iain Duncan Smith) ?
Faiza Shaheen (Independent) ?
Reform UK ?
Liberal Democrats ?
Green ?


🟡 To Esher!

The Lib Dems have been very visible during the campaign – their mastery of visual props has even upstaged the Prime Minister and as I write this leader Ed Davey is literally having a BBQ – but there’s a strategy behind their schemes and they look set for big gains.

I’d love to cover this more, having been on the ground for some of their by-election victories, so where better to head than Esher and Walton, where Lib Dem candidate Monica Harding was just beaten in 2019 by Dominic Raab, who has stood down after bullying allegations emerged and a subsequent report found him “unreasonably aggressive” in 2022.

Cllr John Cope is running for the Tories, but he kept his ward seat by just 129 votes at the Local Elections (from the Lib Dems), and with the Lib Dems on the charge, it’s a perfect time for the Star board to head down and find out what’s going on!

Stay tuned for Monday…

🔵 He’s Running

By now you know that Nigel Farage is standing in Clacton-On-Sea, that he got milkshaked on his campaign launch, that he’s an odds-on favourite to win and that Reform have continued their strong polling. Here’s what we got upto on the seaside:

🤳🏾 What It Means:

🔵 Dicing with Tice

🇪🇺 Talking Clacton With Femi

📊 Data Points

We have enjoyed a deluge of polls recently, and a few things have stood out to me. Here’s a quick round-up below!

Firstly, on Labour’s fitness for Government (IPSOS):

Secondly, on the state of the Country today in the eyes of the public (YouGov):

Then this, from IPSOS once again:

And lastly, this, from Savanta:

🎥 Who’s On The List?

If, like me, you watch the Leaders’ Debates during an election (and for what it’s worth, there should be more excitement in the multiple party debates than the head-to-heads), then check below:

🎙️ Friday 7 June, 7.30pm-9pm, BBC One – Leading figures from seven political parties.

🎙️ Wednesday 12 June, 7pm Sky News/Sky Showcase – Keir Starmer & Rishi Sunak Leaders’ event including audience questions.

🎙️ Thursday 13 June, 8.30pm, ITV – Leading figures from seven political parties.

🎙️ Thursday 20 June, 8pm-10pm, BBC One – Leaders of the four biggest political parties.

🎙️ Wednesday 26 June, 9pm-10pm, BBC One – Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

🎰 Scores On The Doors

💬 It’s been an action-packed week – here’s the latest from John Brackenridge in the Star trading room:

“After a crazy first we somewhat naively expected to be in for a quieter time of things with more focus being being put on the tight constituency contests, Nigel Farage had other ideas. We saw nibbles for the ‘over’ Reform total seats on Monday morning as the rumours were circulating, once confirmed as not only standing but taking the Reform hot seat immediately in came £500 at 150/1 Reform Most Seats, “that’s a bet”. Since then Farage’s Clacton seat has only shortened, now 3/10 after opening 8/13, whilst Reform are 11/4 to win 7+ Seats.”

Despite marginally ‘winning’ Tuesday’s TV debate it seemingly wasn’t enough to tilt the odds in Sunak’s favour. In fact the release of Thursday’s YouGov poll once again saw a flurry of anti-Tory bettors want to be against them across a number of markets, moves towards Reform in the vote % market and also Most Seats W/o Labour, tho significantly the “smart money” seemed to be coming for the Lib Dems there.

“We are now betting on a number of key constituencies, the trend continues here with the punters wanting to be on anyone but the Tories. Will we ever lay the Tories again??”

Back next week.

📋 Who’s On The List?

US Election Countdown:

In the US, there are plenty of unknowns regarding the Presidential Election, including who Donald Trump will nominate as his running mate:

According to the Associated Press, Trump ‘s campaign has begun requesting information from his potential vice presidential candidates, sending vetting paperwork to a list of top contenders in recent weeks. On that list:

🇺🇸 Doug Burgum

🇺🇸 Marco Rubio

🇺🇸 J.D. Vance

🇺🇸 Tim Scott

🇺🇸 Byron Donalds

🇺🇸 Elise Stefanik

🇺🇸 Ben Carson

Weekender followers will be hoping that J.D Vance takes the top spot, having been recommended at 7/1 a month ago – but this one contest that’s very much filled with intrigue!

CNN Debate (Georgia) Countdown:





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