UK Politics: Final predictions and bets for the Euro elections

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage seems certain to run out a resounding winner

Paul Krishnamurty runs through some of the wide array of Betfair markets on the Euro Elections and makes his final predictions...

"The Greens just enjoyed a best ever result in the locals...They are the natural home for the significant tranche of Labour voters who cannot forgive the Lib Dems."

Back Greens to win 6 or more seats @ 2.01/1

As we reach the end of another febrile day in Westminster involving Andrea Leadsom's resignation and more rumours of Theresa May's imminent demise, it is time for what could prove the most transformative election any of us can remember.

Voting for the European Parliamentary Elections commences on Thursday morning but bettors should note that no results will be announced until Sunday night from 10pm. All the exchange markets will therefore be in-play over the next four days.

Brexit Party set for massive win

There are still plenty of differentials between polling companies but all are united in expectation of a massive win for the Brexit Party, who are now priced at just 1.021/50 to win Most Seats. Here are some final vote share estimates.

Check the voting system before betting

In order to calculate how vote shares will translate into seats, this explanation of the D'Hondt voting system is invaluable.

Seats are allocated in 11 different regions so we need to check the figures for each. Indeed national swing is unlikely to be consistent due to tactical voting.

Social media is awash with advice for Remainers looking to maximise their vote. In England that will aid the Lib Dems and Greens but the numbers in Scotland and Wales suggest the SNP and Plaid Cymru will be the principal beneficiary.

Labour and Lib Dems locked in race for second

Perhaps the biggest open question regards who will finish second. For most of the period, Labour have been well ahead but the last week has seen a big Lib Dem surge at their expense - a predictable punishment for Jeremy Corbyn's fence-sitting.

Our market on which of them wins the most seats is almost tied, with Labour at 1.910/11 compared to 2.111/10 for the Lib Dems.

As the above polls show, the range is huge. Panelbase have Labour leading by ten but Yougov record the Lib Dems 6% ahead. Who are we to trust?

The Yougov trends are certainly more stark and, for that reason, warrant caution. However they have a good record in low turnout elections and, significantly, their samples are much bigger.

Perhaps they are overstating the swing away from Labour but their trend makes more sense on the basis of my qualitative, unscientific assessment of social media. The idea of Labour outpolling the Lib Dems by 8-10% 'feels' wrong.

Greens set for historic gains

I suspect these tactical trends are still a work in progress and many Remain voters will decide late.

Another obvious beneficiary is the Greens. They just enjoyed a best ever result in the locals, doubtless boosted by the Extinction Rebellion protests and clear Remainer stance. They are the natural home for the significant tranche of Labour voters who cannot forgive the Lib Dems for enabling austerity.

Again, pollsters are divided regarding their performance. Yougov record them 5% ahead of the Tories whereas everyone else has them roughly the same margin behind, in fifth place.

Similar comments apply. I'm very confident they will beat 8% and expect double figures. The Tories on the other hand are going to struggle to get their rapidly diminishing support out to vote and are tipped to finish fifth.

So how will this pan out in terms of seats? At the weekend, I applied the D'Hondt system to the Yougov poll and two earlier regional breakdowns from other firms showing a different trend. This was the range.

Brexit Party 26-31
Labour 12-19
Lib Dems 10-11
Conservatives 4-8
Greens 3-8
PC 1

Since then, the aforementioned trends - away from Labour and Conservative - have accelerated with Yougov.

I've drawn the following conclusions. First if you want to back the Lib Dems, back their vote share rather than on the seats line.

I'm confident they will pass 15% and land the 1.282/7 about 10 or More but the Sportsbook line of Under/Over 12.5 Seats is on the high side.

Their problem is that gains in Wales or the North East are highly unlikely, leaving just nine regions including Scotland - which is far from a guaranteed pick up. To reach 13 leaves no room for error.

Indeed as my final predictions, listed below, demonstrate, the Lib Dems could finish second on vote share but third on seats, because their vote is less efficiently spread than Labour.

The Brexit Party are confidently expected to reach 30% and, thanks to their vote spreading across all regions, that will ensure plenty of seats.

Nevertheless they have a ceiling and passing 35% will be difficult. Whilst Farage is sweeping the Brexiter vote, I'm not convinced that amounts to more than 46% of the entire electorate anymore and surely includes tribal supporters of other parties. Some will be boycotting these elections too.

Late deciders could swing to Remain parties

If there is to be a late swing, it is unlikely to benefit them. More likely is that undecideds swing to Remain parties and a vast rise in youth/liberal turnout blindsides the polls. 3.8514/5 about the Brexit Party getting between 30-34.99% makes plenty of appeal.

The seat line for the Greens is six or more and I'm an overs backer in hope they will beat the Tories. London and the South East look certain to yield two seats, while the well-known Molly Scott Cato is fancied to perform well enough in the South West to pip Labour for the last seat.

Elsewhere, fourth place in the East and North-West regions would probably be enough for a seat. More optimistically, that weekend Yougov projection had them winning one in Scotland, West Midlands and Yorkshire/Humber.

Final predictions

Brexit Party 34%, 31 seats
Lib Dems 20%, 11 seats
Labour 17%, 12 seats
Greens 12% - 7 seats
Conservative 8% - 5 seats

Bet on the Euro Elections here

Most Seats at European Elections
Most Seats Without Brexit Party
Lib Dem Vote Percentage
Total Green Party Seats
Brexit Party Vote Percentage
Labour Party Vote Percentage

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