Boris Johnson is struggling to dampen expectations today as voters bet on Labour’s ‘Red Wall’ crumbling with just two weeks to go until the election.
Betting markets on crucial Leave-leaning Northern and Midlands seats show punters are increasingly convinced that they will fall to the Tories on December 12.
Odds on the Smarkets betting exchange suggest there is a high chance of Boris Johnson’s party winning in Bolsover and Great Grimsby.
The figures are based on more than £557,000 gambled on results in individual constituencies during the campaign. Those staking will not necessarily have any special insight – but the odds do reflect sentiment among people who are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
Jeremy Corbyn has been left desperately scrambling to change tactics today after a huge YouGov analysis revealed Northern voters have been abandoning the Labour leader in droves.
The Smarkets betting exchange figures project the Conservatives to sweep both wafer-thin marginals such as Dudley North and also overturn hefty Labour majorities such as Bassetlaw’s 4,852. The percentage odds represent the balance of views between individual punters, rather than the chances the firm lays down make a profit. In the image are 20 Leave-leaning seats that the Conservatives might be hoping to bag on December 12
How odds set by what people are betting on
The figures are based on more than £557,000 gambled on the Smarkets betting exchange during the campaign.
Punters have been wagering money on results in individual constituencies.
Those staking will not necessarily have any special insight – but the odds do reflect sentiment among people who are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
They bet against each other, meaning that the percentage odds represent the balance of views, rather than the chances a betting firm lays down make a profit.
The study suggested the Tories could overhaul strongholds to win 359 seats out of 650 – up from 317 in the 2017 election and a comfortable 68 majority.
Mr Corbyn was found to secure just 211 seats, down from 262 two years ago – and only just above the historic disaster of 209 when the party was led by his left-wing hero Michael Foot.
However senior Tories led by the Prime Minister have been urging people not to take a win for granted.
Speaking before the poll was released he told the Spectator : ‘The memory of 2017 is evergreen and people should be in no doubt that their vote matters.
‘There are no luxury votes in this election, if you want to prevent a Corbyn/Sturgeon coalition you must vote for the Conservatives.
‘If you want to get Brexit done then you must vote for the Conservatives otherwise, believe me, we’ll be back at the same situation we were in in 2017.’
Labour insiders admitted they had underestimated the willingness of Leave voters to switch to the Conservatives, and Mr Corbyn’s muddled stance – pledging to negotiate a new deal with the EU but then stay ‘neutral’ on it in a second referendum – was a real problem.
But Tories are also alarmed that the scale of the victory implied by the poll could be counterproductive with a fortnight still to go in the campaign – with fears wavering voters either will not turn out or back Labour assuming they cannot win.
Mr Johnson’s Brexit mastermind Dominic Cummings warned that the contest on December 12 was might ‘tighter’ than it looks.
And Health Secretary Mattt Hancock said voting Tory was the only way of getting Brexit done. ‘For people to get that they need to vote Conservative,’ he said.
Extraordinary, shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner this morning suggested Labour’s strategy was to hope that Tory supporters will not bother voting because of bad weather.
‘For those who were thinking of voting Conservative, I hope this poll gives them great comfort, they sit back they say ”I don’t need to go out and vote on polling day because it’s wet and it’s windy”,’ he told Sky News.
A separate – much smaller – survey for ComRes found the Conservative advantage had narrowed to seven points.
The YouGov research is closely watched because it accurately predicted in 2017 that former Prime Minister Theresa May would lose her majority – the only one to do so.
The betting exchange figures project the Conservatives to sweep both wafer-thin marginals such as Dudley North and also overturn hefty Labour majorities such as Bassetlaw’s 4,852.
Boris Johnson was out campaigning in Devon today with two weeks to go until the election battle reaches its climax
The Labour Party looks on track to secure 211 seats, down from 262 in the 2017 election. Jeremy Corbyn is pictured in
The YouGov ‘MRP’ analysis released this evening showed Mr Johnson’s Conservative Party could win 359 seats out of 650, up from 317 in the 2017 general election
Seats which have returned a Labour candidate for 100 years in northern heartlands like Great Grimsby and Rother Valley are expected to fall, as eurosceptic voters get on board with the Prime Minister’s pledge to deliver Brexit.
‘We don’t deserve your vote’: Labour candidate in astonishing tirade against her own party over anti-Semitism
Carolann Davidson has told her would-be constituents she cannot bring herself to ask for their votes because of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis
A Labour candidate has told her would-be constituents she cannot bring herself to ask for their votes because of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
Carolann Davidson, who is standing in East Renfrewshire, told a hustings she has been ‘horrified’ at Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to root out racism.
Her bombshell intervention adds to Labour’s stack of anti-Semitism woes, which piled higher today when another candidate was axed for posting anti-Jewish material on social media.
And in a extraordinary week which saw Mr Corbyn refuse to apologies to British Jews after being declared ‘unfit for office’ by the chief rabbi, Ms Davidson concluded she can no longer ‘defend the indefensible’.
In a stinging tirade against Mr Corbyn, she told a hustings audience last night: ‘I know for almost everyone here, that I can’t stand here and ask for your vote. I’m not going to, because we don’t deserve it,’ according to Politics Home.
‘Labour has totally failed, from the leadership down, about anti-Semitism. So I’m not here asking for your vote, so you’ll say why are you here as a Labour candidate?
‘I want to reassure you as a community that there are still people within the Labour party who are not willing to surrender the party, that was once the strongest ally of the Jewish Community, to racists and conspiracy theorists.’
Ms Davidson is still standing to be the MP in the Scottish constituency, as she sought to reassure voters she is ‘on their side’ in trying to stamp out anti-Semitism.
Punters also predict the Tories will claim some major Labour scalps, including former leadership challenger Mary Creagh and fiery backbencher Dennis Skinner, notoriously known as the ‘Beast of Bolsover’.
Some of the constituencies’ current MPs are not seeking re-election, which could help the Conservatives to make inroads as new Labour candidates will not have the luxury of relying on the ‘incumbency bonus’ enjoyed by their predecessors.
The Brexit Party is also fielding candidates in each of these seats, with Nigel Farage vowing to steal votes from traditional Labour supporters who could never stomach backing the Tories.
But punters are betting a slew of seats will turn blue on December 12 and boost Mr Johnson’s chances of winning a majority.
The YouGov analysis is based on a huge 100,000 sample. Unlike other techniques, it maps the results against profiles of each constituency to estimate how the parties are faring in each area.
Although it is far from certain, experts believe it is one of the best ways of estimating how an actual election would play out.
The Liberal Democrats on 13 seats, are only up one from the last election, despite a predicted increase in vote share from 8 per cent in 2017 to 14 per cent.
Those standing as independents such as Anna Soubry, David Gauke, Gavin Shuker, Frank Field and Dominic Grieve, are also set to lose out.
In Scotland, the SNP are set to get 43 seats, an increase of 8, but vitally for Mr Johnson only two come from his party.
If the election had been held yesterday, Wales’ Plaid Cymru and the Green Party would remain static with four seats and one seat respectively.
The modelling shows Mr Johnson would comfortably keep hold of his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, but that Zac Goldsmith could be on course to lose Richmond Park.
The analysis shows that most of the seats changing are ones that Labour won in 2017 – but could now be taken by the Tories.
The Conservatives would have picked up Tom Watson’s vacated seat and Caroline Flint’s Don Valley seat.
They could also have claimed Tony Blair’s previous Sedgefield seat and Norman Lamb’s seat in North Norfolk.
Of the 76 Labour-held seats where they lead the Tories by fewer than 8,000 votes, Mr Corbyn’s party is behind in 43 of them, according to the analysis.
Chancellor Sajid Javid insisted today that the party would not be complacent.
On a visit to Darlington, he said: ‘I’m not interested in any polls except the one that’s going to happen on December 12.
‘We are going to go out there and fight for every single vote.’
As the party reeled from the poll today, there were claims its campaign is being shifted, particularly in Leave-voting areas.
Labour insiders told the BBC a key mistake had been overestimating the electoral threat from the Liberal Democrats, and underestimating the likelihood of Leave voters switching to the Conservatives.
Labour’s strategy so far has been emphasise that the election is about more than Brexit and to get voters to focus on issues which would unite Labour voters in Leave and Remain areas.
Dominic Cummings warns election ‘much tighter’ than it looks
Dominic Cummings has warned the election is ‘much tighter’ than the polls suggested – saying there is a ‘very real possibility of a hung parliament’.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit mastermind said Jeremy Corbyn was plotting to ‘cheat’ a second referendum by handing votes to millions of foreign nationals.
If Mr Johnson does not secure a majority, Mr Corbyn would enter No 10 ‘propped up’ by the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon and the two leaders would then ‘rig’ a second referendum, he added.
As well as allowing ‘millions of foreign votes’, Mr Cummings said Mr Corbyn would draw up a referendum question that amounted to ‘Remain vs Remain’.
Mr Cummings resigned as a No10 special adviser at the start of the election campaign, but could be reapointed if Mr Johnson wins.
The new plan is designed to appeal to those who voted for Brexit, and to try to convince them that Labour is not attempting to stop the UK leaving the EU by offering another referendum.
Shadow cabinet members who back a Leave deal rather than Remain will have a higher profile in the final two weeks of the campaign.
Mr Corbyn and party chairman Ian Lavery, who favours leaving the EU with a deal, will tour Leave areas to try to explain the deal Labour wants to negotiate and emphasise that they will protect workers’ rights.
But a veteran Labour aide told MailOnline that Mr Corbyn himself, rather than the Brexit position, was the biggest problem.
‘He is just sh**,’ they said. ‘We need to go back to year zero. I just want them to get hammered.
‘It needs to be over. We are nine years into Tory austerity. Corbyn is just a disastrous leader.
‘It is typical Labour – always giving people an excuse not to vote for us. ”You don’t like the Tories? Oh, well, we’ve just made Jeremy Corbyn party leader.”’
A Tory candidate defending a Northern seat that used to be a marginal told MailOnline they currently expected to have more than 55 per cent of the vote.
‘Labour are in deep do-do in the North,’ they said.
Mr Johnson helped pupils with a science demonstration on a visit to Chumleigh College in Devon today
Mr Corbyn hugged a supporter as he gave a speech setting out Labour’s environment policy in Southampton today
Labour WOULD raise taxes for ‘many millions’ of ordinary working people who earn less than £80,000 a year to fund manifesto ‘freebies’, says respected IFS think-tank
Labour’s massive manifesto spending splurge would mean higher taxes for ‘many millions’ of ordinary working people, respected economists said today.
The IFS think-tank said far more than the top 5 per cent of earners would fund Jeremy Corbyn’s huge programme of nationalisation and handouts.
Pensioners would be hit by dividend tax, lower earners will lose out from the abolition of marriage tax allowance, and corporation tax increases will feed through to the wider population.
The damning conclusion came as the IFS criticised the manifestos of both the main parties, saying neither were ‘properly credible’.
Director Paul Johnson said there was little detail in the Conservative prospectus, suggesting the party will have to fill in gaps if it stays in power.
But the economists reserved the bulk of their criticism for the huge Labour platform.
Mr Johnson said Labour was proposing to increase corporate tax revenue to the ‘highest pretty much in the developed world’.
And he rejected the idea that the £83billion of spending could be funded solely by the wealthiest in society.
He said Labour would ‘clearly increase taxes for many millions outside the top 5 per cent’.
‘In their own terms, clearly it is not the case that Labour’s programme would only affect the top 5 per cent of the population,’ Mr Johnson said.
‘Their dividend tax changes, their marriage tax changes and so on would actually affect many more than that.’
‘And of course if you are taking £40billion out of the corporate sector someone ends up paying for that.’
The think-tank said Labour would not be able to deliver on its promise to raise investment levels by £55billion a year as the public sector does not have the capacity to ‘ramp up’ that much that quickly.
It was ‘highly likely’ that a Labour government would have to find other tax increases beyond those it has announced for big business and the better off to raise the extra £83billion a year in additional revenues it wants.
‘In reality, a change in the scale and the scope of the state that they propose would require more broad-based tax increases at some point,’ Mr Johnson said.
The IFS delivered a devastating verdict on Labour’s plan to hand out £58billion to women pensioners born in the 1950s. Eight members of the shadow cabinet, Theresa May and millionaire actress Emma Thompson are among those who would benefit to the tune of thousands of pounds, and Labour says it would borrow the money.
Mr Johnson said: ‘While many were not aware their state pension age was rising, and some have clearly suffered hardship as a result, the decision was taken at least 15 years before the increase in pension age and most in the group are relatively well off.
‘To believe the whole group should receive compensation is a recipe for complete stasis in policy.
‘How can you ever defend any policy which ever makes anyone worse off if you think this change in pension age, implemented with 15 years notice, designed to equalise treatment between men and women, and in the face of dramatic increases in life expectancy, is in some sense unethical?’