Friday, January 29, 2010

UK General Election Turnout - 55-60% - 7-1 - 20pts

Hills, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have a market on the % voter turnout in the next UK General Election. They have similar prices, but I think the conventional wisdom that the % will increase is wrong.

The problem is that those interested in politics have an understandably different opinion as to how likely people are to vote - they are not a good sample, and it is difficult for them to think what less interested people will do! They (rightly) see this is a critical election. They think that there will be an increased Conservative turnout which will increase the % voting. I think this will be (at least) balanced by the Labour voter 'no shows' with Labour voter dissatisfaction with Gordon Brown. In addition, the turnout will be deflated by the expenses scandal as a general negative for all politicians.

I think the most likely guide to whether a person will vote is if they have voted before (which show, over the past decades, a general decline). Looking at the % figures from the last five elections and taking all the above factors into account, I think we will have a turnout of 55-60%. I've had 20 pts (my max. stake) at 7-1 on this.


Wildcat said...

Can't honestly see it. The figure went up last time when there were simmilar forecasts of doom, and I think the televised debates will help galvanize interest. Also the fact that it looks to be close with the first hung parliament in decades a very real chance will increase turnout imo.

Robert Barnes said...

I'm still not convinced that the TV debates will go ahead - which would make a turnout of under 60% even more likely.