The Prime Minister should count her lucky stars that elections aren’t determined by manifestos. After dominating the last week’s news cycle, their effect threatens to change British politics. Labour have enjoyed their best week in years, while yesterday’s Tory launch seemed to achieve nothing besides generate criticism from both left and right.
Labour are surging across various Betfair markets
Although the overall result is rated near-certain, Betfair markets have certainly followed this trajectory. This morning they are down to [20.0] for Most Seats – less than half of the [50.0] available last Thursday.
More significantly, their odds to reach various targets have steadily fallen. For example, the 30.01-35% band in our Labour Vote Percentage market is now favourite at 2.76, rated 36% likely compared to just 8% earlier in the campaign. Though the shift has been less dramatic, the same trend can be seen across all the various seat total markets.
In doing so, they are merely following the polls which, while still one-sided, have definitely closed up. Yesterday’s surveys revealed Tory leads of 13 and 15% – the latter showing Labour’s highest vote share in months. It is hard not to conclude that the manifesto is partly responsible. Not only did it energise their base and earn praise from some of Jeremy Corbyn’s harshest critics, but it changed the subject.
The campaign has elevated issues and a narrative beyond Brexit
So long as the Westminster media were talking about Brexit, Labour were in an impossible situation. Opposing Brexit is electoral suicide – especially when most of your MPs represent Leave constituencies. They never have much to say about nationalism – hence why they were usurped by the SNP in Scotland – and this dynamic always favours the Tories. For months, domestic issues were squeezed from the media agenda. Labour’s opponents could easily define them in three ways – Remoaners, hopelessly divided and led by an unelectable extremist.