Friday, May 25, 2007

What are the odds?

The bookmakers are always right. We know this because every year they make money rather than lose it. The odds they give are almost always very good indicators of how likely something is to happen.

Which means, by my infallible system, the Tories are going to win the next general election. Ladbrokes have 4/7 on the Tories and 5/4 for Labour, close, but not too close to call. Coral put the odds at 8/13 of a Tory victory, making it ever so slightly more likely.

For Deputy Leader we have the following odds.

Alan Johnson......7/4
Hilary Benn2/1
Harriet Harman9/2
Hazel Blears7/1
Peter Hain9/1
Jon Cruddas10/1

I'm not so sure about this though... Alan Johnson is a good tip but Benn coming second may not be a sure fire thing. He may well be getting a lot of bets placed on him (as the most popular candidate), bringing his odds down, but does the system work in his favour?

Essentially the ballot is split into three houses. Members, unions and MPs/MEPs. We can already start guestimating how the candidates are doing.

A total of 334 nominations have been placed by MPs + 17 MEPs (total 351). Assuming their is no large scale shift among the Parliamentarians this gives us...
Alan Johnson......73 nominations + 9 MEPs....23.4%
Hilary Benn47 nominations + 2 MEPs14.0%
Harriet Harman65 nominations + 2 MEPs19.1%
Hazel Blears49 nominations + 1 MEP14.2%
Peter Hain51 nominations + 1 MEP14.8%
Jon Cruddas49 nominations + 2 MEPs14.5%

In other words two clear front runners among the careerists, Alan Johnson and Harriet Harman.

Next we have the union nominations already in. I believe some unions will be operating on a block system and others will be balloting their members (please correct me if this is wrong) but prior nominations by unions are extremely important.

According to the Labour Party website currently Cruddas has the support of the TGWU and the Socialist Health Association, although Cruddas's blog claims UNITE (T&G plus Amicus, a very significant union indeed) and Peter Hain has ASLEF, BFAWU, and UCATT - none of the other candidates are listed as having any official support from the unions, although Johnson is the former general secretary of the CWU so that might count for something, maybe?

Also let's see what kind of branch support the candidates have (and in brackets I've placed the results of a YouGov survey of Labour Party members).

Hilary Benn has eleven Labour Party branches (36%)
Hazel Blears has three Labour Party branches (9%)
Jon Cruddas has ten Labour Party branches (10%)
Alan Johnson has nine Labour Party branches (19%)
Peter Hain has five Labour Party brances (15%)
Harriet Harman has eleven Labour Party branches (13%)

I'm now going to do a totally unjustified and speculative bit of un-statistics. For unions I'm going to simply give Cruddas, Johnson and Hain a waiting and then apply that to the membership vote. Not scientific at all, tut, but it will have to do.

Alan Johnson......23.4%19%26%68.4
Hilary Benn14.0%36%18%68
Harriet Harman19.1%13%6.5%38.6
Hazel Blears14.2%9%4.5%27.7
Peter Hain14.8%15%24%53.8
Jon Cruddas14.5%10%21.5%46

So, according to the Jim Jay system Alan Johnson will win in a neck and neck race with Benn (despite Benn getting many more votes than Johnson) followed by Hain then Cruddas with the ladies trailing in a poor last. Could happen, but don't mention the transferable ballot - I'm on thin enough ice as it is.


Labour person said...

You'll need to update your "branch" (Constituency Labour Party - "CLP" as opposed to branch) nominations. Cruddas appears to have doubled the amount he's received in the time you've posted this. Check out for more.

Jo said...

Can you explain the figures in your members section?

Hilary Benn eleven Labour Party branches (36%)
Hazel Blears three Labour Party branches (9%)
Jon Cruddas ten Labour Party branches (10%)
Alan Johnson nine Labour Party branches (19%)
Peter Hain five Labour Party brances (15%)
Harriet Harman eleven Labour Party branches (13%)

How do Hain and Johnson with less branches than Cruddas manage to have a far higher percentage? How does Benn with only 1 more branch than Cruddas have a 16% higher percentage? How do Benn and Harman with both 11 branches have totally different percentages?

You need to revise your figures, my friend. To this reader, it look like a deliberate attempt to do down Cruddas and Harman.

Sean said...

Thanks for all the sums and stuff Jim, but really - who cares?

el Tom said...

How about chucking in the rate of CLP nominations?

Jim Jay said...

Sean: i think it's of more than passing interest who the deputy pm turns out to be - although not the be all and end all of things of course.

LPerson: I've used the figures from the labour site and the official web page of each campaign for these figures, this seems the most consistent way to do things... obviously they will change over time.

Jo: as I said in the post "in brackets I've placed the results of a YouGov survey of Labour Party members" as branch support is an indicator only and does not count towards the final vote I left it out of the sums - What's clear from the MPs support Harman has access to and support from those at the centre of the party. I would assume this accounts for her ability to gain branch nominations beyond her real support from party members.

El Tom: I thought about doing that - but then thought I'd best try to stick to the voting constituencies (who vote directly that is) but part of the idea behind providing the figures was to help others come up with their own assessment, so i hope it's useful.

Jim Jay said...

I should update to say that Johnson is now officially backed by the CWU

Jim Jay said...

Quick update:

After the newsnight hustings Cruddas seems to have jumped forward to second place among the members.

Plus latest CLP nominations quite a big shift taking place... Cruddas can't make it surely? Not after calling for troops out and a massive council house building programme

Benn 50
Cruddas 48
Johnson 34
Harman 32
Blears 26
Hain 17