Prediction competition: place your free bets here

by Stephen Tall on July 16, 2007

What do you think will happen this Thursday, 19th July, in the crunch by-elections in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield?

Will Labour cling on in one, both or neither seats? And which of the two main opposition parties, the Lib Dems or the Tories, will fare best? The political blogosphere has been humming these past couple of weeks with pundits on all sides arguing the toss.

But now’s the moment to put your credibility on the line, online, and to say what you think will actually happen this Thursday. There are no prizes on offer – merely the respect and admiration of friend and foe.

For each by-election, please:

a) Predict the percentage turnout (you lose a point for each % you are out by);
b) Give the name of the party you think will win, and their margin of victory in % (lose 20 points for the wrong party, and a point for each % you are out by);
c) Predict the absolute number of votes the Lib Dems will get, and the party’s % vote (lose a point for each 100 votes you’re out by, and lose a point for each % you are out by).

For the record, please note the highest score wins.

The competition is open to all – I’d be especially interested in Lord Rennard’s prediction – so Tories are welcome to join in the fun. Though if you can remember to use your own name, rather than fake a Lib Dem member’s identity just ‘cos it’s the internet and you can, we’d be much obliged.

To help you along, here are the results from the 2005 general election:

Ealing Southall
Labour: 22,937 (48.8%)
Nigel Bakhai, Liberal Democrat: 11,497 (24.4)
Conservative: 10,147 (21.6)
Green: 2,175 (4.6)
Workers’ Revolutionary Party 289 (0.6)
Labour majority: 11,440
Turnout: 56.2 %

Labour: 24,429 (58.9%)
Conservative 5,972 (14.4)
Robert Browne, Liberal Democrat: 4,935 (11.9)
Independent: 4,252 (10.2)
UK Independence Party: 646 (1.6)
National Front 253 (0.6)
Others: 996 (2.3)
Labour majority: 18,457
Turnout: 62.2 %

And remember: it’s just a bit of fun…

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Ealing Southall: Turnout 32%; LibDems to win by a 4% margin; 13,000 LibDem votes, with 36% of the vote.

Sedgefield: Turnout 31%; Labour to win by a 14% margin; 8,500 LibDem votes, with 21% of the vote.

by Stuart on July 16, 2007 at 10:57 pm. Reply #

Ealing Southall: Turnout 35%; Conservatives to win by 12%; 7200 Lib Dem votes, 19% of the vote.

Sedgefield: Can’t be bothered doing the maths …

by Grant Sockpuppet MP on July 16, 2007 at 11:28 pm. Reply #

“I’d be especially interested in Lord Rennard’s prediction – so Tories are welcome to join in the fun.”



by jockox3 on July 16, 2007 at 11:43 pm. Reply #

Stop fantasising Grant Shapps (and please stop the impersonation thing, you could get banned if it continues).
Ealing Southall Labour to win by 1% margin 40% turnout Lib dem vote 14000 with 36% of the vote
Sedgefield turnout 35%, Labour to win by 20% margin,Lib dems 9000 with 25% of the vote

by a radical writes on July 17, 2007 at 1:10 am. Reply #

PS my maths may be quite a bit out.

by a radical writes on July 17, 2007 at 1:11 am. Reply #

a) ES 47% S 43%
b) ES Lib Dem 3% S Lib Dem 3%
c) ES 11000 S 11000

by peter on July 17, 2007 at 9:30 am. Reply #

Ealing Southall:
Turnout 44%
Lib Dem win by 1% or less on 34% vote (Lab 33, Con 24). 11500 votes. I’d expect others to get more than 9%, mind.

Turnout 35%
Lab win by 1% on 44% of vote from Lib Dem. 8500 votes.

by Daniel Bowen on July 17, 2007 at 9:55 am. Reply #

By-elections can be fast moving in the last two days. I will not issue “final forecasts” here but have often been accurate to within a handful of votes in the past !

What I will say is that over the weekend I think that Ealing Southall was something like Labour 37, Lib Dem 31, Con 22. From this position Lib Dems can win but it should be close. I believe that we could be into re-count territory on Thursday night.

I was also very impressed personally with our Sedgefield campaign last week and it seemed to me that we were certainly the challengers to Labour.


by Chris Rennard on July 17, 2007 at 10:47 am. Reply #

Southall is a fascinating place to help in a campaign and Nigel a great candidate, who would make a very good MP.

I am 73 next month and have spent 8 hours delivering and 8 hours getting to and from.

Londoners who have not yet been to Southall, give it a go!


by SONIA WHITAKER on July 18, 2007 at 10:06 am. Reply #

Given the predictions on here you guys will be slitting your writsts if you come third!

by M on July 18, 2007 at 10:15 am. Reply #

I have been watching the campaign on the streets of Southall and speaking to Activists from different parties and groups over the last three weeks. A very diverse campaign indeed. Even non-Political Groups such as MPAC UK have been constantly on the street encouraging Muslim Voters to come out and Vote against Labour.

Remember Turnout amongst Asians Communities is always very low, say in the 20% etc. But the by-election effort from all Parties will lift this. If turnout in the Asian Wards is high than Labour may retain the seat with Lib Dems in Close second position.

Labour has been out mobilising the Asian Vote in the usual Labour Party style – Putting Family pressure on Asian Families to vote Labour because some member of the family is highly active for the Labour Party. So Labour is leading from the main Asian communities, Sikh, Hindu and Muslims.

The Defection from Labour has meant that Five new Tory Sikh Councillors are doing the same to take their supporters to vote for Tories using the same tactics – thus splitting the Labour Vote.

Many of the Sikh voters (the largest Asian Vote) are turning to Conservatives and one or two Independent Sikh Candidates and their vote could be split up and not totally benefit the Tories. But still most Sikh voters here are traditional Labour Voters and will only vote Labour if they can be dragged out to Vote.

Somalians are mainly switching to Lib Dems and Respect and there are about 7000 voters. Not sure if many Polish will bother to vote.

Lib Dem are likely to be poor third in the Asian Vote simply because there has not been the time to cultivate this vote properly and the central By-Election Machinery is yet to master the Asian Voters political culture!

The non-Asian (White) vote will probably give the highest turnout %. It is here that Lib Dem efficient campaign machinery will gain the most vote and hence the Winning Key for them!

So in summary, Turn out about 35%. Labour and Lib Dem neck and neck, say at about 34% each. Tories not too far behind at say 27%. I suspect the others will be squeezed but lead by the Green Party and or Dr Rai the Independent Sikh making great efforts.

Nasser Butt

by Nasser Butt on July 18, 2007 at 10:24 am. Reply #

“Remember Turnout amongst Asians Communities is always very low, say in the 20% etc.”

I’ve no idea what happens in London & Ealing in particular – But up north it’s very different! 🙂

I’ve been at elections when there have been queues out into the street in 90+% Asian polling districts and they had to bring in a second ballot box because the first was full!

by Hywel Morgan on July 18, 2007 at 11:35 am. Reply #

You are wrong Nasser about the party machine and the asian vote – Chris Rennard is very experienced in campaigning in Leicester, where he was the area agent for many years. And of course Chris and I had major roles in the Leicester South by-election. True we don’t have such strong networks in the asian communities here as we do in Leicester.
I reckon: Con 15. Us and Lab on 37% each.

by Duncan Borrowman on July 18, 2007 at 12:16 pm. Reply #

Duncan, I wasn’t narrowing it down to anyone in particular, nor was it meant as a criticism for anyone in particular.
Party machine is a mechanism, the way we are setup, our approach and way of running the campaign. The way we all fit in as we merge into the HQ activity. The Asians are very different in the way they approach their politics and our system is not really flexible to suit some of their major difference.

If an Asian on the doorstep says yes I shall vote Lib Dem, it doesn’t necisarily so and thus putting him down as a definite could be problemsome for our calculations. There are many such issues, The ethnic media works differently and we are not at all tuned to their way of doing things.

Hywel – I hinted at this when I said:
“Labour has been out mobilising the Asian Vote in the usual Labour Party style”. They can get the whole “neighbourhood” out where they need to, but if you leave Asians to themselves they would not rush out to vote! So it all depends on Labour and Ex Labour (now Tory) Councillors and the two independant Sikh candidates as to how well they get them out. So High turnover in Southall could be fatal for us…

by Nasser Butt on July 18, 2007 at 3:47 pm. Reply #

I don’t disagree with what you say about the methods of campaigning needing to be different Nasser. I am saying some of us have had good experience of those differences – though we could of course do better.

by Duncan Borrowman on July 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm. Reply #

Turnout: Southall 49.9%
Sedgefield 39.4%

Winner: LibDem by 4.8%
Lab by 7.6%

LibDems: 15500 (37.3%)
10500 (40.0%)

by pobedonoscev on July 18, 2007 at 6:33 pm. Reply #

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