No matter what rhetoric Ed Miliband has proffered during his campaign, winning a majority of seats in the House of Commons was never a serious prospect for Labour in the general election, but with polling day upon us, forming a government still is.
Although a couple of the major opinion polls, including YouGov, couldn’t split Labour and Conservatives on the eve of the election, a Panelbase report gave the opposition a healthy two-point lead.
The survey placed Labour on 33 percent, to 31 for the Conservatives and the Ladbrokes markets on polling day reflect a marginal shift towards the left as the votes start to accumulate.
A minority Labour government getting her Majesty’s approval once the ballot papers are counted is the 2/1 favourite, with a continuation of the current Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition next at 5/2.
For all the most likely outcomes to this most confusing of elections, visit our flowchart on the roads to Downing Street.
Labour are still fancied to fall somewhere between the 251-275-seat mark at 4/6, but while it’s difficult to pinpoint the accuracy of opinion polls, there is now more than a modicum of attraction in the 276-300 band in parliament, available at 2/1.
If Prime Minister David Cameron’s party are to drop much below their widely predicted outcome of around 280 seats, then their 5/1 chances of forming a minority government look slim.
Meanwhile, having ruled out any SNP deal, a coalition with the Lib Dems looks increasingly fragile given Nicola Sturgeon’s party look set to supersede Nick Clegg’s yellows as the third-largest party by number of seats in Britain.
The polls have been unanimous in forecasting the Liberals representation in Westminster to be trimmed by half at least, with 57 seats five years ago set to be reduced to somewhere between 21-30 seats, which can be backed at 4/7 with Ladbrokes.
Needing 325 for a majority, the Tories could well require more allies than the shrinking centrist Liberal party to form a government on all known polls unless Cameron’s party pull it out of the bag on Election Day.
The blues have categorically ruled out the SNP which will make the task of forming a government tricky, though Miliband is supposedly in the same boat there, but could potentially lean on the minority parties more easily.
It’s now 10/11 that Cameron or Miliband are the next Primer Minister on July 1st, which gives the clearest indication of the hair-splitting nature of this election.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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