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Cameron Fears Debates Would Cost Tories the Election - Potential 12 Seat Swing to Labour

ElectionOracle / UK General Election Mar 06, 2015 - 01:15 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat


Mainstream media pundits and opposition politicians are in near unison uproar at David Cameron's tactics at avoiding any debate let alone the 3 planned for debates including two one on one between David Cameron and Ed Milliband that appeared certain of taking place only a couple of weeks ago, but now an apparently cowardly David Cameron has made it clear that there is no chance of any head to head debate with Ed Milliband before election day.

Letter to broadcasters from the Prime Ministers director of communications -

“This is our final offer, and to be clear, given the fact this has been a deeply unsatisfactory process and we are within a month of the short campaign, the Prime Minister will not be participating in more than one debate,”

“Despite the Prime Minister having been clear about his concern around holding debates in the short campaign, you did not consult us before issuing a press release last October outlining your plans for three debates during that period.

“Had you consulted us, we could have also told you that we also did not think it was appropriate to exclude the Green Party from the process. Despite all of this, we then entered into negotiations in good faith, during which I made the case for a more representative debates structure, including the Greens. It is fair to say that the desire to exclude the Greens was clear from all other parties present.

"Three months later - and again without consultation - you surprised us again by proposing a new seven-party structure, this time not only inviting the Greens, but Plaid Cymru and the SNP as well. Again, this was a flawed proposal - that has resulted in the DUP initiating what appears to be legitimate legal action."

Ed Milliband responded by stating - “I will do it any time, any place, anywhere. I want these debates to happen. The British public deserve it. David Cameron should now name the date.”

Whilst the tories may be busy putting up a thick smoke screen of politician double speak so as to confuse the electorate on who is to blame. The truth is that for one to one debates David Cameron had NOTHING to gain and literally EVERYTHING to lose. For Cameron debating with Milliband could have been enough to convince enough voters that the usually mumbling and stumbling can't even eat a hamburger properly Milliband is actually not that different to Cameron so would start to be perceived as potential Priministerial material and thus result in a handful of Tory marginal's falling to Labour which could be enough to cost the Tories the election in terms of the chances of being the largest party post election day.

An average of the last 7 opinion polls virtually puts Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck on 34% that translates into a marginal 1 seat lead for Labour 274 against 273 Tories. Therefore, the Conservatives losing a potential of 6 seats to labour that would result in a 12 seat swing which would firmly place Labour as the largest party on 280 seats against Conservatives on 267 with a zero chance of forming another coalition government.

UK General Election Forecast 2015

In terms of what I actually see as the most probable outcome for the general election, I refer to my recent in-depth analysis that concluded in the following detailed seats per party forecast:

UK General Election May 2015 Forecast Conclusion

My forecast conclusion is for the Conservatives to win 296 seats at the May 7th general election, Labour 2nd on 262 seats, with the full seats per political party breakdown as follows:

Therefore the most probable outcome is for a continuation of the ConDem Coalition government on 326 seats (296+30) where any shortfall would likely find support from the DUP's 8 seats.

The alternative is for a truly messy Lab-Lib SNP supported chaotic government on 327 seats (262+30+35) which in my opinion would be a truly disastrous outcome for Britain, nearly as bad as if Scotland had voted for independence last September.

Another possibility is that should the Conservatives do better than forecast i.e. secure over 300 seats but still fail to win an overall majority, then they may chose to go it alone with the plan to work towards winning a May 2016 general election.

The bottom line is that the opinion polls do not reflect how people will actually vote on May 7th when they are faced with a stark choice of steady as she goes ConDem government or take a huge gamble on Ed Milliband's Labour party. So in my opinion several millions of voters will chose to play it safe with ConDem which thus is the most probable outcome.

Also available a youtube video version of my forecast:

Therefore, if the one on one debates took place then a 12 seat swing to Labour would convert into a potential result of 290 Conservatives to 268 Labour. So still placing the Tories as the largest party but 6 short of an overall coalition majority on 320 MP's when combined with the Liberal Democrats expected 30 MP's. However, this would open up the potential for a messy and in my opinion disastrous rainbow coalition of Labour-SNP-Lib Dems that would total some 333 MP's. Which is why David Cameron will NOT enter into any one on one debate with Ed Milliband as it really could cost the Tories the election. Also it probably means that the Cameron suggested 7+ leaders debate is unlikely to materialise as the Labour calculation for that is for a net loss to Labour as a consequence of the SNP and Greens threat to Labour marginal's.

And both party leaders fear a debate that includes the charismatic leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, who I suspect would literally wipe the floor with both major party leaders.

Where the debate around the debates is concerned the ball is now firmly in the broadcasters court as to how they will respond i.e. will they effectively go to war with the Prime Minister by detonating the nuclear option of an head to head debate to go ahead with the consequences of Ed Milliband debating an empty chair for 90 minutes.

By Nadeem Walayat

Copyright © 2005-2015 (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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