Friday, November 6, 2020
Day of despair for Douglas Ross as the Tories go backwards in Aberdeen by-election, and are on course to lose TWELVE SEATS in next year's Holyrood vote
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Sparkling Survation survey sustains the sequence: eleventh poll in a row to show pro-independence majority
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
So my winning track record on political betting remains intact - an hour or two ago, I cashed out my bet on Biden for a decent profit, although I must admit it was a rollercoaster ride to get to that point, and I almost lost my nerve at one stage. Even though Biden was very much a value bet before the results started to come in, probably the optimum time to bet on him would have been at around 2am, when incredibly the odds implied that Trump had more than a 75% chance of winning. I couldn't make head nor tail of that, because at the time Biden had built up decent leads in Ohio and North Carolina - states he didn't even need to win. My best guess was that punters had massively overreacted to Trump holding Florida against expectations.
But of course, a couple of hours later, the tables had turned. Trump had not only secured a comeback win in Ohio and taken what looked like a decisive lead in North Carolina, he had also rapidly built up what looked like telling leads in states that were actually much more vital to Biden's chances, namely Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The experts repeatedly cautioned that those numbers might well be misleading due to the order in which different types of votes were being counted, but I remembered waiting for a Clinton comeback in those states in 2016 that never materialised, so I started to wonder if the sensible thing to do would be to cash out at a loss. I decided to risk seeing if anything had changed after a few hours sleep, and by the time I woke up, as if by magic, Biden had the upper hand in Michigan and Wisconsin. Although the margin in each case is narrow, those in the know are convinced it won't be overturned, meaning that Biden is assured of a majority in the electoral college unless Trump can overturn his narrow deficit in Nevada, which by all accounts is also unlikely. And even if an improbable comeback does occur somewhere, it still might not be enough if Biden squeezes out a win in Georgia, which is considered perfectly possible.
I would guess at this stage that Trump's main hope will be that Biden ends up owing his electoral college majority to a narrow win in a single state - that would at least give the appearance of reasonableness to any legal challenge. But if Trump needs the courts to alter the results in two or three states, his efforts to stay in office are going to look a bit desperate.
I don't actually think it'll take the army to remove him from the White House in January, but ideally he'll want to spin this out for as long as possible to build up a victim/conspiracy narrative, possibly with a view to another tilt at the presidency in 2024.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Just a quick note to let you know that I've written today's online-only 'National Extra' piece, about how wonderfully convenient it is that the extension of furlough suddenly became possible when the south of England faced lockdown. You can read it HERE.