Who will be the biggest winners and losers in the expenses scandal? Labour will lose most, for two reasons.
Firstly most MPs are Labour, therefore the majority of MPs with dodgy and embarrassing expenses claims are also likely to be Labour. These sitting MPs are likely to face an anti-incombent swing.
Secondly, comparing the 2010 general election to the 2005 one, there will almost certainly be a large swing from Labour to Conservative. This will mean that any anti-incumbent swing for sitting Conservastive MPs is likely to be cancelled out, but any for Labour MPs is likely to be magnified.
I also think that some MPs in safe seats are likely to face a strong challenge from independent anti-corruption candidates. Independents are less likely to pose a threat in marginal seats, since it’s unlikely that they will be seen as the main challenger to a sitting MP, and an independet can’t win the seat unless they get the electorate to synchronise their votes against an unpopular sitting MP — as Martin Bell did in 1997 against Neil Hamilton.
What about the Euro election? Political betting has some opinion polls, first for general election voting intentions, published on Monday:
Con 39 Lab 26 LD 22
Second for the Euro election next month, published today (counting only people who say they are certain to vote):
Con 28 Lab 19 LD 19 UKIP 19 Grn 6 BNP 3
Part of this is because of the impact of the ongoing expenses scandal, and part because they refer to different elections. It appears that a lot of people intend to vote Tory in the GE, and UKIP in the Euro election. And some people vote Lib Dem as a protest vote in elections deemed as “unimportant”; the expenses scandal doesn’t seem to have hurt them badly.
But having said that, 19% for Labour in a nationwide election is a disastrous result, and their worst since the 1910 general election. (Labour got 22% in the 2004 Euro election).