Ed Miliband to have the last laugh in race to Downing Street

ANDREW PINK WITH THE BEST BETTING ANGLES ON THE CLOSEST GENERAL ELECTION IN OVER 40 YEARS

AFTER what feels like a lifetime’s worth of polls, pundits and predictions, today is mercifully the big day. Some 30 million votes will be cast in the 2015 General Election and all anyone really knows for sure is that it is going to be excruciatingly close.

Yes, the Conservatives will likely receive the most votes and will probably win the most seats, but it isn’t as simple as that this time around – no matter who proclaims themselves the winner tomorrow.

Razor thin margins and races too close to call are everywhere and who walks through Number 10, Downing Street, in a few days’ time will be decided by simple maths and not-so-simple ‘discussions’.

The betting markets make Ed Miliband favourite to become Prime Minister after the counting has been completed and not David Cameron. Looking at their various potential routes to power, I can’t say I disagree.

Though the Scottish National Party has voted with the Scottish Tories on countless occasions in Holyrood, it would kill Nicola Sturgeon’s movement stone dead to do so in Westminster.

That leaves the Liberal Democrats as the only significant bloc that could help Cameron and Co. get over the line. While I believe Nick Clegg’s party will hang on in seats that are close – and I’ll be backing them to win more than 25.5 seats with Betway – they will be having huge reservations about entering another coalition with the boys in blue.

We know the Tories will lose some of the 306 seats they won in 2010, and it’s hard to see them taking the 289 Sporting Index have them winning currently.

Labour’s prospects are brighter, in a roundabout kind of way. They will certainly win more seats than the 258 they did in 2010, and I expect them to hold on to a few more seats in Scotland than many are predicting. Thus, I’d be buying Labour’s seats at 265 with Sporting Index. They will know that even if the SNP win 40 or more seats in Scotland, they need only win roughly 280 seats to get the keys to Downing Street, as Plaid Cymru, Caroline Lucas of the Greens, George Galloway in Bradford, as examples, would never vote down a Labour government to let the Conservatives in.

Miliband doesn’t even need to speak to the SNP and can dare them to vote his Queen’s Speech down – effectively calling their bluff.

The polls haven’t budged an inch in months. Many may not like it, but Miliband is set to become our next Prime Minister.

But would a Miliband-led patchwork government last? I’m also taking the offer of 3/1 available from many bookies for a second General Election in 2015.

■ Pointers…
Ed Miliband to be PM after general election at 17/20 with Betway
Liberal Democrats to get over 25.5 seats at 5/6 with Betway
Sell Conservative seats at 289 with Sporting Index
Buy Labour seats at 265 with Sporting Index
Second General Election in 2015 at 3/1 with various bookies