Local results may provide key pointers
When the 2015 general election took place, punters went into the constituency markets armed with a handy arsenal of information.
Plenty of polling had been done in key constituencies and all parties were fully prepared for battle.
But this time around the fog of war is a lot thicker. Opposition parties may not have been expecting a national poll until 2020 after the fixed-term parliament act came into law in 2011 and the pollsters were caught out too with no ready-to-roll local data on hand.
Except, of course, for the local elections that took place just a month ago.
The main stories of the May 4 polls were that the Conservatives strengthened their hand, gaining 11 councils and 563 seats, mostly at the expense of Labour but the Liberal Democrats also lost ground.
The biggest losers were Ukip, who held on to only one of the 146 seats they were defending.
That all seems a long time ago, however, and May’s honeymoon period seems to have ended abruptly when the campaign officially began.
Seeing as it was the Tories who called the election, it is something of a surprise that they are the ones whose manifesto has been criticised for being confused and uncosted.
The other elctoral results that punters should take into account when betting on this election are those of the 2016 EU referendum.
Opinions varied greatly from region to region. Three out of four voters in some areas of London voted to remain in the EU, it was the same story in the other direction in parts of Essex and Lincolnshire.
Scotland and Northern Ireland each voted to remain but the superior numbers of voters in England overwhelmed their verdict.