I was in Newark today. Standing outside the Ladbrokes shop in Market Place next to a chalkboard with some odds scrawled on it.
About 90% of the people I met were going to vote UKIP. All of the people they knew were going to vote UKIP. 100% of the people who went in the shop to have a bet on the election winner backed UKIP. They all agreed that 6/1 was a crazy price and this was going to be very close.
The majority of the campaigners in the Town Square were UKIP. There were also a few Tories but hardly a single Labour activist. By the afternoon, almost everyone present in the square were UKIP activists. Talking to each other. Presumably all the Tory party workers were wasting their time out knocking on doors instead.
Roger Helmer came and had a chat about the odds. They were totally wrong, based on rubbish polls and he would have loved to have had a bet. Except “election rules” prevented him. I don’t think there are any such rules, but I didn’t think it worth getting into that discussion.
Lots of people found our quote of 25/1 that The Bus Pass Elvis Party would beat the Lib Dems amusing. One Labour MP (discretion prevents me from naming him) popped into the shop and had a tenner on that.
All in all, a very enjoyable day. The locals were very friendly and mostly seemed quite pleased at the attention the town was getting. I’m going back tomorrow.