The betting markets have spoken: Douglas Carswell will win Clacton on Thursday and become UKIP’s first elected MP, but Labour will hold on to Heywood & Middleton. Anything else now would be a huge shock (and a big win for the bookies, but I’m not very hopeful).
One customer had £16,000 on Labour to win Heywood at 1/16 at the weekend. We also took a £4,000 bet on UKIP’s vote share in Clacton being between 50% and 60%. We’ve now issued odds on the Clacton turnout (over or under 50%) and you can have 25/1 on “sex worker” Charlotte Rose out-polling the Lib Dems.
Rochester & Strood has turned into a very interesting betting heat. We opened up with UKIP at 2/5 when Reckless first defected; that hit Evens last week with the Tories briefly becoming favourites, but UKIP are now down to 1/2 again following the Survation poll showing them ahead.
Survation for Mail on Sunday. Rochester & Strood Headline voting: CON 31% (-18), LAB 25% (-3), LD 2% (-14), UKIP 40% (+40), OTHER 1% (-5)
— Survation (@Survation) October 4, 2014
Having spoken to a few Tories at their conference last week, it’s clear that they will be doing whatever they can to stop Reckless winning, so i think there is plenty of life left in this race.
I shall be in Clacton tomorrow, standing outside the Ladbrokes on the sea front next to a blackboard with some odds scrawled on it. If anyone else is around, please come and say hello.