Hampstead & Kilburn was the tightest three-way marginal in the country in 2010, with less than 800 votes separating first and third place. Lord Ashcroft has already polled the seat twice, finding Labour ahead by reasonably comfortable margins on both occasions.
Labour remain odds-on favourites but there has been noticeable support for a Tory gain in the last few weeks; they’ve been backed in from 5/1 to 7/2:
This might have something to do with Labour’s “Mansion Tax” proposals which would hit a lot of home-owners in this seat. That’s what Melvyn Bragg thinks, anyway. In any case, the local Conservatives are understandably trying to make it a big election issue.
One extra factor to throw into the mix has been the increased recent prominence of Liberal Democrat candidate Maajid Nawaz. He seems to have impressed a lot of people as a reformist Muslim voice, especially following the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris.
— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) January 11, 2015
His odds have moved in a little, from 16/1 into 10/1.
It’s also quite plausible that the Greens could significantly improve on their 1.5% vote share in 2010. Every extra vote they can get is likely to help the Conservative’s chances here.
This was a fascinating betting heat back in 2010. On election day, the Liberal Democrats were odds-on favourites to win the seat, with Glenda Jackson an almost unbacked 7/1 shot. It was one of the surprises of the night when it turned out she’d held on for Labour.