It is by-election week with three Conservatives defences taking place up and down the country. We’ve asked our politics geek to round-up the betting prices ahead of Thursday’s contests and we’ll start in London where the resignation of Boris Johnson has caused a vacancy in Uxbridge & South Ruislip…
All three of the constituencies going to the polls later this week feel like the proverbial two-horse races. In West London, we find it is Labour taking it to the Tories in a seat that they were very much targeting for the next General Election. This means that they already very much had some sort of strategy and ground game in play, which is always a massive boost when it comes to mid-parliament elections.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party have opted for Camden councillor Danny Beales as their candidate and the man in his mid-30s is about as far away from champagne socialism as you can get. Brought up in a single-parent family and having twice been made homeless whilst in his teenage years, he would get involved in politics not for his own personal gain but due to the frustration of the difficulties his family faced whilst growing up.
In the current climate of strikes affecting the nation, this could be a tricky moment for Labour as their association with the unions is well-known. Public support seems to be waning for the walkouts that seem to be occurring every other week across a broad spectrum of key sectors of society. What they have in their favour however is the mounting cost of living crisis that is hitting everyone and for many, that is the more immediate problem.
As for the Tories, local councillor Steve Tuckwell gets the call. He is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Uxbridge & South Ruislip Conservative Association and the strategy couldn’t be more clear, they want this by-election to essentially be a by-election of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, a controversial policy from the Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan where the most polluting vehicles have to pay to drive through central London.
It has been at the forefront of his campaign and as we’ve seen countless times, it is an effective way to campaign on ultra-local issues when the country aren’t thinking about who is running the country. The big question is can they find enough voters motivated by the potential of this policy being extended to this constituency to balance out those facing financial strife due to the cost of living crisis.
Not for me. The only constituency poll since the by-election was called had Labour eight points up on 41% with the Tories running at 33%. I’d be a bit surprised if it was even that close as since that research was undertaken, both interest and mortgage rates have increased yet again, once more squeezing wallets.
I like Labour to win here and for it to be a double-digit percentage win. Betfred currently have them at 1/12 to take the seat and that feels about right with the Tories available to back at 13/2.
*All prices correct at the time of writing
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