Wellingborough By-Election Odds: Labour open as 1/7 Favourites

 | January 09 | 

5 mins read

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After serving the constituents of Wellingborough since the General Election in 2005, Peter Bone has been relieved of his position as the MP for the Northampton Constituency and a by-election will be called early in the year to replace him.

We take you through why he was removed and the odds for who will replace him...

Wellingborough By-Election Odds:

  • Labour - 1/7
  • Conservatives - 9/2
  • Reform UK - 25/1
  • Liberal Democrats - 50/1
  • Green Party - 100/1

*Odds accurate as of 16:30, Tuesday 9 January, 2024.

Background:

Bullying and sexual misconduct allegations have dogged Peter Bone since 2015 when it was first reported to David Cameron, who was then Prime Minister. Nothing came of it and after it was then passed on to Theresa May, who succeeded the former MP for Witney as the elected leader of the Conservative Party, once more it was ignored.

It wasn’t until 2021 that a third complaint, this time via the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme was the investigation pushed forward by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the claims were upheld, meaning they found against the MP on five claims of bullying and one of sexual misconduct.

This led to a recommendation that he be suspended from the House of Commons for six weeks. Upon this, his party withdrew the whip, whereupon he continued to sit as an Independent MP. His fellow MPs voted to implement the recommendations and suspend him.

Following a Recall Petition, that garnered 10,505 names of his constituents, significantly above the 10% of the electorate required at 7,940, it led to where we are today.

Peter Bone has been removed from his position as an MP and a by-election will be called imminently to fill the vacated seat.

The Constituency:

Wellingborough has consistently voted for a Conservative MP since 2005, when the aforementioned former MP first won the seat from Labour with a majority of just 687. In the four ballots since then, his majority never went below five-figures and last time out, he waltzed away getting 62% of the vote and beat out Labour into second-place by no fewer than 18,540 votes.

Looking at the EU Referendum back in 2016, this was a strong Leave seat with 62.4% of those who voted, doing so to sever ties with the European Union.

In the 105-year history of the seat, it has never elected a woman to be their representative in parliament, which is as noteworthy as it is an oddity.

Odds:

Betfred have opened the Wellingborough by-election market with Labour short odds-on at just 1/7 to win this seat to once again give the incumbent Prime Minister a bloody nose and face an embarrassing round of interviews about his chances in the upcoming General Election.

This seat should not cause anywhere near the consternation that Mid Bedfordshire did, where both Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey’s party claimed they were the home of the Anti-Tory vote, which led to it being a relatively close run thing, with both Labour and the Lib Dems seeing their vote surge.

In this Northamptonshire Constituency, it will be clear that those with the Red Rose will be getting the vast majority of that bloc of votes. This is why Labour are so short and there is no ultra-local issue such as ULEZ, which scuppered their chances in Uxbridge & South Ruislip to alter the narrative. I fully expect this seat to be fought along national issues and highlighting the wrong-doings of their former MP.

The Tories are the second-favourites at 9/2, which feels about right being in the 'it could happen but in reality, is relatively unlikely' bracket in this type of market with Reform UK (25/1) leading the also-rans with the Lib Dems (50/1) and Green Party (100/1) far behind.

Candidates:

The Tories, in their infinite wisdom, have selected Helen Harrison to be their candidate. The local councillor for Oundle ward on North Northamptonshire Council would seem like a relatively nondescript person to choose, who would arguably tick plenty of boxes. One small issue however that has made this into big news, she is the girlfriend of Peter Bone. Talk about showing utter-contempt for the electorate.

The Sunday Times reported that Bone even threatened the local party that if his partner wasn’t chosen, he would stand as an independent, which would have all but extinguished any hope of holding onto the seat. This essentially forced the hand of the local party members to back Harrison. Still, you can back the Tories at 9/2 to pull off what would be a big upset despite their massive majority.

Genevieve Kitchen has been selected as Labour’s candidate. She is a Northamptonshire local having grown-up in the county town and is a former councillor having represented the party in Newham having moved to London for university. Having spent her whole career in the charity sector, It would be a massive shock should her next job not be representing the interests of the people of Wellingborough in the House of Commons.

The Reform Party will get some votes and we have them as a strong bet to finish third ahead of both the Lib Dems and Green Party, who are expected to run skeleton campaigns to keep their resources for more winnable seats come the General Election.

Verdict:

In all likelihood, this is going to be a relatively dull by-election from a betting perspective. Labour should win and do so relatively comfortably if national polling data is to be believed.

This is the type of constituency that should Labour win in a General Election, it would surely mean that they are well on their way to a landslide victory. In terms of winning it in a by-election, that narrative can't really be followed but it would be yet another clear sign to Rishi Sunak and those currently in Downing Street, that their time in charge of the country is dwindling.

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