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Rochester & Strood by-election betting update

| 15.10.2014


UKIP remain fairly strong favourites to gain a second MP when the by-election is held on November 20th. Their odds actually hit as big as Evens a couple of weeks ago, before a poll of the seat showed them 9% ahead of the Tories. This now looks like a clear two horse race, with Labour’s odds drifting from 7/1 to 25/1. It’s widely believed that they won’t be putting much effort into this.

I still believe there is a good chance that the Tories will win this. It sounds as if they will be mounting a huge effort to retain the seat and making Mark Reckless’s life as difficult as possible over the next five weeks. They will want to be sending out a very clear message to any other potential defectors that no-one will be getting an easy ride back into parliament.

I also think the idea of an open primary to select the Conservative candidate will help; we’ve issued prices on the two candidates.


Kelly Tolhurst is favourite for no other reason than she is more “local” than Anna Firth. Voters seem to put a lot of store in that these days.

We’ve also produced some odds on UKIP’s vote share. I would imagine that they’ll need something in the high 30s to win.


The Survation poll had them on 40%. I expect if the constituency was polled again today they might be a bit higher, in line with UKIP’s improvements in the national polls.



Matthew Shaddick

Matthew Shaddick has been Head of Poliical Betting at Ladbrokes since 2008. He's a writer and odds-maker with particular expertise in UK and US elections.
Also known to dabble in music, literary and other out of the way betting markets. Sometimes issues tips on horse racing and football, which are best ignored.