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Election 2015: Can Ukip, the SNP or Plaid Cymru be kingmakers?

| 07.01.2015

Ladbrokes currently go 4/11 that no party will gain an overall majority in May’s General Election, and with the vote set to split like never before, it will be fascinating to see how the next government is formed, and when.

Of the smaller parties, Ukip have made most of the early running and are expected to finish up with around five seats in as many months time; 4/9 says Nigel Farage’s crowd will get over 4.5 at present.

However, the purple revolution is likely to cause ructions in a fair proportion of the constituencies they stand little chance of taking, but hold considerable support.

As flagged up by Ladbrokes’ politics expert Matthew Shaddick in his ‘The Political Bookie’ blog, increased Ukip traction in parts of South Wales could lead to Nationalist party Plaid Cymru taking seats off Labour.

Nia Griffith’s Llanelli constituency is thought to have become trickier for the reds to hold than first thought, with Plaid cut from 16/1 to 5/1 over the past couple of weeks.

Griffith only won Llanelli by 4,701 votes from the Nats in second four-and-a-half years ago, when Ukip took a creditable 1,000-plus themselves.

If Farage’s crowd are peeling support away from Ed Miliband’s lot, and potentially both current governing partners, it’s far from inconceivable that Plaid candidate Vaughan Williams could sneak this.

Leanne Wood’s party have three Westminster strongholds at present, but The Political Bookie believes three more are definitely gettable, meaning 8/11 odds about Plaid ending up on over 3.5 after the election look very favourable.

If Wood and co do manage to increase their Westminster representation, then an SNP/Plaid Cymru alliance, probably aimed at coalition with Labour, could come into play.

The political scene in Scotland has changed to the point where Glasgow North, a constituency that has seen grass growing around Labour MP Ann McKechin since its formation in 2005, is now short odds to go to Nicola Sturgeon’s lot at 4/6.

Before the independence referendum you could have had 10/1 on the SNP taking Glasgow North, and they’re 5/4 to turn six seats into 31-plus in May, a result that would likely force Miliband’s hand.

A Labour/SNP coalition after the General Election is priced up at 14/1, but the better bet may be backing Alex Salmond, who will in all probability return to Westminster after a five-year absence, to be next Deputy Prime Minister at 25/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune