With the top 2 in Newport West looking pretty certain the interesting bets are the LAB share and which party comes third

March 15th, 2019

But we can’t let a by-election go by without a punt

One of the features of this Parliament has been the relative absence of by-elections. In the 21 months since the general election they have been just two and now a third one is due to take place on April 4th in Newport West to fill the vacancy created by the death of Paul Flynn.

The seat has been in LAB hands for some time and at the last election Flynn took it with 52.3% of the vote with the Tories on 39.3%. It’s hard to see this order changing with LAB retaining top spot.

In the Ladbrokes LAB vote share market listed above the 40 to 50% segment is the 5/4 the favourite which seems about right.

Third place is much more interesting particularly as we are talking about the contenders perhaps only getting hundreds of votes rather than thousands. At the general election in June 2017 UKIP came in third place with 1,100 votes followed closely behind by Plaid Cymru with 1,077.

Given that the turnout is likely to be much lower than the 65.5% of last time then the 3rd place could easily be down to 500-600 votes only a short distance ahead of the fourth and other places.

On the face fit the party that looks most interesting to me is Abolish the Welsh Assembly which only has to appeal to a very small proportion of voters to make it into that 3rd place shot. That’s my small bet at 5/1.

I don’t have any outside information on this so this is not a serious flutter.

Mike Smithson