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Now betting opens on a by-election that has not yet been called and indeed might never happen

July 30th, 2019

One of the biggest shocks at the last general election was the former LD leader and deputy PM, Nick Clegg, losing his seat at Sheffield Hallam to LAB.

Since then the news about this constituency has focused on the man who replaced him, Jared O’Mara, and things don’t look good with one negative story after another and questions about his health. It now look as though he’s planning to quit parliament which, of course, could open up a by-election.

In many ways this would be an intriguing contest because since the late 1980s the area has returned Conservative, LD and LAB MPs. It is also where PB’s TSE lives and votes.

Whether O’Mara goes ahead with his resignation we’ll have to wait and see and also there is the possibility of an intervening general election.

So it is far from certain that there will be a contest and it is in this context that Ladbrokes have opened a by-election market featured in the Tweet above. Note that if there is no by-election this year punters will get their money back.

The big negative for LAB if there is a by-election is O’Mara himself and how such a person could have been selected to fight a key marginal. It does not say a lot about Labour’s due diligence.

Having said that the 1/3 on the LDs looks a value bet. If the party can overcome the Tory 19.5% majority in Brecon and Radnorshire on Thursday then these Hallam odds will look even better.

Mike Smithson