Could the first by-election of the 2017 Parliament be at Ashford in Kent?

Could the first by-election of the 2017 Parliament be at Ashford in Kent?

One of the problems about running a website dedicated to betting on politics is that we need things on which we can gamble where we’re going to get a result in the not too distant future.

The past year has been helped by a couple of unexpected by-elections and of course Mrs May’s decision in April to go to the country for a general election.

We have also had some interesting overseas elections including the ones in France, the Netherlands, and of course Germany. Tomorrow night, of course, we have the Alabama special election to choose a new senator for the strongly Republican state.

After that there is not a lot about. Until the American midterms in November next year there are few big events on the horizon. This is one of the reasons why I’m always looking out for potential Westminster by elections.

Until last Friday perhaps the seat most likely to have seen an early by-election was Theresa May’s Maidenhead. If she had been forced out or decided to stand down then like Tony Blair and David Cameron she could have decided to call that the end of her parliamentary career. But things are different following the European meetings last week and the fact that she is perceived to have done well.

With all the reports about the Damian Green investigation I just wonder whether his seat at Ashford in Kent could be the next by-election. This would require two things. One is the report into his actions to go against him and secondly for him to decide that he doesn’t want to be in House of Commons any longer. We must remember that he has strongly denied the allegation that have been made.

I have produced the chart above to show the party shares in Ashford at the last three general elections. Note the party in second place has changed every time. The LD had it in 2010, UKIP was second in 2015 and of course Labour secured a good second place in 2017. Ashford neighbour’s Canterbury where LAB had a sensational gain on June 8th.

But all the party numbers are far below that which Mr Green has achieved at all the elections in recent times. On the face of it this looks almost like a certain Conservatives hold but who knows? We do live in interesting times.

Mike Smithson

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