So far we have not had any opinion polls on the next two Westminster by-elections – Chesham & Amersham (June 17th) and Batley & Spen (July 1st) but in each case the Tories are firm odds-on favourites in the betting.
We also saw what happened at Hartlepool on May 6th and the broad assumption is that the same trends will be seen in the next two up. Certainly that is how punters are looking at them. At C&A the Tories are rated on the exchanges as have a 94% chance while at B&S it is a 74% chance.
There is the longstanding theory on general elections first put forward by the young David Butler at GE1945 that in the main you will see a broadly similar swing throughout the country. That was for general elections and the upcoming contests are for totally separate by-elections.
By far the busiest market according to Betfair’s “amount matched” data in C&A with £600k+ matched. At B&S it is barely a sixth of that.
In the former the LDs are going full gas with an intensive campaign from the LDs looking like those we saw in years gone by and the messages I am getting from that is that they feel as though they are in with a shout.
In B&S the view is that this is part of the red wall and we all know what happened there.
If C&A is held easily then I think we must assume that the Tories will take B&S. But if that is not the case and the percentage majority is down to single figures then Jo Cox’s sister, the LAB candidate in the Yorkshire seat, might hold it.