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By-election betting to continue until the declaration

February 9th, 2006
    Labour 0.07/1 to hold the seat in Gordon’s back yard

If there is going to be a shock in today’s by-election in Dunfermline and West Fife then the first indications should be seen on the betting exchange markets.

For if there is just a sniff that something might be happening around the campaign HQs of the main parties then information will seep out and punters will try to cash in.

All unmatched betting exchange bets are cancelled at 7am so what appears to be a completely new market will open. If this follows the normal pattern then the Labour price will tighten even beyond the current 0.07/1 in the first hour or so.

The critical time to watch is late afternoon when the campaign heads will start to get an overall feel of whether they have got their votes out and how well the other parties are doing. So if there is betting movement away from Labour after 5.30 pm then the result might be interesting.

At the General Election there was a comfortable Labour win here with the Lib Dems in second place. The votes split LAB 47.4: LD 20.1: SNP 18.9: CON 10.3. Given the national troubles the Lib Dems were having this might have been an opportunity for the SNP to move into second place.

    All the indications are that the Lib Dems have managed to beat off the SNP threat and have emerged as the challenger.

If there is to be a shock Ming Campbell’s party needs to eat into the 28% of the vote that the SNP and Tories chalked up last time between them and for Labour to have problems getting its vote out. But Labour’s General Election margin of 27% looks huge. Even though the Lib Dems have thrown everything into this fight it is hard to predict anything other than a Labour victory by a much reduced majority with a low turnout.

There’s an added interest in today’s vote because the next door constituency is Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, the seat of Gordon Brown – and it is also near to North East Fife, the constituency of Ming Campbell, currently 0.82/1 favourite for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Watch the by election betting from about 6pm.

Mike Smithson






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