Should you be taking the 100/30 against Labour at Glenrothes?
By any normal standards Labour should be on target to hold on to the safe seat of Glenrothes in the by election on November 6th. This is the constituency that adjoins Gordon’s in Fife, the candidate is the head of Brown’s old school, and we have seen a big resurgence for the party in the national opinion polls.
In the 2005 general election Labour romped home with 51.9% of the vote with 23.4% majority over the SNP. It’s a massive ask for Alex Salmond’s party.
Yet the betting has the SNP as the 1/3 favourite.
The problem, of course, is that everybody remembers Labour’s disaster at Glasgow East just three months ago. There the SNP turned round a massive majority and achieved a 22.5% swing to take the seat. For many this was a betting bonanza and my Glasgow East winnings completely funded my summer holiday. The two polls that were carried out suggested a Labour win by 14% and 17% margins and this kept the SNP betting price high.
So far at Glenrothes there has only been one poll and that had the two main contenders level pegging on 43% each. But that survey was before the global financial collapse and before Brown was able to get the kudos over the rescue plan.
In the last week Labour supporters have had an extra spring in their steps and they must now fancy their chances in the by election. In July the mood was – “let’s give Labour a good kicking” whereas next month it might have moved on to something completely different.
So Glenrothes looks set to be the by election that could confirm the polling recovery. If Labour hold on there will be little doubt that the public mood has changed. If they lose then it’s hard to see how they can hang on in the general election. I find it a hard one to call but that 100/30 price looks pretty good to me.