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Ladbrokes tighten the Farage price again

September 6th, 2009

The UKIP man’s price moves in to 10/3

The big political betting news this weekend continues to be the general election fight in Buckingham between John Bercow and Nigel Farage.

When ex-UKIP leader announced on Thursday morning that we would be standing against the speaker Ladbrokes opened the betting with a price of 6/1 that he’d do it.

That didn’t last long and tightened to 4/1. Now Ladbrokes have had to bring in the price further because so much money is being wagered on the UKIP man.

A spokesman for the firm said: “If money talks the speaker is in trouble. We’ve taken more bets on Buckingham in the last 72 hours than most of the other constituencies combined – and it’s all for Farage.”

There’s been a fierce division of opinion on PB over the contest in this seat probably because the circumstances are unprecedented. By convention speakers’ are allowed almost a free ride and the main parties do not put up candidates in their seats.

I’ve been very bullish on Farage because I can envisage a unique fight which will get a fair bit of attention by the media during the general election campaign – and in this contest it’s going to be much harder for Bercow to put up a fight than for Farage.

UKIP will be able to portray their man as the “True Tory” while presenting Bercow, maybe unfairly, as Labour’s candidate, because of the way the speaker election worked out.

The convention also raises the whole issue of whether constituents in the sitting speaker’s constituency should effectively be excluded from the main general election battle and be represented by someone who has been politically neutralised. Farage will play on that.

Mike Smithson