The Liberal Democrat PPC for Ashfield, JasonZadrozny, has been the subject of some interesting market support to succeed Nick Clegg as party leader in recent days. We added him to the betting at 100/1 a couple of weeks back; he’s now 50/1 and we took some more money at that price today.

Sure, we’ve only taken a few hundred pounds on him, but that’s already more than we’ve taken on better known possibilities like Jo Swinson and Simon Hughes.

The first major hurdle for him to clear is getting into parliament. The Lib Dems did a great job of getting within 200 votes of winning the seat in 2010, making it the second biggest Lab-LD swing in the country. It might seem unlikely that they can gain any new seats next May, but we make it only 4/1 that they unseat Gloria De Piero here. This is a seat where it’s easy to imagine that UKIP might poll quite well and disproportionately take votes away from Labour.

I suppose it’s extremely unlikely he could win an immediate post-election leadership contest, if Clegg does step down. Perhaps a few years down the line though; after all Clegg was only an MP for two years before he became leader (although he already had a reasonably high profile as a former MEP).

One other relatively unknown name to keep an eye on is the PPC for Watford, Dorothy Thornhill. The popular Mayor is only 13/8 to win the seat for the Lib Dems next May and if the party wanted a female leader, there might not be much competition around after the election. She’s only 33/1 to succeed Clegg.

 

Lots of talk today about which party will be most affected by UKIP in next year’s general election. The Evans & Mellon article above suggests the Tories still have most to worry about, but I thought I’d have a look at which Labour seats are most at threat, as indicated by Ladbrokes’ latest constituency odds. The UKIP Win % is their chances of gaining each seat, as implied by the latest prices.

SeatRegionUKIP Win %
Great GrimsbyYorks & Humber32.9%
RotherhamYorks & Humber28.5%
Dudley NorthWest Midlands17.9%
Newcastle-under-LymeWest Midlands15.1%
Rother ValleyYorks & Humber15.0%
Walsall NorthWest Midlands12.9%
Heywood and MiddletonNorth West10.2%
Walsall SouthWest Midlands10.1%
Hull EastYorks & Humber10.1%
Plymouth Moor ViewSouth West10.0%

So, UKIP are not (yet) favourites to win a single Labour seat, whereas they are outright favourites in five Tory held seats (we’re including Clacton in there). It’s worth mentioning that seats like Thurrock and Great Yarmouth, which are among those five, might very well have had Labour as favourites to win if it were not for an expected strong UKIP showing.

Of UKIP’s top 20 most likely wins overall, 16 were won by the Conservatives in 2010. So, as far as the betting markets are concerned, this is still more of a problem for David Cameron than it is for Ed Miliband,

Nigel Farage AND Russell Brand on Question Time tonight? We had to roll out some betting, so here are our Buzzword Bingo odds. Your bet is a winner if any of the panellists mention the exact words or phrase on the BBC1 broadcast edition. Audience members and Dimbleby do not count.

“Trumpton” has been the big mover so far; 16/1 into 8/1. For anyone who doesn’t already know what that’s about, give it a search on twitter and you’ll soon find out.

The betting will probably be suspended around 7.30pm tonight, as the show will be pre-recording about then.