Lord Ashcroft’s latest constituency polling contained some fascinating snapshots of some of the big betting seats, and has resulted in some major shifts in the odds.
- Thanet South; Farage in trouble
The most newsworthy finding is that Nigel Farage is in second place behind the Tories in Thanet South. Punters had been piling into UKIP to win the seat; over 90% of the money staked had been for them and their odds had plummeted from 6/4 into 4/9. We still make him favourite, now at 4/6, but surely the Tories have to be a good bet at 7/4? There must be a very strong chance that some of the substantial Labour vote will vote tactically to keep out Farage, if they reason that their candidate is unlikely to win.
- Portsmouth South; Tories take over as favourites from Lib Dems
There was some pretty good news for the Lib Dems in a lot of these seats, but this was an exception; no doubt due to the fact that sitting MP Mike Hancock has been thrown out of the party and there is not going to be any incumbency advantage for them to fall back on. The Tories are now Evens from 5/2 to overturn the 5,200 Lib Dem majority.
- Doncaster North; could UKIP unseat Ed Miliband?
With Labour showing at 40% in this poll and UKIP in a clear second place, tactical voting from Conservative supporters could put the Labour leader in danger. We cut the odds of a shock UKIP win from 12/1 to 8/1.