The latest Hartlepool by-election odds from the Betfair Exchange show bettors heavily backing the Conservatives following a shock poll says Max Liu...
"The Tories have been odds-on to win the seat for weeks but today their price shortened significantly with Keir Starmer's party drifting to 4.67/2."
The Conservatives are an 83% chance on the Exchange to win the Hartlepool by-election on Thursday after a poll gave them a 17 point lead over Labour.
The Tories have been odds-on to win the seat - which Labour has held since 1964 - for weeks but today the price shortened significantly with Keir Starmer's party drifting to 4.67/2.
The poll shows voters abandoning Labour, which won the seat by just under 3000 votes in the general election of 2019, and flocking to independent candidates, as the Tories and Green Party increase their support too.
This comes as national voting intention polling published at the weekend showed Labour cutting into the lead that Conservatives have enjoyed since the roll out of the vaccine.
Boris Johnson's government has been mired in allegations of sleaze and impropriety in recent weeks and the odds on him leaving before 2024 shortened last week.
A hung parliament is the favoured outcome at the next general election, with the Conservatives odds-on to win most seats.
Paul Krishnmaurty provides an in-depth assessment of Johnson's problems and there will be more on Hartlepool and the elections in Scotland and elsewhere, which are all on Thursday, in the next couple of days.