Mid Beds to stay Blue say Betfair odds
Tamworth to fall to Labour in bellwether by-election
Thursday's results will hold clues to next GE result
The Conservatives will hold Mid Bedfordshire but lose Tamworth to Labour in Thursday's by-elections, according to the Betfair Exchange markets.
The results of both votes in Tory-held constituencies will be eagerly-awaited and carefully-dissected as we could be exactly one year from the next general election.
October to December 2024 is 1.454/9 on the Betfair Exchange as the period when Britons will next go to the polls.
Who will win the Mid Bedfordshire by-election?
Mid Bedfordshire could offer Rishi Sunk a glimmer of hope in an autumn that has so far been miserable for the prime minister. The Conservatives are 1.758/11 to retain the seat that Nadine Dorries vacated with her protracted resignation.
The Tories have held the constituency for more than a century but, with voters there let down by Dorries, the party languishing in the national polls and out to 11.521/2 to win a majority at the next general election, this had looked like an opportunity for the Liberal Democrats or Labour.
Part of the problem for the other parties, according to reports, is that voters who are prepared to abandon the Tories are split between Labour 3.412/5 and the Lib Dems 5.49/2.
That means the Tories may cling on with a reduced majority and give Sunak something to celebrate come Friday morning.
Labour 80% chance to win Tamworth by-election
The news from Tamworth is expected to be worse for the Conservatives as Labour are 1.251/4 on the Exchange with less than 24 hours to go before polling stations open in the Staffordshire constituency.
If those odds are correct the victory will strengthen Keir Starmer's belief that his party are on the road to power in next year's general election. They are 1.412/5 to win a majority.
The Tories have held Tamworth since 2010, the year the returned to power in Westminster, so losing it would be a symbol as well as a mathematical indication that their reign is coming to an end across the country.
The Conservatives won Tamworth in 2019 with a majority of nearly 20,000 so this is the largest, in terms of vote percentage, that Labour have had to overturn in the recent run of by-elections.
The Liberal Democrats 4.03/1 have pulled into second in the market, pushing the Tories 4.216/5 out to third by a small margin.