• Place your bets on an election upset in the Westcountry - odds down to 16/1

    23rd November 2014 | News | Claire
  • The odds on one General Election hopeful tumbled this week as Westcountry punters piled on a potential upset.

    Bookmakers Ladbrokes have predicted 10 parliamentary seats could change hands in the South West next May.

    Independent candidate Claire Wright was backed from 66/1 down to 16/1 this week to unseat Tory MP Hugo Swire in East Devon.

    Mr Swire – a Foreign Office minister – remains a firm odds-on favourite at 1/16 to defend his 9,000 majority. Second favourites to win the rural constituency are Ukip, quoted at 8/1, with the Liberal Democrats at 50/1 and Labour at 100/1.

    LIVELY OUTSIDER

    Matthew Shaddick of Ladbrokes said there had been “a string of bets” for Mrs Wright, a district and county councillor.

    He added: “History tells us that independent candidates very rarely get anywhere near winning at a General Election, but money talks and Wright is emerging as a very lively outsider.”

    Tory Oliver Colvile is being backed to lose his Plymouth Sutton and Devonport seat to Labour’s Luke Pollard.

    In Cornwall, the Liberal Democrat Stephen Gilbert could be toppled from his St Austell and Newquay seat by Tory challenger Steve Double.

    Other Lib Dems under threat include former Cabinet minister Jeremy Browne, according to Ladbroke’s, who are predicting a “very tight result”.

    Long-standing Lib Dem Andrew George is even money to cling on to St Ives.

    In 2010, the Tories gained eight seats from Labour in the region. The odds suggest half will switch back.

    BOMBPROOF

    Mr Shaddick added: “Although we are projecting that the Lib Dems will lose six seats, it’s not impossible that they might pick up a couple of new ones.

    “Partly, this is because of the possible strength of UKIP in the region – if they take enough votes from the Tories, a few other seats could come into play as well.”

    Tory Farming Minister George Eustice is 8/13 to repeat his slender victory in Camborne and Redruth by 66 votes over Lib Dem Julia Goldsworthy, who is 4/1 for a return to the House of Commons.

    The bookmaker rates this Ukip’s best chance of a seat at 5/1,

    Conservative Mel Stride looks bombproof in Central Devon, at 1/100, while Ben Bradshaw is also short at 1/16 to hold on to Exeter for Labour.

    Cornish nationalists Mebyon Kernow are 100/1 to win a Westminster seat.