But will anybody risk money by going against the Lib Dems
The betting exchange, Betfair, have just opened a maket on which party will win the Cheadle by-election. Unlike a conventional bookmaker Betfair is an exchange and you can only place a bet a if another punter is prepared to lay it. Betfair itself simply provides the facility.
At the time of this posting there was nobody on this market offering odds on the Lib Dems. This shoulds change but the price will drop to very low levels.
On May 5th the Lib Dems were defending a majority of just 33 votes over the Tories but thanks to a big tactical switch from Labour Charles Kennedy’s party won very easily. The question is whether they will be able to do it again?
In any Lib Dem-Tory by-election contest the form-book says back the Lib Dems and it is hard to see them losing especially as sprits in the party are high following the sensational victory in the neighbouring seat of Manchester Withington on May 5th.
The only national opinion poll since the election has shown a big increase in Lib Dem support so the prospects of them holding Cheadle must be very good.
What will be interesting will be how the Tory leadership contenders play the by-election. Do they get stuck in and risk being associated with failure or could this be territory where they could show what effective campaigners they are. Watch this space.