Who’ll remember what this was supposed to be about?

Who’ll remember what this was supposed to be about?


    Will Davis think that it’s all been worth it on Friday?

When David Davis first made his extraordinary move to resign his seat and force a by-election I asked whether many people would remember the original cause on polling day. Well that is now only two days away and all the political focus is on another election several hundred miles away in Glasgow.

It’s hard to see Davis being beaten in Haltemprice and Howden but turnout is likely to be considerably down on the general election and the former shadow home secretary might get a good majority in terms of percentages but the reduced numbers voting will take the gloss off the victory.

There are two main betting markets – what share of the vote Davis will get and who will come top of the poll excluding Davis? The latter has been made more interesting by the bookmaker, William Hill, offering each way bets.

My main bet is on Jill Saward who I got at 8/1 each way. Some one the site saw the value much earlier and placed wagers at 33/1. This morning’s price is 5/1.

I still think I’m in with a good chance of winning at least the each-way part of the bet. For the campaigner on behalf of the victims of crime this is very much a personal campaign and my sense is that she has a strongish appeal to women voters. She’s probably had more publicity than any of the 25 “others” in the race and it was interesting that when BBC News last looked at the by-election it was to her that they spoke to second. There was also a big piece in the Mirror by John Cruddas.

The Greens are obviously hopefully of getting the runner-up slot and might just pip Saward to the post.

William Hill tell me that surprisingly betting on this by election, even with their market, has been quiet. Maybe it’s just because unlike Crewe or Glasgow East, the outcome will have zilch impact on the national scene. The decision by Labour to stand aside has had the desired effect and any Davis “victory” is likely to look an irrelevance. The Westminster village view of his action has been proved right.

After Friday will anybody remember what all this was about and will Davis return to the Shadow Cabinet? Cameron might make him wait.

Mike Smithson

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