What will Esther and Chilcott do to Luton South
An interesting little side story of the coming general election is what happens in Luton South – one of the seats listed here earlier in the week as being high on the target list for the Tories and one they really need to take in order to get a majority.
Looking at the 2005 notionals LAB 42.8: CON 28.1: LD 22.5 this should fall easily to the Cameron juggernaut even though the incumbent Labour MP who figures so much inn the expenses affair is not standing.
Yet hugely complicating factors are the candidature of Esther Rantzen – the former “That’s Life” presenter and what happens to the very large Muslim vote at a time when Chilcott is putting the Iraq war on the agenda again.
Esther, who has always been a publicity magnet, has been getting some remarkable coverage and the chances are that this will continue until polling day. See this from the Daily Mail earlier in the week part of which is featured above.
You can see her winning votes from both Labour and the Tories but not, I suggest from the seat’s Muslim communities who are likely to back a leading Labour councillor, Qurban Hussain, who defected to the Lib Dems in 2003 the year, of course, of the invasion of Iraq.
All 63 of the current crop of Lib Dem MPs are white and, no doubt, Clegg would love to change this. Could Luton South be their best prospect and what does that mean in campaigning terms.
If you read this as a four way marginal as I do then the Lib Dem betting prices are quite tasty. William Hill have the LDs there at 18/1, Victor Chandler 20/1 and Bet365 16/1. The last price to be matched on Betfair was 2.5 – or 6/4 in old money.