The Richmond Park battle with Zac is an absolutely must win for the LDs

The Richmond Park battle with Zac is an absolutely must win for the LDs


If they can’t recover here then they are in trouble

To be frank I had been getting concerned about what we’d be doing on the site after the November 8th US election. PB is at its best when there are real elections taking place and there are real things to bet on. So I was absolutely delighted to get the news that we are to have a by-election in Richmond Park where Zac Goldsmith has quit because of the Heathrow decision.

At the moment we don’t know what his status will be and what the Tories will do. Will he stand as an anti LHR3 Independent or will be be adopted again as the official Conservative candidate by his local association?

My sense is that it will be the former with him getting tacit support from his local party who will not select a candidate.

This is all making the betting rather odd. William Hill are offering 10/1 on CON winning. What would happen to those bets if Zac is re-selected? Hard to say.

Judging by the betting pattern this afternoon the LDs have their tails up and believe that they can win. Ladbrokes opened with them as 6/4 second favourite. They are now 4/5 odds-on favourite.

Let there be in no doubt. The LDs have to win this seat if only to reinforce the narrative that 18 months on from the coalition they are on their way back. On the face of it this is well within the bounds of possibility. A swing only marginally larger than that saw last week in Withey would do it. They were also second place there last time so will find it easier to make the tactical argument.

Zac was hugely popular as seen in his GE2015 result. The shine, however, has gone off that to some extent following his London mayoral campaign which has been labelled as racist. He’s also a leaver in a REMAIN stronghold.

The party will throw everything at the battle which because of its location will get far more media attention than other by-elections.

Mike Smithson

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