Beckenham Nov 1997. (LAB polls leads 30%+)
Eddisbury Jul 1999 (LAB poll leads 20%+)
Kensington & Chelsea Nov 1999 (LAB poll leads 20%+)
Why the betting markets might be getting Stoke Central and more particularly Copeland wrong
Almost ever since the Copeland by-election was declared the Conservatives have been a very strong odds on favourites. As has been pointed out repeatedly for them to take a seat off Labour while being the governing party would be an extraordinary achievement and something that really hasn’t happened in modern times.
The last time that a governing party had constant double digit polls leads was the first Blair government from 1997 to 2001. During the Parliament the Tories defended
four five seats, three of them which are listed above. It was the same pattern in Uxbridge at the start of the parliament. As can be seen the outcome was nothing like that which he Westminster opinion polls were projecting for the ensuing general election. Labour came nowhere near.
But the Tories did lose the other seat, Romsey, but that was to the Liberal Democrats and not LAB.
Historical precedents are there to be broken, of course, but I would be very surprised indeed if the Conservatives won Copeland tomorrow.