Betfair expects Zach Goldsmith to maintain his Richmond Park constituency, despite resigning from the Conservative Party last October following the decision by Government to approve a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Goldsmith priced at 1.3 by Betfair, will run unopposed for by the Conservative Party who have backed their former MP as an independent candidate for Richmond Park.
However, Betfair politics notes that its ‘Richmond Park By-Election’ market may well become a close call as the Liberal Democrats aim to reclaim their once secure constituency.
Reduced to just eight seats following a disastrous 2015 UK General Election, Lib Dem leadership has targeted Richmond Park as a ‘fight back’ constituency, placing Kingston resident Sarah Olney as its MP candidate (Betfair – Price 3.0).
Closing in on a year of political upsets (Brexit and Trump victories), Betfair politics will not be surprised if the Lib Dems win TW10. The bookmaker notes the Lib Dems strong grassroots support in Richmond and the party’s recent positive performance in the Witney by-election.
Furthermore, Goldsmith’s campaign may be hindered by his support of Brexit during June’s EU Referendum. As a constituency, Richmond Park voted 70% in favour of ‘Remain’, while Goldsmith had been one of the Leave campaigns highest profile figures.
Betfair Exchange Political Journalist Paul Krishnamurty commented on the market
“There is a danger in overstating how motivated the public are by this issue, in comparison to the Westminster Village and political activists…Just as Remain supporters were unreliable voters in June, I wonder just how motivated they will be to turn out on a cold December night for a by-election.”