A week on Thursday we have the Shropshire North by-election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Owen Paterson and as can be seen in the betting chart the Lib Dems are edging up.
Having tipped the party strongly in the Chesham and Amersham election back in June I have to say I have less confidence about an LD gain from CON here. This does not mean I don’t think an LD gain will happen.
C&A met all my three criteria for the Lib Dem by-election victories. At the referendum the seat went Remain; the Lib Dems were in second place at the last election and 40%+ of the electorate were graduates.
None of these three apply in Shropshire North. This was strongly Leave at the referendum; the Lib Dems came third at the last election and the number of graduates is about the national average.
Yet the Tories are worried and BJ himself visited the constituency at the end of last week. Ed Davey will soon be onto his fifth visit to what is one of the most difficult parts of England to get to from London, The seat covers itself a wide area which can make it very difficult for campaigning and hard to do things like delivery rounds and canvassing.
I tipped Chesham and Amersham when you could have got 20/1 and was 95% confident that the bet was a winner. I don’t have that level of confidence with this by-election though Davey’s party has found that its campaigning on the area’s ambulance service, which is emerging as a big issue, is resonating.
At GE2019 the Tories were 40+% ahead with the LDs in third place.