By-election win changes odds

by Will Davies Bookies odds have shortened on a Liberal Democrat victory in the next General Election following the party s latest by-election win. Previously a 3-1 shot, Ed Fordham, Lib Dem candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, has close

by Will Davies

Bookies' odds have shortened on a Liberal Democrat victory in the next General Election following the party's latest by-election win.

Previously a 3-1 shot, Ed Fordham, Lib Dem candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, has closed the gap and is now 2-1 co-favourite alongside Labour's Glenda Jackson (previously 6-4 favourite) and Tory candidate Chris Philp, according to Ladbrokes.

Cllr Tom Simon won by just 35 votes against the Tories in last Friday's Belsize ward by election.


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Ed Fordham said: "In the campaign for this area it is pretty dramatic. Hampstead and Kilburn has had four by-elections out of the ten wards that make up the constituency and the Lib Dems have won every single one.

"It's a sign of what is happening on the ground as the Tories fall back round here."

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Cllr David Abrahams, Kilburn ward, said: "In 2006 the Tories were taken by surprise. They regarded Belsize as a safe seat and concentrated their energies elsewhere, such as Hampstead and Gospel Oak.

"In 2009 they threw themselves heart and soul into winning back Belsize, in a make or break effort to regain political momentum from the Lib Dems.

"The Tories are currently riding high in the national opinion polls and Belsize is a generally affluent area with many 'natural' Tory voters.

"But if the Tories can't win in Belsize and Hampstead, how can they present themselves as credible challengers in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency?"

w.davies@archant.co.uk

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