Smart Ukip tactics point to further Tory defections before May

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Another Conservative MP switched to Ukip over the weekend when Mark Reckless joined friend Douglas Carswell in the purple ranks, although the market to win the former’s Rochester and Stroud by-election urges caution.

Carswell is 1/50 to win a Ukip seat in Parliament for the first time by retaining Clacton, having taken much of his Tory constituency team with him when resigning from the blues, and the 43-year-old was never any bigger than 2/7 to hold what looks like rather Eurosceptic ground.    

Reckless’ decision seems somewhat more…hasty, with many more dissenting voices coming from his Kent constituency than in Carswell’s Essex equivalent.

The Tories are 2/1 to hold on in Rochester and Stroud, which currently looks a far better bet than 4/7 about Ukip potentially completing a double coup and getting Reckless in alongside his mate.

Remember, they still don’t have one MP, let alone two. Furthermore, nobody should be put off Labour, who have taken the seat in two of the last three elections, at 7/1.

However, the faultless publicity strategy currently being followed by leader Nigel Farage and his top lieutenant, vastly experienced former Daily Express political editor Patrick O’Flynn, makes 1/1 about another Tory MP defecting to Ukip before next May’s General Election a must-have bet.

Dudley South MP Chris Kelly, who is clearly non-plussed with the Conservatives in Government, having already signalled his intention to stand down after just one term next year, has already had to bat off talk he’ll be next.

Many Ukip insiders, never mind the purples’ grass-roots following, were said to be completely unaware of Carswell jumping the Tory ship until he publicly landed on their boat.

Reckless’ decision to create a three-way contest suggests Farage and O’Flynn have gone even more gung-ho in their attempts to stay in the spotlight. Don’t expect the fireworks to end here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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