Labour set to hold Stoke but lose Copeland (14th February 2017)
Sporting Index's political spread betting markets now show Labour are set to deny UKIP leader Paul Nuttall gaining a Westminster seat at the fifth time of asking by prevailing in next week's Stoke-on-Trent by-election.
UKIP had been marginal favourites in the contest just weeks ago, but a formal investigation over Nuttall's permanent address on his nomination form, and a stinging rebuke from Labour candidate Gareth Snell, has seen the leading political spread betting firm make a Labour hold the most likely outcome.
However, Jeremy Corbyn's party is expected to lose the Copeland by-election held on the same day to the Conservatives that was triggered by former MP Jamie Reed's resignation.
If the Tories do gain Copeland it would be the first time since 1982 that a governing party has gained a seat in a by-election.
The spread betting firm's by-election markets are scored via a `Win 25 Index', whereby the winning candidate on 23rd February will be given 25 points, the second-place candidate 10, and any others 0.
UKIP leader Nuttall is currently trading at 15 on the Stoke-on-Trent index, with Labour's Gareth Snell just ahead on 16.
The Copeland by-election index sees the Conservatives on 20, with Labour trading at just 12.
Spread bettors can challenge these predictions by betting higher or lower, with profits or losses calculated on how right or wrong they are.
For example, a punter who buys Gareth Snell at 16 on the Stoke-on-Trent index would win nine times their stake if he were to win, but they would lose six times their stake if he finished second.
Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Although it looked like it might be fifth time lucky for UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, our political trading team now make Labour favourite to deny Nuttall a Westminster seat by holding Stoke in next week's by-election.
"Yet the Copeland by-election is a different proposition altogether, and despite Labour boasting a 2,500-vote majority, it looks likely that Theresa May's Conservatives will prevail to heap even more pressure on embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn."