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Long odds on Labour or Lib Dem election win in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
LABOUR and Liberal Democrat election hopefuls say they are not deterred by odds of 25/1 on winning the Wycombe seat from the Conservatives.
Ladbrokes has given Tory hopeful Steve Baker strong 1/200 odds of succeeding the party’s MP Paul Goodman.
A £3,000 bet on Mr Baker stands to gain just £15 – while Labour and Lib Dem supporters have as much chance of winning as the Ivory Coast have of lifting the World Cup.
The Conservatives have held the seat since 1951 – but opponents said they will fight on ahead of this summer’s poll.
Labour’s Andrew Lomas said: “These odds really reflect the fact that local Tories have taken this area for granted for too long.
“I'm standing as Labour candidate to give people a positive choice for a party that will listen to their wishes.
“I look forward to making Ladbrokes a little bit poorer when the results come in.”
Liberal Democrat Steve Guy said: “I think the odds are less than that.”
Voters were angry about the closure of Holywell Mead outdoor swimming pool and sell-off of Bassetsbury Manor by Tory-controlled Wycombe District Council, he said.
He said: “They are fed up of the Labour Government but not convinced by the David Cameron and George Obsorne ticket.
“Nationally, I don’t think the Conservatives have this in the bag by any means, there is all to play for.”
The Conservatives won the 2005 poll with a majority of 7,051, 45.8 per cent of the vote. This was up from 39.9 per cent at Labour’s landslide in 1997. Tories got 53.1 per cent in 1992.
Mr Baker was selected last year to replace Mr Goodman, who announced last summer he will quit over his disillusionment of Parliament.
Mr Baker said: “Of course I am encouraged by those odds but, whatever they say, I'll be campaigning hard and continuing to knock on as many doors as possible.”