Politics By Graham Sharpe

One Horse Race In Rochester By-Election, Say Bookies

Political punters are backing UKIP to win the Rochester by-election as though they are the only Party standing say bookmakers William Hill.

'Although UKIP are now 1/100, which means that a £100 bet will make a profit of just £1, we are still taking money for them- including one bet of £400 from a client in Ashford, Middlesex, from which he stands to win £4' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe 'And another has staked £5 for a potential profit of 5p.'

UKIP were odds against to win the seat at one point as early money was gambled on a Tory win, but as the market settled down all the serious support has been for UKIP.

Hills are also seeing hefty bets on UKIP to make a big impact at the General Election and they have had to slash their odds from 33/1 to 16/1 for them to win 100 or more seats, and 16/1 to 7/1 to win 50 or more.

ROCHESTER BY ELECTION.....1/100 UKIP; 16/1 TORIES; 100/1 LABOUR

LIB DEMS TO RETAIN DEPOSIT...10/1.....TO LOSE DEPOSIT....1/33

UKIP SEATS AT NEXT GENERAL ELECTION?...0- 8/1; 1-2 4/1; 3-4 8/1; 5 or more 4/9; 50 or more - 7/1; 100 or more- 16/1

William Hill believe a UKIP win could well spark further defections amongst sitting MPs and are offering Evens that two or more MPs will leave their Party for UKIP between the Rochester result and the General Election; 7/2 that just one will do so; and 6/4 that none at all does so.