With the last week of the by-election in progress, each of the parties is keen to suggest that they will be the likely victor come Thursday.
Labour claim a swing to them from the Conservatives in a Council by-election in Hounslow yesterday. Only marred by the slight nuisance that the Conservatives won, and Labour lost a Council seat to the Liberal Democrats in neighbouring Haverstock in Camden.
The Liberal Democrats add to their momentum claim with the suggestion in the Times that “two senior Conservatives… do not think they can win”.
The Conservatives meanwhile, not to be outdone claim two more Labour defectors in their news in brief, and make the claim that in the bookies have “put the Liberal Democrats firmly in third place pushing them completely out of the race”.
Interesting claim, I went on to Betfair to check this:
Third was correct, completely out of the race though seems a bit of a stretch given the difference between their positions is neglible, with Labour ahead. In fact given Labour start with a 24% lead, what the betting seems to say is it’s extremely close.
So everything to play for in the next five days, and I’ve got to make my own mind up soon as well.
UPDATED: Alan (comment 1) is quite right there is a dispute between Labour and the Conservatives about the quality of the latest defection claim, given the two individuals were once Labour Councillors, but were then expelled from Labour for running as independents in Hounslow, see here.