Coral starts paying out for Ukip win in Rochester and Strood – a week before the by-election

Bookmakers claims the 'contest is over' and tells Ukip backers to start celebrating

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Indy Politics

There is still a week to go before the Rochester and Strood by-election, but bookmakers Coral have already started paying out on people’s bets for a Ukip win.

Sparked by Mark Reckless’ defection from the Conservatives to Ukip, the by-election will be held on 20 November, where a recent poll put Nigel Farage’s party in a 12 per cent lead over the Tories.

Following Ukip’s landslide victory in Clacton where Douglas Carswell, another Tory defector, became the first elected Ukip MP, Coral immediately made the party favourites to double their total at Rocherster and Strood, with opening odds of 1-3.

The Ukip candidate, and former Tory MP, Mark Reckless canvasses support in Hoo, Kent

David Stevens, a spokesperson for Coral, said: “Those odds soon tumbled, all the way down to 1-25. We’ve not taken more than a handful of bets on any other party, and as far as we’re concerned this contest is over, so anyone who has backed Ukip can go and collect and begin the celebrations now.”

At 1-25, punters stand to make £1 for every £25 placed on Mark Reckless winning the by-election.


Coral said it currently has the Conservatives on at 9-1 for a win by candidate Kelly Tolhurst, Labour at 50-1 with Naushabah Khan, and The Liberal Democrats at 350-1 with candidate Geoff Juby for the Rochester and Strood seat.

The bookmakers claimed it has started taking long odds-on that Ukip will win more seats in the general election in May, adding it has taken several bets over £1000 that Ukip will pull off a huge victory and with the most seats in May.

A Ukip spokesperson said that while Coral was celebrating early, the party isn’t treating the by-election as “a done deal”.

“The bookies might reckon it’s a done deal, but we don’t. There’s still a week to go. Still, it’s quite something.”

Despite Coral’s confidence in the party, Mr Farage has been caught on camera telling party supporters that the NHS should move away from a state-funded model, which contradicts Ukip’s claims that the party opposes the privatisation of the NHS.

In a 2012 video from his Common Sense tour, Mr Farage said: “I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare.

“Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through the marketplace for an insurance company, than just as trustingly giving £100 billion a year to central Government and expecting them to organise the healthcare service from cradle to grave for us,” he is recorded saying.