The second defection of a Tory MP for Ukip over the weekend has the rumour-mill in overdrive, but will there really be more and who might go?
Mark Reckless is unlikely to be the last to jump ship, according to both political commentators and Ladbrokes. In fact, it’s evens any further MP will defect ahead of the next election.
The number one candidate for switching allegiance is MP for Wrekin in Shropshire, Mark Pritchard. However, he has denied any intention of defecting, despite it being “tempting”.
Whilst No10 have constantly blocked my social mobility as an under-class boy to Conservative MP - I will not be defecting to UKIP. Tempting!— Mark Pritchard MP (@MPritchardUK) September 28, 2014
Another MP, Gordon Henderson (20/1), has also denied plans to defect, despite being approached by Ukip. But denials should not be taken at face value . Up until the moment of his defection, Mark Reckless had insisted he wouldn't move.
Peter Bone, formerly tipped by Ladbrokes as favourite to go prior to Reckless’s announcement, is now second favourite at 4/1 along with Philip Hollobone. The likelihood of three MPs defecting has increased - Pritchard, George Eustice and Philip Hollobone. In addition to Bone, three MPs move down the rankings to become less likely to defect - Bernard Jenkin, Andrew Rosindell and Bill Cash.
Here are the odds from Ladbrokes as they stand.
Ladbrokes is also offering odds on a few outliers. Fancy a punt on David Cameron defecting? That’ll be 500/1. Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps? That’s 100/1.
Or how about newly resigned Brooks Newmark? Odds are 33/1 he’ll pack his paisley pyjamas for Ukip.