Bookies are cutting the odds of a shock Zac Goldsmith defeat in tomorrow's Richmond Park by-election

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
Voters go to the polls in South West London tomorrow. (Source: Getty)

The odds of a Lib Dem victory in tomorrow's Richmond Park by-election are tumbling with just hours to go before polls open.

Former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is considered the favourite to win when polls open in Richmond Park tomorrow, but bookies say support for Lib Dem former accountant Sarah Olney is growing, particularly within the constituency.

Betway is reporting the odds of an Olney win shrinking from 5/2 to 9/4.

Read More:Brexit fears drive Lib Dem peer to defect to Tories

A spokesman for the bookmaker said: "We’ve pushed Goldsmith out to 1/3 as most of the money this morning has been for the Lib Dem candidate."

Goldsmith triggered the by-election by resigning over the expansion of Heathrow, but the Lib Dems have been seeking to exploit strong local support for EU membership – Richmond Park saw one of the strongest Remain votes in the summer referendum, while Goldsmith campaigned for Brexit.

Read More: Lib Dem Richmond Park candidate: I'll vote against Brexit no matter what

And Ladbrokes' head of political betting Matthew Shaddick said local punters were coming in for an Olney win.

“It seems as if people actually from the area and placing bets in our shops there are going quite strongly for the Lib Dems. But, overall, we're still taking more money on Zac,” Shaddick said.

“You might think that local betting would be more informed and be a significant pointer to how the election is going. However, past experience of by-election betting markets tells me that quite frequently that isn't the case, so I prefer not to read too much into that.”

But there's not quite a consensus among the bookmakers, with spread better Sporting Index calling the race for Goldsmith earlier today.

Political spokesman Ed Fulton said: “Having resigned over his own party’s stance on Heathrow expansion, Brexit-supporting Zac Goldsmith was always going to face a tricky by-election in the heavily Remain-supporting seat of Richmond Park.

“Although we make Goldsmith favourite to hold on, the Liberal Democrats are in buoyant mood and we’ve started to see significant bets coming in backing Sarah Olney to continue the 2016 theme of shocks by overturning the 25,000-vote majority.”

Related articles