SIOBHAN Baillie is fighting to become Stroud’s first female MP and the bookmakers fancy her chances.
William Hill has Siobhan as the favourite at 2/5, as does Sky Bet at the same price, but she remains cautious.
“I am enjoying the election as I love being on doorsteps talking to people around Stroud, the Valleys and Vale,” she said. “The response has been positive so far but I am taking nothing for granted as it is a tough, tight race here and I will keep working day and night.”
William Hill and Sky Bet both have Labour’s David Drew at 7/4, but despite Stroud seemingly leaning towards the right, David, who held a slim majority in the 2017 election, remains confident. “This is a two-horse race where every vote will count if we are to stop a damaging Tory Brexit and deliver action on the climate crisis,” he said.
“There have been hundreds of people out and about across Stroud this weekend, talking to people about the key issues, from the climate crisis to housing, and school funding and how to build a better future. We’ve had a very positive response.
“We have been inundated with requests for posters, stakes and badges and our campaign HQ on King Street has turned into a hive of activity, it’s open daily and there are all kinds of events going on with a full weekend of events coming up with music, poetry and family art workshops. This is a real people powered campaign, and it’s clear how much Stroud people are committed to creating a fairer, brighter future.”
Both William Hill and Sky Bet have Molly Scott Cato at 16/1, but the Green candidate is optimistic about her chances.
“Voters are telling us this is not a normal General Election,” said Molly. “Pro-European voters from all parties understand that Greens are the only Remain party standing, and appreciate the Lib Dems standing aside here in Stroud to avoid splitting the vote.
“We are finding on the doorstep that many who have previously voted Labour are disappointed with Labour’s Brexit policy and they don’t trust Jeremy Corbyn,” said Molly. “This makes me confident that we have a strong chance of taking the seat on December 12.”
Stroud’s Brexit Party candidate Desi Latimer is an outside bet at 50/1 with William Hill and 66/1 at Sky Bet. She said: “I am the only leave candidate in Stroud. Both the traditional party candidates have been outspoken in their opposition to Brexit and would be lukewarm at best in supporting the referendum result.
“Our canvassing shows that voters are very disillusioned by the last three years and want to see Brexit done. 33,000 voted to leave in Stroud in 2016, many more now want to see the result respected.
“It is a huge challenge to overcome the entrenched two-party system but the Brexit Party commitment to changing politics for good is also resonating as a lot of voters see both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson as symbolic of all that is wrong with the politics of the last few years.
“The Brexit Party appeal in Stroud is cross-party, and the message is clear: if you want to see Brexit delivered then I give you the only chance to be heard.”
Glenville Gogerly is standing for the Libertarian Party, and despite Coral giving him a slim chance of winning the seat at 100/1, it is not something he is taking notice of.
“I myself am not a gambling man so I therefore do not take much notice of the bookmakers odds,” he said.
“I believe that the most important thing to do is to give the electorate of Stroud a choice – for those who are already Libertarian minded and also to let others who haven’t heard of us know what we believe in and stand for.
“As I have noted in my election leaflets, I believe we need a written constitution that makes the individual sovereign above Parliament. We want to shrink the size of the State by devolving government closer to the people by introducing the Confederation of Free States of Britain – a federal style of government based on the Swiss model. By doing this we can reduce taxes so that people can keep more of their hard earned money.
“We support Brexit so that we can, as a nation, trade on the global stage. Yes, it would be fantastic to win the seat and to work towards implementing our policies and to have an opportunity to represent the fantastic constituents of Stroud.
“I have always said I am in this for the long game.”