Tees Valley Mayor Election Odds: Labour Looking To End Tory Reign

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Tees Valley Mayor Election Odds: Labour Looking To End Tory Reign
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UK betting sites believe Labour have a outside chance of ousting Ben Houchen as Conservative mayor of Tees Valley in the May mayor election.

Mr Houchen has been mayor of Tees Valley since the post was established in 2017 and commands a high profile across the region.

However, the former Stockton-on-Tees councillor is facing his toughest challenge yet, with Labour’s Chris McEwan zoning in on the mayoralty this year.

UK bookmakers have Mr Houchen as the odds-on favourite for mayoral election but recent polling data suggests the Conservative and Labour candidates aren't separated by too much with voters.

It means the odds could well leap between now and polling day on May 2, with this race very much a scrap between two candidates.

Five council authorities – Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees – will vote in the Tees Valley mayor election. The winner will have command of a £15m annual stipend to spend on investment in the region.

And bookmakers reckon the incumbent Houchen is all set to claim another victory.

Tees Valley Mayor Election Odds

PoliticianOddsBookmaker
Ben Houchen (Conservatives)1/6Coral
Chris McEwan (Labour)7/2Coral
Simon Thorley (Liberal Democrats)66/1Coral

Tees Valley Mayor Betting

The bookies seem set on favouring Mr Houchen but haven’t discounted the idea of Mr McEwan coming to the fore. 

This is a difficult electoral race to price up. The Conservatives are haemorrhaging support across the country and could lose hundreds of local council seats in May. Labour and Reform are hoovering up disenfranchised Tories.

Yet there are some figures, such as Mr Houchen, who look destined to fly the flag for the Conservatives into the next electoral cycle.

Here’s how the three Tees Valley candidates match up:

Ben Houchen – Conservative

As incumbent mayor since 2017, Mr Houchen can point to his record as evidence that he should retain his role. The 37-year-old is a Teesside native and was made a peer under Boris Johnson. He is the embodiment of Conservative values.

His pledges involve building a new “state of the art” hospital and expanding Teesside International Airport. These may be difficult commitments to fulfil with a modest treasure chest at his disposal.

Mr Houchen beat Labour’s Jessie Jacobs in a landslide vote back in 2021 to retain the mayoralty but the polls don’t look as good now.

Yet the bookies are still backing Mr Houchen for now at 1/6 with political betting sites.

Chris McEwan – Labour

Perhaps the reason Mr Houchen is so favoured to win is because of uncertainty over his rivals. Mr McEwan is polling at 44% but there is real confusion in the market.

The Tees Valley mayoral election odds are almost impossible to accurately predict because there could be a huge wave of support for Mr McEwan on election night. Or, those same voters may again stay at home.

The bookies have so far backed away from Mr McEwan and priced him at 7/2 to win. Those odds carry a 22.2% probability, which is nothing compared to Mr Houchen’s 85.7%.

However, the odds could nudge closer together between now and election day. Mr McEwan can ride on the wave of Labour optimism sweeping the country, while Mr Houchen is tarred by the Tory brush.

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Simon Thorley – Lib Dems

One of the biggest obstacles in Simon Thorley’s way heading into this election is that no-one is talking about the Liberal Democrats. Mr Thorley has campaigned hard but Tees Valley is considered a Tory vs Labour election.

Indeed, the language training expert has failed to gain traction in this race. He is polling at 5% and that is kind. New betting sites have him at 66/1 to win this race – odds that carry a 1.5% probability.

Who Will Win The Tees Valley Mayor Election?

There may be three candidates in the race but Tees Valley betting is focusing on Mr Houchen and Mr McEwan.

The Conservative candidate has the natural boost of being the incumbent heading into the vote. It is a lot easier to vote for continuity than change. Meanwhile, Mr McEwan is basing his campaign on boosting transport infrastructure across the region.

The Labour candidate also has the reputational boost in being the ‘Not Tory’ candidate as voters across the country flee prime minister Rishi Sunak’s party.

Right now, it looks unlikely that a protest vote against the government will result in Mr Houchen suffering a humbling defeat for the Conservatives.

That could be enough to sway voters, while Mr Thorley’s presence as the Lib Dem candidate could well drag anti-Tory votes away from Labour, and open the door for Mr Houchen to win.

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