Labour is a firm favourite to win a by-election in Tamworth should one be called, according to the latest odds.
Bookmaker, StarSports, puts the chances of the party’s candidate, Sarah Edwards, claiming the Staffordshire seat at 2/9 following the decision of Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel to uphold the eight-week suspension of Chris Pincher.
The Commons Standards committee recommended the former chief whip’s suspension after allegations surfaced that he had drunkenly groped two men at London’s Carlton Club last year.
The suspension exceeds the 10 days threshold that would trigger a recall petition in his Tamworth constituency if MPs approve it.
This could pave the way for a by-election if more than 10% of constituents sign it.
Pincher, who has indicated he will not seek re-election, could choose to stand down as an MP following the appeal, automatically triggering a contest in his Staffordshire constituency.
The news will come as a blow to Rishi Sunak, who now faces the prospect of a double by-election following the bitter departure of former culture secretary Nadine Dorries in August.
Polling at the end of August revealed a number of high-profile Tories, including five cabinet ministers, face losing their seats at the next general election.
The BMG survey for the i newspaper found several big beasts, including now defence secretary Grant Shapps, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, and former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith are at risk.
The poll gives Labour a 15-point over the Tories, putting the party on 44%, the Conservatives on 29% and the Lib Dems on 10%.
William Kedjanyi, political betting analyst at Star Sports, said: “Following Conservative MP Chris Pincher’s failed appeal against an eight-week suspension from the House of Commons, it seems a by-election in the Staffordshire seat of Tamworth is edging closer.
“Should a by-election be called, we make Labour candidate Sarah Edwards the overwhelming 2/9 favourite to secure the most votes in what would amount to yet another setback for Rishi Sunak’s party.
“The Tories will have to overcome odds of 11/4 if they are to retain their grip on the Staffordshire constituency, whilst the Liberal Democrats with odds of 25/1 are deemed unlikely contenders for now.”