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A UKIP candidate has had his challenge for a wager on UKIP’s success in the General Election turned down.Mark Hughes, the prospective candidate for Harwich and North Essex, took to twitter to offer the challenge to his rival, Bernard Jenkin £10,000 for charity that the party would win a seat at the General Election, the East Anglian Daily Times reports
.Internal UKIP polling shows the party making a surge in north Essex, which forms a ribbon of purple support from Kent up towards Yorkshire, with Hughes on 38% of the vote, Mr Jenkin 32 per cent and Labour trailing on 18.
He made the tongue in cheek bet following a hustings where Mr Jenkin said he did not think UKIP would win any seats at all.
Mr Hughes said: “I thought about it and thought I would call him out. I am confident UKIP will win at least one seat.
“£10,000 is a lot of money for me and I’m sure a reasonable amount for him.”
He said that should his bet be taken up, the money should go towards a charity such as the lifeboats, because of Harwich’s “seafaring” heritage.
Mr Jenkin turned down the wager, saying “I don’t bet on things I am involved with, I don’t think it is ethical.”
“I never bet on elections or referenda on principle, because what I do affects results,” he said before confidentially adding: “Otherwise I would have made myself a lot of money over the years.”
Mr Hughes told Breitbart London “I am sorry that Bernard Jenkin does not have the courage to back his words.
“This is typical Conservative arrogance,” said the former mayor of Royson in Hertfordshire said. “I think we called him out on this one!’
Bookmakers Ladbrokes have backed Mr Jenkin to win his seat, but say he shouldn’t take on the bet because the high stakes bet would land him very little in profit.
They have him as 1/12 favourite which means his bet, if he put it on with the bookmakers, would only return him an additional £833 while Hughes, on 7/1, would be quids in for the charity.
But they added that neighbouring constituency Clacton was sure to be a UKIP victory for Douglas Carswell, with a spokesman saying “this could end up as the only UKIP seat in the country on May 8th.
Mr Hughes said the polling was “just rough results” but added “they are genuine numbers.”
“I think we have got a chance of taking it. What will make a difference is how the Labour vote falls.
“But I’m not ridiculous, a lot of will come down to when people go into the polling station.”
One bet which hasn’t been forgotten is the one made by journalist Dan Hodges who, back in December 2012 said he would ‘streak down Whitehall in a Nigel Farage mask whilst singing Land of Hope and Glory’ if UKIP broke the 6 per cent barrier at the next election.