Will there be a by-election in Blackpool South (Scott Benton’s seat) before the next general election?
May 2

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has been found to have broken lobbying rules and the standards watchdog has recommended a 35-day suspension:


This could lead to a by-election in a the very interesting “red wall” seat of Blackpool South.

Will a by-election take place before the next general election?

  • If a by-election takes place, the market will resolve to YES

  • If Parliament is dissolved for a general election before any by-election is announced, the market will resolve to NO

  • If a by-election is announced but cancelled because Parliament has been dissolved for a general election, this market resolves to NO

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The by-election is scheduled for 2nd May:


If Parliament is dissolved for a general election before 2nd May (eg. if Sunak wants to call a 6th June general election), the by-election will be cancelled and the market will resolve to NO. Otherwise, the market will resolve to YES when the polls open on 2nd May.

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bought Ṁ3,000 YES

"The parliamentary by-election for the Blackpool South constituency will take place on Thursday 2 May 2024."

This is less than 5 weeks away so a general election cannot be held on or before this.
Is that enough to resolve this?

@ChristopherRandles There’s no time for a general election before 2nd May, but they could still call a late-May/June election and dissolve Parliament before 2nd May, in which case the by-election would not take place.

It seems unlikely, but it’s not so certain that I can resolve this market yet!

Breaking News: Scott Benton resigns his seat https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68658896

It's spelled "Benton"

bought Ṁ10 of NO

My rapid u-turn is based on:

  • assumption the report will not be approved before recess, so the earliest it will be approved will be 8th Jan.

  • A recall petition started the same day will not complete until 19th Feb.

  • A by-election would then be moved for (I put this at 90%+ odds). the last three have taken an average of 54 days to go from “election needed” to “election day”. Given that this takes us over the Easter period I doubt this will move quicker than the others.

  • That means we’re unlikely to see an election before mid April at the earliest. At which point, an early May election (high odds on the associated market) would already have been called, and this will very likely resolve NO.

I’d buy YES at more like 40%.

bought Ṁ20 of YES

@Noit Interesting. I hadn’t realised that it would take so long, and the government are going to be motivated to delay it as much as possible since a by-election in a red wall seat won’t be fun for them!

If the general election isn’t happening until later in the year, I wonder if they’ll engineer it so that the by-election happens on the same day as the local elections? The headlines that day are presumably going to be so bad that even losing a key seat can’t make things any worse!

bought Ṁ0 of YES

@SimonGrayson Yeah, if there’s no GE then I’d bet on it being the same day as the local elections. Even without the political angle, combining two sets of elections is good logistics.

predicts NO

@Noit Of course, if Benson stands down early then we chop six weeks off the process and it becomes much more likely that the by-election goes ahead regardless.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

If the by-election takes place, who will win?

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