BOB Spink has the best odds of any independent general election candidate across the country – making him more favoured to win his seat in Castle Point than Esther Rantzen in Luton.

There are about 50 non-party candidates standing for election on Thursday, and with odds of 16/5 from website Betfair, Dr Spink has been judged the most likely of them to win.

Yet he is still second favourite to take the seat behind Conservative candidate Rebecca Harris who is 1/3. Liberal Democrat Brendan D’Cruz is on 20/1 while Labour’s Julian Ware-Lane is the outsider at 39/1.

Betfair’s expert pundit Paul Krishnamurty reckons Dr Spink’s local popularity is why he is one of the few independents who stands a realistic chance of winning their seat.

Mr Krishnamurty writes: “With public perception of the political establishment at an all-time low, many believe we could see a handful of independent candidates winning seats at this election.

“In truth, there aren’t very many realistic chances, but Castle Point could be worth a crack.

“Spink’s brand of conservatism is probably more in tune with this electorate than Cameron’s more moderate emphasis, and must have a good chance of retaining a decent chunk of the 48 per cent who supported him in 2005.”

Dr Spink was elected as a Conservative in 1992. He left the party in 2008, then briefly represented Ukip before becoming an independent.

He is standing under the banner of Independent Save Our Green Belt in a coalition with a number of candidates in the borough council elections.

He said: “I’m grateful to Betfair for their confidence, but I’m not taking anything for granted.

“I think it’s time for more independents in Parliament to hold the big parties to account, and ask the questions that need asking without fear of a party whip.

“The people of Castle Point have always shown themselves to be independent-minded rather than blindly vote for a party.”

But his challenger Mrs Harris said she was not taking any notice of bookmakers’ predictions. She added: “The choice at this election is who is going to form a government. “I’m working hard to make sure Castle Point turns blue so we can help form a Conservative government and get Labour out nationally.”