Delia, Fry, Hawking or Balls? Who is the frontrunner to be East Anglia's first elected mayor

It appears there really is almost nothing you cannot bet on. Fresh from the announcement last week that councils in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk would be offered the chance to create a combined authority with an elected mayor, Ladbrokes has compiled a list of people who might take the top job in May 2017, if it ever gets to that point.

Friday, 25th March 2016, 7:00 am
Delia Smith

For many who are not au fait with the local political scene, a lot of the early favourites might not ring a bell. But many will recognise Andrew Lansley, the 4/1 joint favourite, who was MP for South Cambridgeshire between 1997 and 2015 and became well-known for his controversial NHS reforms as Secretary of State for Health under the last government.

The next name political aficionados may recognise is the Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk and former health minister. At a tempting 16/1 you can also have a dabble on former Labour frontbencher Ed Balls who suffered a shock defeat in last May’s general election.

Mr Balls is now enjoying life post-parliament as chairman of his beloved Norwich City, and another famous Canaries’ fan in chef Delia Smith is also in the running.

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Will you be ‘aving Delia (as she memorably addressed Norwich fans during a half-time rant) at 20/1? Or do you prefer someone a bit more local like Councillor Martin Curtis who at one stage was a member of Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council and Whittlesey Town Council.

His odds are a generous 25/1.

But if you think former Prime Minister John Major can be tempted back into politics then you could consider a punt at 33/1. And if you are the sort of person who would put money on Ant and Dec becoming the next Newcastle United managers, then these outlandish bets may be just for you.

How about Stephen Fry at 50/1, Stephen Hawking at 66/1, or fictional radio presenter Alan Partridge at 100/1.