Politics By Graham Sharpe

Bookies 'Hung' Out To Dry As General Election Heads For Stalemate?

Political punters are betting on a Hung Parliament at the General Election as though it is a certainty, and the odds have crashed from 11/8 at one stage down to 2/9 now - meaning a stake of £9 currently stands to make a profit of just £2.

However, one Hill's West Country client is set to do rather better than that - having staked a total of £23,409 on a Hung Parliament, the customer will collect £51,043.18 should it happen, having wagered 23 bets of between £500 and £2000 on that outcome.

'Our political punters appear to have decided there would be a Hung Parliament some time before our odds began to reflect the strong likelihood they do now, so we're on a Hung hiding to nothing as a result' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

However, the shortening of the Hung Parliament odds means a lengthening of the chances of David Cameron or Ed Miliband leading a Party to power with an overall majority - Hills now offer 9/1 (from 8/1) that Labour will win a clear majority, and 5/1 (from 9/2) that the Tories will do so.

The Conservatives are now 4/6 (from 8/11) with Hills to be the largest single Party; with Labour out from 11/10 to 6/5.

GENERAL ELECTION OUTCOME...2/9 No overall majority; 4/1 Con-LD coalition; 9/2 Coalition involving SNP; 5/1 Con overall majority 11/2 Con minority govt; 7/1 Coalition involving Ukip; 9/1 Labour obverall majority; 20/1 Coalition involving Greens.

CELEBRITY POLITICS.....To become an MP at this General Election - 25/1 Queen's Brian May; 33/1 Al 'Pub Landlord' Murray; to poll most votes (both must stand)- 1/4 May; 11/4 Murray.