Politics General Election By Graham Sharpe

Budget Bets Boost For Tories As Clegg Under Pressure

WITH LIB DEM elder statesman Lord Steel suggesting that the Party will not wish to be involved in an official coalition after the General Election, William Hill are offering odds of 2/1 that the Party WILL be part of an official coalition government and 4/11 that they will not.

Meanwhile, Hills have shortened Tim Farron from his original odds of 11/4 to succeed Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader to a shortest yet 4/7. One Hill's client has staked £2600 on Farron to be the next leader and stands to collect £5700. 'Tim is Farron away the best backed contender to replace Nick Clegg' commented Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.Hils make Vince Cable 6/1 second favourite to be next Lib Dem leader with Norman Lamb 7/1; Ed Davey 9/1; Danny Alexander 12/1.Nick Clegg is 2/5 no longer to be leader by the end of this year.

Nick Clegg has suggested that the Lib Dems can 'wipe the smile off' of Alex Salmond's hopes of becoming an MP by winning the seat he is contesting in Gordon, but William Hill feel that is an optimistic prediction, with Salmond 1/10 favourite to win and the Lib Dems 11/2 second favourites. Hills also offer 6/1 that Mr Salmond will become a government minister as a result of the General Election.

GEORGE OSBORNE's Budget speech proved a winner with political punters, as bookmakers William Hill reported that 90% of the bets they took during, and since the speech, on the outcome of the General Election have been for the Tories to be the largest single Party; to form a minority government or to form a majority government.

'During Mr Osborne's speech we started to see a stream of bets for a Conservative Election win in all three possible guises - to be the largest Party (4/9), and to form either a minority (7/2 from 9/2) or majority (9/2 from 5/1) government. The trend continued for the rest of the week, with 90% of bets placed on the Election outcome being for a Tory triumph' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe, adding that the General Election is shaping up to be the biggest political betting event of all time. 'In excess of £10m was gambled on the outcome of the Scottish Referendum, making it the biggest political betting event up until then - but the General Election is set to at least double that turnover.'

TOTAL LD SEATS AT GENERAL ELECTION....9/1  0-10......11/4  11-20;.....11/8  21-30.......5/2 31-40......12/1  41-50;....20/1  51+

NICK CLEGG STILL LIB DEM LEADER Jan 1, 2016?......2/5 NO; 7/4 NO

WILLIAM HILL...TO DELIVER NEXT BUDGET:...11/8 Ed Balls; 7/4 George Osborne; 6/1 Philip Hammond; 7/1 Chuka Umunna; 14/1 Rachel Reeves; 16/1 Sajid Javid; 20/1 Danny Alexander; Theresa May; 33/1 Boris Johnson. Others on request.

**Danny Alexander is 7/2 to be re-elected to his Inverness constituency.

WILLIAM HILL ODDS: GENERAL ELECTION OUTCOME...1/5 Hung Parliament; 5/2 Labour minority; 7/2 Conservative minority; 9/2 Conservative majority; 5/1 Con-LD Coalition; 7/1 Coalition involving SNP; 8/1 Coalition involving Ukip; 8/1 Lab-Lib Dem coalition; 16/1 Lab majority; 33/1 Coalition involving Greens; 33/1 Con-Lab coalition; 100/1 Ukip majority; 500/1 Lib Dem majority; 25/1 any other outcome.

LARGEST SINGLE PARTY: 4/9 Cons; 7/4 Lab; 50/1 Ukip; 400/1 LDs

PM ON AUG 1, 2015...4/7 Cameron; 11/8 Miliband; 14/1 Anyone else.