Politics General Election By Graham Sharpe

Osborne's Shade Of Grey Ties Punters Up

GEORGE OSBORNE's 'two kitchens' jibe at Ed Miliband proved to be a 4/1 winner for William Hill punters who had bet he would use the phrase during his Budget speech.

But Mr Osborne's choice of tie colour meant that the 8/15 hot favourite, Blue, lost out to the 16/1 shot, Grey - for which the biggest bet placed, was £12. The Chancellor did thwart a gamble on his speech lasting under 55 minutes (a 6/5 chance) by carrying on for nearly 59minutes (55m and over was an 8/13 chance.

'During the Chancellor's speech we saw a run of bets for the Tories to be the largest Party at the Election, at 4/9, and also for them to win an overall majority at 5/1' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

William Hill now offer 7/4 that Mr Osborne will deliver the NEXT Budget speech - but his Labour shadow, Ed Balls, is 11/8 favourite to do so - while Mr Osborne may have moved on to greater glories, as he is third favourite at 10/1 to be the next Tory leader.

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.

WILLIAM HILL ODDS: GENERAL ELECTION OUTCOME...2/9 Hung Parliament; 5/2 Labour minority; 4/1 Con-LD Coalition; 9/2 Con minority govt; 5/1 Con majority; 7/1 Coalition involving SNP; 8/1 Coalition involving Ukip; 8/1 Lab-Lib Dem coalition; 12/1 Lab majority; 22/1 Coalition involving Greens; 33/1 Con-Lab coalition; 66/1 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