The odds: Clegg to win debate

By Joe Fraser

Odds are falling on Nick Clegg to win the first of the televised leaders’ debates.

He has been backed down from 9/4 to 2/1 with William Hill and stands at 7/4 at Paddy Power. “Punters are coming out of the woodwork to back Nick Clegg and plunging three figure bets on him as though defeat is out of the question – they must believe he has been very well briefed and is going in with nothing to lose and everything to gain” said William Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Gordon Brown is the rank outsider and can be backed at 10/3 with Paddy Power, while at Hills, punters have moved him out from 9/4 to 5/2. “If Gordon Brown were a racehorse, punters would be treating him like a non-trier, we can’t attract any significant money for him at all” said Mr Sharpe.

David Cameron remains the favourite at evens with William Hill and 10/11 at Paddy Power.

The amount of betting interest on the party leaders’ debates is a strong indication that significant betting will continue through the campaign programme up to the election.

Live betting throughout the broadcast will demonstrate high levels of interest in political betting. Political point-scoring, sound-bites, slips and gaffes will impact on the odds as they are updated live.

Mr Sharpe said: “There is already a substantial five figure sum riding on the outcome of the opening debate, and we anticipate a huge betting interest during the course of the event which should see a six figure amount at stake, depending on who emerges as the winner.

“So far, the majority of the bets we have taken have been for Nick Clegg to win the first of the three Leader showdowns”

Meanwhile, Hills say that punters are betting that Clegg will be replaced by his higher profile Treasury spokesman Vince Cable after the Election. Cable’s odds have fallen from 8/1 to 6/1 to take over from Clegg, while one Lib Dem supporter has taken a £100 punt on Cable ever becoming Prime Minister at odds of 250/1 – worth £25,000 if the Richmond MP ever gets the top job.

For the latest political betting odds and election betting head over to Paddy Power.