The Odds: Fever pitch
Betting interest in this election is so high that William Hill will keep their telephone betting offices open throughout election night and will also be continuously amending their odds.
Graham Sharpe, William Hill spokesman, said that “We are predicting that up to a record political betting turnover of £25million is going to be riding on the outcome of the General Election and we intend to give our customers every opportunity of placing their bets right throughout the night either online or on the telephone”.
The renewed interest in politics has driven punters to gamble on a swathe of betting markets from the outcome of the election to specific constituency results.
“David Cameron continued campaigning through the night so we figure we should do the same thing for our politically aware clients, who have come out in record numbers to bet this time round – since the start of the TV leaders’ debates political betting has really come of age.
“Whereas it was once the preserve of political anoraks and obsessives it has now captured the imagination of the betting public as a whole. For the first time ever we have been taking bets on all 650 constituencies.”
The bookies believe that the greatest point of interest remains the fate of the Liberal Democrats. Will they pull of a victory?
Mr Sharpe said “The Lib Dems were 350/1 no-hopers to win the election as Nick Clegg began the first TV debate those odds collapsed dramatically to as low as 16/1. It was the most sensational political gamble of all time and it will cost us a seven figure payout if it comes off”.
He continued by saying that “political shrewdies have also been quietly punting on a hung parliament for the best part of a year now and if that happens it could also cost us a substantial payout”.