by Joe Fraser
David Cameron's performance in the final TV debate has seen a shortening of the odds on both a Conservative victory and their outright majority.
But increased betting on a Tory win has failed to dampen punters sense that a hung parliament is still the most likely election outcome.
At Paddy Power, odds on Mr Cameron's party topping 324 seats have come in from 11/8 to 5/4. The Liberal Democrats doing the same drifted from 14/1 to 16/1 and Labour held steady at 5/1.
A hung parliament is still odds on with Paddy Power at 8/15.
Darren Haines, the bookmaker's spokesman, said: "If Clegg was a clear winner in the first two debates then punters were in little doubt Cameron had won the third and they were quick to speculate that it could have a crucial impact on the Conservative's election chances."
William Hill has similarly cut the odds on a Conservative victory from 6/4 to 5/4, while the odds on a hung parliament have come down from 8/13 to 8/11.
With bets on no overall control consistently popular, Hills will face making a significant payout should there be no party with an outright majority. They were pleased to see the likelihood of that result taking a knock as betting attention turned last night towards a Tory victory.
"After David Cameron emerged as the clear winner in the third debate punters wanted to jump in and bet on the Conservatives to be the largest single party and to win with an overall majority, while the odds for a hung parliament began to drift" said William Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Hills now make Cameron their 8/13 favourite to be Prime Minister on June 1, 2010, with Gordon Brown 13/8 and Nick Clegg 7/1.
Latest election odds
Election Winner (Most Seats)
1/7 Conservatives (from 1/6)
5/1 Labour (from 5/1)
16/1 Lib Dems (from 14/1)
4/7 Hung Parliament (8/15)
5/4 Conservative majority (11/8)
28/1 Labour majority
40/1 Lib Dem majority (33/1)