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Nic Ladds 6th May 2010 - 15:31

General Election 2010: £40 million bet on outcome

British voters have wagered more than £40 million on the outcome of the General Election, despite predictions that it could be the closest for a generation.

There has been a reported four fold increase in the number of bets being placed, compared to the 2005 campaign.

Punters have been gambling on a wide range of outcomes with most of the money being wagered on a hung parliament or Conservative majority.

One punter placed a £5,000 bet with William Hill that Gordon Brown would stay in Downing Street with an overall majority.

With odds of 14/1 the anonymous gambler, who placed the bet in Clapham, south London, stands to win £75,000 if Labour defies the polls.

Elsewhere however a large amounts of cash have been placed on a David Cameron win, leaving the bookmakers nervous.

William Hill reported taking a £6,000 bet from one voter on an overall Conservative majority, which with odds of 6/4 would see them walk away with £15,000.

In another far less risky bet, a client of William Hill placed £10,000 on Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg retaining his Sheffield Hallam seat.

With odds of 1/50, the punter stands to make a £200 profit.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "Traditionally over recent years political betting has been for political anoraks, but all of a sudden people have been given food for thought."

As the polls opened across Britain, William Hill insists the outcome remained to close to call.

We have also offered odds of a million to one that Monster Raving Loony Party leader Alan Hope will be the next prime minister.



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