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Punters Lay Bets on UK Election

4 May 2005

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Guardian: "Will it be a monkey on Michael or a pony on Tony? Neither, according to political punters, who are rushing to a lay a carpet (that's £3) on Charles Kennedy instead.

"…While tight odds on Labour and a spread-betting market convinced Tony Blair will be returned with a comfortable if shrunken majority of about 80 seats, the last-minute money is instead going on constituencies and other bizarre bets.

"Follow the grassroots gamblers' money and clues on the fate of key marginals emerge. Ladbrokes has taken a £7,000 bet on David Davis resisting the Lib Dems to hold on in Haltemprice and Howden. But the money is not following Oliver Letwin with any conviction: the Lib Dems are odds on in West Dorset and bookies have taken one £400 bet on him losing.

"…While Ladbrokes was happy to pocket a £250 bet on the Lib Dems to form government at 150/1, bookies and spread-betting exchanges have also taken significant bets on the Lib Dems in their target seats, including Hornsey and Wood Green, Watford, and Cambridge, where the Lib Dems hope the student vote can help overhaul Anne Campbell's 8,579 majority.

"…And the weirdest bet? A punter who put money on Mr Blair being seen hunting in his constituency before polling day…"

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