Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister odds slashed after exit poll suggests hung parliament

Paddy Power says if Labour wins it would be the biggest loss for bookies in a UK election

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Indy Politics

The odds on Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister have crashed in to as low as 9-4 with SkyBet upon the release of the exit poll suggesting a hung parliament could be on the way. 

Mr Corbyn had drifted out to as long as 12-1 with bookmakers as late opinion polls pointed to a Conservative landslide with campaigning drawing to a close. 

The exit poll changed that in a heartbeat, leaving nervous bookies fearing what could yet be the biggest loss in British political betting history, rivalling even the shock election victory of Donald Trump. 

Lee Price, head of PR at Paddy Power, which was at 4-1 when he spoke to The Independent, a matter of minutes before the odds almost halved again, said: “We’ve had 84 per cent of all of our bets on Jeremy Corbyn to become PM. If he does win we are going to be skint. We’ll need a magic money-tree if it happens!”

Mr Price said the bookies’ loss would be the biggest the industry has faced on a UK election. 

Like Mr Trump, Mr Corbyn has been heavily backed by small punters, pinning their hopes on the outsider. 

It would take a rainbow coalition for Mr Corbyn to be in No 10 by 1 July, the cut off date with most bookies, assuming results mirror the poll. But bookmakers are starting to run scared. 

“The loss we’re looking at isn’t quite as bad as what we took on Trump,” said Mr Price. “But we could get there by the end of the evening. It all depends on what happens when the results start coming in.” 

Mr Price pointed out that Theresa May remained the odds on favourite at the time of writing, which could save bookmakers’ bacon. 

However, her odds had stood at 1-10, and even shorter, as it appeared Britain was poised to back her much mocked “strong and stable government” after all. They are now out to 1-2 and lengthening.