The spread bet market maker City Index reduced its spread from 10 to 6 votes as the deadline for first-round candidates expired. The narrower the margin, the more opportunity to make money.
IG Index said Redwood sold throughout yesterday while City Index reported some Redwood buys and a spate of John Major sales.
At City, Paul Barnet moved John Major to 178-184 and John Redwood to 74-80. The abstention book stands at 66-72 on a minimum of pounds 3 and a maximum of pounds 50 a vote.
IG gamblers have more faith in Major although he has slipped as more abstentions were factored in. Redwood's chances evaporated. Peter Hetherington offers Major at 183-193 and Redwood at 69-79.
The contest has moved City's election book with Conservatives on 253- 261 seats, Labour at 341-349 and Liberal Democrats unchanged at 28-30.
Virtually no one is betting on the declared runners at William Hill. Major stays at yesterday's price of 11/10 against as most of the cash is placed on the "doubtful starters", with Michael Portillo down from 7/1 to 4/1. Michael Heseltine has attracted a series of three-figure bets and is cut from 5/2 to 2/1. Gillian Shephard and Kenneth Clarke continue to poll support. John Redwood's odds to lead the party into the next election have lengthened from 6/1 to 7/1.Reuse content