Not many people can lay claim to having had a worse Thursday night than Theresa May, but the gambler who placed a £70,000 bet on a Tory majority is certainly a contender.
William Hill took the wager from an unnamed punter shortly after the Conservatives crushed Labour in May’s local elections. The person was one of many who apparently believed the upcoming general election to be “unlosable”, the bookmaker said.
The Prime Minister was riding high with a seemingly unassailable double-digit lead over Jeremy Corbyn in the polls and the only question on pundits’ minds seemed to be, "how big will the landslide be?"
A month later, following one of the most remarkable turnarounds in British political history, whoever placed the bet will be rueing their decision.
But they weren’t alone. Bookmakers hailed a bumper evening as large numbers of people placed big bets on the Conservatives to romp to a convincing victory.
William Hill said around £20m was wagered, the majority of it backing the Tories.
Joe Crilly, a spokesperson for the bookmaker, said: “The general election result was a good one for us bookies as the Tories managed to fluff their lines in what was being billed as the ‘unlosable’ election.”
“We had a number of five figure bets on the Conservatives winning a majority, with some wagers at prices as short as 1/16, although one punter from London will be breathing a sigh of relief after backing the Conservatives to win the most seats to the tune of £200,000.”
After what has been labelled one of the most disastrous election campaigns in living memory, bookies have slashed the odds on Theresa May being ousted from the Tory party top job.
William Hill has made Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson the 9/4 favourite to be the next leader, followed by Amber Rudd at 5/1 and Phillip Hammond at 12/1.
The bookmaker also reported a flurry of bets for Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson to move up to party leader and she is now 8/1 from 16/1 this morning.
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