March 20, 2017 / 10:29 AM / 6 months ago

Bookmakers offer 5/1 odds for snap UK election

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Conservative Party's Spring Forum in Cardiff, Wales, March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

LONDON (Reuters) - British bookmaker odds indicated a 17 percent probability that Prime Minister Theresa May would call a snap general election after media speculation she could go to the polls.

“As the rumour mill continues to head into overdrive, the firm have reacted by chalking up a snap election in early May at 5/1, whilst it’s just 2/1 one is called before the end of the year,” Ladbrokes said in a statement.

May has made it clear to her colleagues that she does not favour an early election, because she thinks it would be self-serving and create added uncertainty at a time when the country needs stability, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported earlier this month.

May has a working majority of just 17 seats in the 650-seat lower house of parliament and speculation has long swirled that she will seek to strengthen her position ahead of the tough negotiations that will be involved in the Brexit process.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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