What do the betting markets say about tonight’s five-way debate?

Nigel Farage with UKIP

Tonight’s five-way debate should be an interesting show-down between the leaders of the ‘challenger’ parties, but who will win?

Thursday's debate, being broadcast at 8pm on BBC One, will feature Labour leader Ed Miliband, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Green leader Natalie Bennett.

All odds mentioned are for the Survation poll after the debate (William Hill).

Nigel Farage

William Hill gives Nigel Farage a slight edge with odds of 5/4. In some ways Farage has a big advantage in this debate as he is the only candidate on the clear right of the political spectrum, meaning that he might get to fill a void left by David Cameron.

Some polls after the seven-way debate put him on joint first place so he has a decent chance of performing well, however with UKIP slowly falling in the polls that might have an impact.

Ed Miliband

The Labour leader’s odds of winning are 2/1. In recent weeks approval ratings for the Labour leader have improved and as the only person on the debate who could end up as Prime Minister he might have an advantage.

On the other hand, he faces three opponents who will come at him from the left, something which could hurt is chances. And from the right, Nigel Farage will likely blame Miliband’s party for the increase in immigration last decade due to the EU, which could also hurt him.

Nicola Sturgeon

Her party are surging in Scotland as are her approval ratings. But can she win over the UK-wide audience again? The YouGov poll following the seven-way debate placed her as the clear winner, suggesting that she could win again. Her William Hill odds for winning the challengers' debate are 5/2.

SEE ALSO: Nicola Sturgeon wins debate, suggests YouGov poll

Leanne Wood

The Plaid leader will likely attack Labour’s record in Wales, something that could help her party in Wales, however, she faces a tough battle in the debates with odds of 20/1 to win.

Natalie Bennett

Like Leanne Wood the William Hill odds of the Green leader winning are 20/1. She will have a hard time to stand out, but like the SNP and Plaid she will gain points by attacking Labour from the left.

Who will win?

William Hill suggests that it could be a three-way battle between Farage, Miliband and Sturgeon. If the poll puts those three within a few points of each other all will be happy, however, it’s hard to see how the debate will impact the campaign as the lack of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister will likely drive views down.

See the full William Hill odds here.

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