LONDON, April 11 British bookmaker Betfair
has slashed the odds on French presidential candidate
Jean-Luc Melenchon winning next month's election to 11/1 from
979/1 last month, the company said on Tuesday, as the far-left
candidate surges in the polls.
That reflects a shift in the probability of Melenchon
becoming president to around 12 percent from 0.1 percent
A new poll on Tuesday showed Melenchon nipping at the heels
of frontrunners Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in France's
presidential race, building on his recent surge as sniping
between the top contenders gathered pace.
"If Melenchon continues to gain ground and Macron continues
losing it with Le Pen holding hers, this presidential race could
potentially become a far-right versus far-left battle in the
second round," said Naomi Totten, spokeswoman for Betfair.
Betfair is offering odds of 5/6 that the centrist Macron
will become president, implying a 54 percent chance, down from
65 percent before Melenchon's surge in the polls.
(Reporting by Jemima Kelly, editing by Nigel Stephenson)