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Punters rush to bet on Cowen's resignation

PUNTING voters are hoping that Taoiseach Brian Cowen can increase the few bob in their pockets in the dying days of his administration.

Bets of €1,000 each have been wagered on Mr Cowen stepping down as leader of the Fianna Fail party before polling day on March 11.

They are part of a plunge that has forced bookies Paddy Power to slash their odds against Mr Cowen not leading the party into the general election and they have cut them from 4-1 to 6-4 since Thursday afternoon.

Spokesman Ken Robertson said: "It's been one-way traffic all day with excited punters filling their boots. Everybody wants to get on an early exit for Mr Cowen.

"The Taoiseach looks to be in a very precarious place right now", he added.

Micheal Martin remains favourite at 1-3 to be the next FF leader, followed by Brian Lenihan at 3-1, Mary Hanafin at 8-1 and Eamon O Cuiv at 10-1.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny is unbackable at 1-16 to be the Taoiseach after the election with Eamon Gilmore at 7-1 and Mr Cowen at 20-1.

Irish Independent