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.