Ken Clarke tonight flew into the lead as odds-on favourite to win the Tory leadership race.
A 7-1 shot when he declared his intention to run, Clarke is now the bookies favourite to take the Conservative crown.
The former Chancellor’s odds have shortened to 4-6 with bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes and 8-13 with Coral.
Iain Duncan Smith has been knocked into second place with odds of 11-10 from Hills and Ladbrokes and 6-5 from Coral.
William Hills’ spokesman Graham Sharpe said there had been some big losses after Michael Portillo was ousted from the final contest.
One punter had staked £14,000 on Portillo winning the leadership race while another had lost £10,000.
A Ladbrokes spokesman said they had been inundated with bets on Clarke since he topped the poll of MPs.
‘‘For a non-sporting event we’ve never seen anything like it. We’ve been absolutely steamrollered since the result was announced.’’