Bookies backing UKIP in 2014 EU election
Bookies backing Ukip for 2014 EU election

Ukip have been placed as hot favourites to shine in next year's EU elections and cause a huge headache for prime minister David Cameron.

Bookmaker William Hill has made Nigel Farage's anti-European Union party 11/10 to win more seats in Brussels than any of the three main UK parties.

Those odds are way ahead of second favourites Labour on 6/4, while the Tories struggle to keep up on 7/2.

Influencing the odds has been the amount of funding being handed over by donors to Ukip and also the issue of an EU membership referendum, which has been promised by David Cameron but will not be held until after the 2015 general election.

Ukip generally performs strongly in European parliament elections because voters treat the poll as a protest against their first-choice party. Even so, William Hill pundit Graham Sharpe said the latest odds were still unusual.

He said: "I do not recall Ukip being any shorter than they are now. The Tories will be very worried that Ukip could split the vote in marginal seats at the general election.

"But a lot can happen in six months and there is time for parties to bribe their supporters with offers or for something to go wrong."