An independent candidate has been named third favourite to become Mayor of London after a betting "frenzy" forced bookies to slash her odds.

Siobhan Benita, 40, who lives in New Malden but grew up in Motspur Park, has edged her way to third most likely to win by Paddy Power, ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick.

The former civil servant, who was the first ever ball girl on Court No 1 at Wimbledon in 1997, has seen her odds of her taking office cut from 500/1 to 66/1.

Last month Ms Benita told the Wimbledon Guardian people wanted a “fresh voice” after seeing the same three leading candidates run for London mayor twice in a row.

She said: "I think Boris and Ken are extremes in that they are big macho beasts. I think I will bring a more thoughtful approach whether that’s feminine or not I’m not sure. # “I don’t want people to vote for me because I’m a woman but because I have the best policies and will be the best candidate."

The current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, remains the favourite at 2/7 with Labour’s Ken Livingstone in second place at 5/2 while Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick has fallen to fourth place with odds of 100/1.

One daring bettor now stands to win £10,000 on a £20 stake should she become Mayor.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said: "We’re usually happy to let punters nibble away at low key candidates’ long odds, but after being stung for £25,000 by George Galloway’s win in the Bradford West we are being a little bit more wary this time."