One bookie is taking bets on the election producing a Lib Dem/Conservative coalition, with Vince Cable as chancellor and the Democratic Unionist Party holding the balance of power. The odds are long, but given the uncertainty surrounding the vote, it might just be worth a flutter.

A quick canvas of the timber trade provides no clearer indicator of who’s going to win on May 6. It’s just as split as the wider electorate over support for the various parties. But the sector is united on not wanting a too-close-to-call election resulting in a too-divided-to-make-up-its-mind government.

As a result a hung parliament didn’t get too many votes. The reason was not politicians’ scaremongering about a coalition leading to a downgrading of the UK’s credit rating. It was because companies fear it would not be equipped to the make rapid, clear-cut decisions on such things as public spending cuts and the level of social housing provision which they need so they can plan and customers and suppliers can have confidence in doing business with them.

The good news, according to a recent magazine article, is that the wood and forestry sectors now register strongly on the radar of all three of the UK’s main political parties. The caution here, though, is that they are weighing up the uses to which timber and forests can be put.

All three seem convinced by the benefits of wood energy, as do the Scots Nats, and the purely environmental value of the forest also figures high in their thinking. So whoever forms the new government, the industry has to make sure they quickly get its timber message, which makes Timber Trade Federation president Kevin Hayes’ latest forceful plea for more backing for the wood for good promotional campaign very timely.

One group that will be out to bend the new government’s ear will be environmental NGOs, so the industry also needs to understand their take on timber, forestry and biofuel. Which is why we asked the WWF to give us their views on all three for our Environment Focus this week.

And if you do place that election bet, remember to pay the tax up front so chancellor Cable won’t have a claim on your enormous winnings.