Ministers blow up, odds blow out

Regular commenter Sinclair Davidson just emailed to tell me that the reports of Cabinet infighting seems to have been had a big effect on the betting markets. For example, Portlandbet last week had John Howard a 39% chance to lose Bennelong. The latest odds have him a 47% chance to lose it.

I’m still stunned by the fact that if you correctly back the PM to hold his own seat, you’ll make a 74% return on your money.

Update: Some bookies have stopped taking bets. An insider emails this unconfirmed rumour “The word from the heavies around here is that Howard is dead. The cabinet is stiching up a plan to have a bloodless transition to Costello in a few days’ time.”

Another update: Looks like my insider was wrong. According to latest reports, Howard will lead the Coalition to the election.

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4 Responses to Ministers blow up, odds blow out

  1. The betting can be skewed by a few big silly bets at the moment. Election betting is about the only kind of betting in which the punter can actively influence the outcome. The best time to look at the odds is just before the horses bolt out the gate. In an election that is probably just before 9 am on the Saturday vote morning.

    There’s a possibilty that JWH can get his mob back in. But even the most optimistic of JWHs followers know that it will be by the slimmest of margins. So slim that all hell will break loose inside the party as a bunch of Costellos, Turnbulls, Abbotts, Bishops and Nelsons will just have to challenge. If not straight away then as soon as the first by-election comes up.

    Unfortunately for the Libs there doesn’t seem to be an upside whatever happens.

  2. kiwipundit says:


    Interesting point about betting being skewed by a few big silly bets. Do you mean the general (which party will be the government after the election) odds or the seat-by-seat odds? In the former, as there are more punters, there is probably less likely to be a skewed result than say in the seat-by-seat betting.

    Still, what’s happened is that the closer the election approaches the more the polls and the betting markets are converging. The trend this year has been the polls locking in to a permanent Labor lead (primary AND 2PP support) since at least February, followed in July by the betting markets who will be government odds showing labor with shorter odds than the Coalition, and finally in the last few days with the seat-by-seat betting showing Labor for the first time with a clear majority.

    IMO the way things have been going for all year for the Liberals, with or without Howard as Leader, they’ll be very lucky to get a narrow election loss – let alone a victory by the slimmest of margins.

    If the pundit’s “holy trinity” of polls, betting markets and opinions of friends and acquaintances who are floating voters are correct (very likely!) Howard will be the first PM since 1929 to lose his seat. Oh well, at least the taxpayer will be spared a by-election in Bennelong!

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    The bookies are going to be very cross if the coalition win.

  4. Andrew Leigh says:

    It’s not that unlikely. While the polls are completely writing the Coalition off, the bookies are saying that if we held the election 3 times, the Coalition would win it once.

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