Follow the money: punting not as tight as the polling
There’s no doubt that last week was a long time in politics for the Labor camp.
A better-than-expected debate performance from Abbott last Sunday had punters swarming behind the Coalition when I wrote my previous column for The Punch on the Tuesday – although some of your comments questioned whether he’d really cause the government any trouble.
By Friday, 85 percent of the money we’d taken was for the Coalition, causing them to shorten up dramatically from $3.85 into $2.50. All the chatter from the talking heads declared Labor’s campaign dead, buried, cremated following a series of damaging Cabinet leaks and the Monday Newspoll had Abbott neck and neck with Gillard.
We have taken bets of $15,000, $10,000 and $8000 in the past week for Abbott to cause the upset and I wouldn’t be surprised if the betting got even closer this week.
Our head to head market still has Labor running favourite at $1.50 to win the August 21 election, despite them having taken a dramatic tumble from $1.28 last week.
The bad news for the ALP campaign team is Gillard’s price is right back where Rudd’s was before his sudden disappearance. They’ll be asking themselves whether the political grief was worth it.
But this market still shows that punters favour Labor to win the election, which carries some weight given punters take a longer view of elections than the pollsters, who take a snapshot of how voters feel on that day.
A check of the betting on key marginal seats shows the government is performing well where it matters. And strong betting on the Coalition has failed to move their candidates into favourite in many marginals as Labor still has the overwhelming weight of money behind them.
In suburban Sydney marginals, Labor stars Brent Thomas (Hughes) and David Bradbury (Lindsay) retain handy leads over their Liberal opponents at $1.80 and $1.50 respectively.
And in Bennelong, Maxine McKew has barely moved in the odds and is paying $1.55 against former tennis champ John Alexander at $2.30 for the Liberals.
However on the Central Coast, last week’s withdrawal of Belinda Neal from the race for Robertson has not eased the ride for Labor replacement Deborah O’Neill who is out at $2.45 trailing Liberal Darren Jameson at $1.50.
In Queensland, Jon Sullivan (ALP) is leading Wyatt Roy (LNP) handily in Longman and in South Australia Labor’s Amanda Rishworth is favourite to hold Kingston against Chris Zanker for the Liberals.
But the upheaval of two candidate disendorsements doesn’t seem to have hurt the LNP in Wright, where Scott Buchholz is strongly backed at $1.30 after replacing Hijnal Ban, and Ryan, where Jane Prentice is favourite at $1.60 despite running against ousted LNP MP Michael Johnson.
So if, like the pollsters, you’re getting warm feelings for the Coalition on 21 August there is plenty of good punting in the marginal seats around the country.
- The Sportingbet Decider at www.sportingbetdecider.com.au provides a definitive form guide for 55 seats in play at the 2010 federal election; including seat history, profiles of the main candidates, location and an analysis of key issues that will affect the outcome.
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