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Four final polls published, two more to come, and it looks as though NO might have just edged it

September 17th, 2014

Certainly that’s how punters are seeing it

Yesterday the other bit of Betfair, the one that operates like a traditional bookie with the firm fixing the odds, announced that it was paying out on NO winning bets. This part of the firm accounts for a very small slice of its business and serious punters don’t go near. That they only had to fork out a “six figure sum” says a lot.

For just look at the betting panel above and shape of what now looks set to be a record for a British political betting event. The scale and interest has been enormous.

    I’m still nervous about the outcome. The split of 52-48 from the online surveys from Survation, ICM and Opinium look pretty tight and if YES does manage an effective GOTV (Get Out The Vote) operation tomorrow then who knows?

The problem with all last night’s polls is that they are online and maybe are not fully representative of the electorate as a whole. Most firms struggle to reach the young and so often we see their views scaled up by quite big proportions because the pollsters fail to pick up sample targets. You’ve got to have certain engagement in the political process to be in a position where you are filling in an internet survey.

If turnout is going to be as high as some are predicting then those voting tomorrow could including large numbers for whom the process is a novel experience. The Ds, Es and the 16-24s who might not be fully represented on online panels.

Against that the events of this week might just have galvanised the more marginal NO voter to turnout.

Whatever in betting terms I am a winner tomorrow having “traded” for the past few months so I take several hundred pounds whichever way it goes. I’m going to keep it that way – this still could be a YES victory or NO could win with a double digit lead.

  • NOTE that the fourth final poll was the one last week from TNS showing 1% lead
  • Mike Smithson

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