New, moving and interesting markets this week
The biggest story in British politics over the last few days has been the entry of Kenneth Clarke into the Conservative leadership election. Money in the betting markets has piled on the former Chancellor and pushed him into the second favourite position at 3.1/1, overtaking Shadow Education Secretary David Cameron (6.8/1) but continuing to trail the favourite, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis (0.92/1). All other contenders have slipped to 39/1 and longer.
On other UK markets there has been little movement. Gordon Brown is still by far the favourite to succeed Tony Blair as Labour leader, at odds of 0.28/1. Spreadfair‘s market on the length of Blair’s third term is at 118-129 weeks, forecasting the Prime Minister to depart between August and October 2007.
In New Zealand, Labour is still favourite to form a government after the 17th September general election; but a move in the polls towards the opposition National Party has brought the odds closer together. You can now get 0.55/1 Labour, 1.54/1 National.
In Germany, where voters will be electing the new Bundestag on 18th September, eyes will be turning to Sunday’s televised debate between the Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel. The market on the largest party has the CDU–CSU as the almost certain winner. A more interesting market is Spreadfair‘s on vote share, which has picked up liquidity and now has the CDU–CSU on 40.5-44.0% with the SPD on 28.5-32.0%. This week’s newcomer to the markets you can bet in is one on which parties will form the governing coalition after the election. The CDU–CSU and the Free Democrats, who between them are polling around 49%, are the 8/13 favourites, with a “grand coalition” between the CDU–CSU and SPD next up at 6/5. A coalition between the SPD, Greens and the left-wing Linkspartei is seen as unlikely at 12/1. Together these parties are not far behind the CDU–CSU and FDP in the polls; the odds reflect the unlikeliness of them agreeing a deal, with one wing of the Linkspartei being made up of SPD defectors, led by the former SPD chairman and Finance Minister, Oskar Lafontaine.
For those who prefer to play for pride rather than money, remember our prediction competition is still open till midnight tonight.
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Mike Smithson is on holiday until 5th September.