Why are punters ignoring 2006’s biggest elections?

Why are punters ignoring 2006’s biggest elections?


    This is your chance to bet on whether Bush gets a bloody nose?

In terms of global importance by far the biggest elections anywhere in the world take place across America next Tuesday. If the polls have got this right then the Republican grip on Congress is set to come to an end and there could be a spill over in British politics.

For after winning back the White House in 2004 on what was the biggest day ever for political betting George Bush looks as though he might get a bloody nose – and that could have ramifications for the rest of his time there.

The polls for the House of Representatives do not look good. Those taken last week have recorded leads of 11-19% for the Democrats, and although the arithmetic is not as simple as that, the “blues” as the Democrats are known appear set to beat the “reds”.

    But so far the election has barely caused a ripple of activity in the UK. On the Betfair exchange just £5,420 has been traded on Senate market and £8,632 on the House of Representatives elections. This is absolute peanuts.

Is it any wonder the Betfair is reluctant to open up new political betting opportunities when those they do have attract such little interest?

For the House the Democrats are 0.37/1 which is about the same return as you’ll get on Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership. The only difference is that winning bets will get paid next week.

For the Senate the Republicans are favourite at 0.56/1.

Mike Smithson

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