Uncertainty over the betting market continues until the last
For months many have been saying on the site that the terms of the Blair departure date market added a level of real confusion so that what punters might be betting on is not when he is going but how the betting exchange interprets the rules that it itself set.
Given that all the consensus is that at lunchtime in his Sedgefield constituency Blair will announce that he is stepping down on the final day of June with the new leader being installed as PM on Monday July 2 you would have thought that this was going to be easy.
Yet the Betfair market has been on which quarter Blair will “officially stop being leader” and Q2 finishes on June 30th with Q3 starting on July 1st.
As can been seen on the chart overnight the there has been a changing view on what exactly this will mean with the sentiment at 0200 being on Q2. For by then, it is argued, the new party leader will be in place.
From bitter experience I have learnt never to trust that my interpretation of how Betfair will react
In September 2003 I got it badly wrong on the timing of Alastair Campbell’s departure when the exchange ruled that he had gone on the due date when he was still at Downing Street.
Then there was the mess-up in November 2006 on the US mid-terms market when Betfair decided that there had been a tie in the election for the Senate when the Democrats took control by 51-49. The only problem being that two of those who said before the election that they would caucus with the Democrats did not stand on the party ticket.
Even a clarification to Nick Palmer MP before election day that one of them would be counted was over-ruled when the exchange finally got to settling the market.
So take your chance if you want. I’m not risking anything.
Mike Smithson – author of “The Political Punter“