One of the hottest topics in UK politics – but no betting market
Whatever your views on whether or not the UK should hold a referendum on the EU Treaty, and regular readers of pb.com will know that there is passionate debate on the subject, the fact remains that there is as yet no chance for punters to back their hunches with a betting market on the subject.
Pressure continues to build on Gordon, and this week’s TUC conference will show the depth of feeling on the issue, as several major unions are calling for a referendum and there may yet be a vote at Congress hostile to the government’s stance (more here from the Telegraph). There are also said to be up to 120 Labour MPs who want a referendum – but how many of these would make it through a whipped Commons vote? – and some senior Lib Dems are also thought to be in favour.
Can Brown hold out against this pressure? Jackie Ashley in the Guardian has added her voice to the calls (will Polly Toynbee join the chorus?) and the tabloids have been loud in their demands for a vote.
Maybe in an echo of the calls for a referendum, punters should be calling for a betting market?
Obviously not a market on the referendum result yet (although “No” could be a 1/3 favourite or shorter), but a market on whether or not we will have a referendum by a certain date? The wording could be something like:
“Will there be a referendum in the UK on the EU Treaty by 31st December 2008?” (or a different date)
Maybe if the politics dealers from the high street bookmakers or Betfair are reading this they might consider setting up a market? It would be especially good to have an exchange-style market available where punters could react to the flow of information and rumour.
As I’m sure many pb readers will agree, backing political opinions with cash always adds spice to a debate.
Paul Maggs “Double Carpet”
Mike Smithson returns on 17th September
Paul Maggs runs The Election Game – click on the logo to email for more information.