Mayor Competition Results – how did you do?
Congratulations to Andy Cooke, one of pb’s leading analysts and number-crunchers, on a clear victory in the PB London Mayor prediction competition. Andy’s overall score was just 5.07 and he also had the best first preference score of 4.59. Richard Stoneman was runner-up with a score of 6.87 while Dave Hague took third with 7.39. Fourth-placed Jack Peterson on 7.71 had the best final vote predictions, being just 0.12 away from the actual result.
The full results are available to download here:
Now that Boris has his feet firmly under the desk, a final thought – could Ken be the best available Labour candidate to take him on in 2012, or would they be better off with someone new – experience or a fresh face? Might Livingstone still be the only politician of stature to take on Johnson in four years time, or would he simply look well past his sell-by date? Ladbrokes quote Ken at 10/1 for a 2012 win, or there’s Paddick at 200 for the more adventurous.
Crewe & Nantwich – markets now open for business
Punters will probably be itching to place bets after all the excitement of the Mayor and the locals, and the good news is that the markets for what could be the most important by-election in years are now open. Shadsy has flagged up the Ladbrokes market where they go Conservatives 4/5, Labour 7/4 and Lib Dems 4/1. Personally I think the Conservatives will take their first by-election gain since 1982 and so I’ve made the first trade on Betfair (the “tissue” here is as per the Magic Sign prices) with (Â£20) at 1.8 – for the Tories it’s a case of “if not now, then when?” and I think that Tamsin Dunwoody won’t be enough to keep the seat in the red column. This will be the key betting event for the next fortnight – please use the PB betting links to help keep the site going. (7.45 update – now 4/6, 2/1, 9/2)
Bye Bye Bertie, hello Dmitry
Not one but two countries will have new leaders tomorrow – Bertie Ahern will submit his resignation as Taoiseach to President McAleese this evening, but will continue as caretaker PM until Brian Cowen’s expected election in the DÃ¡il tomorrow afternoon, while Dmitry Medvedev (making, as Morus has rightly pointed out, a major contribution to the shortest ever G8 leadership) will take over at the Kremlin from Putin tomorrow, following his election in March.
Key questions for Russia watchers are to what extent if any Medvedev will differ from his predecessor’s policies, and how Putin’s new role as PM and head of the United Russia party will unfold vis-a-vis the new president. Meanwhile, Berlusconi is waiting in the wings to take over in Italy, although disconcertingly for those used to UK-style swift changes in government, Prodi is still in the post of Presidente.
Olmert facing new criminal probe – will Shas pull the plug on Kadima?
Israel is another country which may soon see a change at the top – the gagging order on the new criminal probe into PM Ehud Olmert will not be lifted before Independence Day, which begins Wednesday night. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been mooted as a possible replacement should the Kadima-led 4-party coalition manage to survive Olmert’s departure.
However, even if Ehud Barak’s Labor aren’t keen on early elections, the rest of the government looks shaky – three MKs (MPs) from the Pensioners’ Party Gil jumped ship at the weekend, and and on Monday Shas threatened to quit, following reports of progress in the talks with the Palestinians. Could it be Shas with their spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef who finally bring down the two-year old Kadima-led government, prompting early elections (September has been mooted) and the likely return of Benjamin Netanyahu at the head of a Likud administration?
Coming up on PB – Indiana and North Carolina
There’ll be full coverage of today’s primaries in the Hoosier and Tar Heel states – polls close at 11pm/midnight in Indiana (6pm Eastern/Central) and 12.30 in North Carolina (7.30 Eastern).
Don’t forget to use the betting links to help keep Politicalbetting going: