The notion that betting’s a good pointer to political outcomes got thwacked last night
One of the things I keep on getting asked is whether betting markets are good pointer to political outcomes. Well last night we might have had an answer.
Right throughout the event and on the Betfair exchange the money was going on Nigel Farage who became a very tight odds-on favourite. This is what Ladbrokes Shadsy writes on his blog:-
“..on the YouGov poll that Ladbrokes used to settle the winner, Sturgeon got it. If weâ€™d have gone with other pollsters weâ€™d have paid out on a different winner, mostly Miliband. She was 8/1 at the start, came in for a little bit of support during the first half but then her odds really tumbled in the last 20 minutes, and she was 2/1 when it came to a close.
It was interesting to see Farageâ€™s odds come in very dramatically, very early in the debate. About 20 minutes in we were taking money on him at 2/5, which seemed odd, given that he was putting on a decent show in his normal style and no more than that…”
Whenever I’m asked about the predictive qualities of political betting I point out that favourites don’t always win and sometimes can get very overstated.
People don’t bet on politics to provide a predictive tool – they do it to back the their judgement in order to make money. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are not.