Barely a day has gone by in the past few months when I have not been asked why the referendum betting odds were/are so out of line with the polling. Surely , it has been said, that if the polls have it level pegging or even LEAVE leads then why has REMAIN stayed as such a strong odds-on favourite.
I usually try to answer that punters are taking a much broader view than just the voting polling taking into account, for instance. the historical experience of the status quo prevailing as people actually get down to thinking about their vote.
But there’s another factor which has been before us all along. For whenever in the past six months people have been asked to state what they think is going to happen they have always said that REMAIN would win. In poll after poll it has been the same picture.
Take the Ipsos-MORI poll of just 10 days ago when we were at peak leave. The phone pollster was recording a 6% margin for OUT and things looked very gloomy for the IN camp.
But in the very same poll the same sample divided by 47% to 38% to REMAIN when they were asked what they thought the outcome would be. See here.
What the betting markets have been reflecting is that general perception not the specifics of the voting intentions.
The answer was in front of us – we were just looking at the wrong polling numbers.