10 Aug I’m Betting on Julia Gillard — Literally!
Actually, I’m not, although I’m confident Labor will pull out the election. But I’m endlessly fascinated by the fact that people place bets on the outcome of the election — and that the latest odds are treated as serious news by The Age, the best newspaper in Australia:
Labor has been the subject of a huge betting plunge on it winning the August 21 election.
Centrebet received a bet of $20,000 at 10am, immediately shortening Labor’s odds of winning. But this was trumped only 40 minutes later by a $40,000 wager and then another bet of $15,000.
More cash has since flowed Labor’s way this afternoon – including bets of $3000 and $5000 – seeing the odds of Julia Gillard becoming prime minister shorten from $1.62 to $1.51.
The betting agency’s analyst, Neil Evans, said nearly $200,000 had been wagered on the election today.
Almost all of the money had been for Labor, with the largest bet for the Coalition being only $2000.
Mr Evans said the bets had all been taken in the wake of Ms Gillard’s appearance on ABC’s Q&A program, where she appeared confident and forthright under tricky questioning.
The ABC this morning said last night’s Q&A drew more than 841,000 viewers, the show’s best-rating effort since it debuted in 2008.
The betting surge had also followed prominent media reporting of an interview from former Labor leader Mark Latham, who accused Ms Gillard of patronising him and stroking his front.
The Coalition has now blown out to $2.54, Mr Evans said.
The opposition had originally been backed in at $2.27 over the weekend, its shortest price, after Ms Gillard was confronted by Mr Latham and endured an awkward get together with Kevin Rudd.
Frankly, I have no idea what any of this means. But the whole betting thing is still kind of cool.