Bettors still backing blue


iPredict’s weekly update shows the grounding of the Rena has led to a weakening of support for National with increased support for Labour and the Green Party.

The Rena grounding has hurt National and helped Labour and the Greens, iPredict’s first weekly snapshot since the disaster suggests. According to the online predictions market with its 5000 registered traders, National’s forecast party vote has plunged from 50% last week to just 46% this week, potentially costing it five MPs compared with last week, while its Bay of Plenty MP, Tony Ryall, is now expected to suffer a reduced majority. Labour is up from 28.5% to 31.0%, which would give them 39 MPs, while the Greens are also big winners from the disaster, increasing their forecast party vote for the fifth week in a row to 11.1% which would deliver them 14 MPs.

The decline in support for potential coalition partners – Act, United Future and the Maori party, makes it likely National would have to do better than it did in 2008 to retain power. However iPredict is still forecasting the party would be able to govern with just one coalition partner.

Forecast party vote shares are now: National 46.0% (down from 50.0% last week) Labour 31.0% (up from 28.5% last week), the Greens 11.1% (up from 10.7% last week), New Zealand First 4.7% (up from 3.6% last week), Act 3.1% (down from 3.2% last week), UnitedFuture 1.6% (up from 1.1% last week), the Maori Party 1.2% (down from 1.4% last week), the Mana Party 1.1% (up from 1.0% last week), the Conservative Party 1.0% (up from 0.9% last week), and the New Citizen Party 0.5% (steady).

Based on this data, and the electorate results above, Parliament would be as follows: National 58 MPs, Labour 39 MPs, the Greens 14 MPs, Act 4 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs, and the Mana party just 1 MP. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply. John Key’s National Party would be able to govern with any one of the Greens, Act or Maori Party.

Given New Zealand First’s proximity to MMP’s 5% threshold, iPredict has also analysed what might happen should New Zealand First win 5.0% of the vote. Under this scenario, Parliament would be as follows: National 56 MPs, Labour 37 MPs, the Greens 13 MPs, New Zealand First 6 MPs, Act 4 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs, and the Mana Party just 1 MP. There would be 122 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 62 MPs on confidence and supply meaning John Key’s National Party would require the support of the Greens, or Act and one of the Maori or UnitedFuture parties.

Punters betting through Centrebet are still putting their money on a National win.

Money is continuing to come in hard for the National Party government to win the November 26 NZ election, bets in the last few hours include $10,000.00 and $3,000.00 at $1.11!

“It’s seemingly all one-way traffic now, with National into a hot $1.09 favourite, and embattled Labour out to $7.00,” Neil Evans said.

“This is obviously the biggest the Opposition has been since the head-to-head betting market was launched at the start of the year!”

Both Australian and NZ-based punters are taking the short odds on National, which now holds 92% of the stakes!

But there is still a month and a half until the election and as David Farrar pointed out in his Herald column events can undermine support for even a very popular government.

Bets back polls


The punters, like the polls, are backing an election win for National.

The Australian bookmaker Centrebet is paying just $1.15 for John Key to be Prime Minsiter and $5 for Helen Clark to retain power and the odds have been changing in Key’s favour.

Centrebet is offering $A1.15 for a Key victory, which has steadily shortened from $A1.47 since betting opened in February, while Clark’s odds have lengthened from her opening price of $A2.60.

Centrebet’s political analyst Neil Evans said 90% of the close to $A200,000 ($224,500) bet on the race had been on a Key victory.

“It’s been one-way momentum,” he said. “Clark would have to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and I can’t see that rabbit coming at all. The people backing her are speculative punters, just because she’s out to a big price. But the people that are there to win, and win only, are betting National.”

The largest bet had been placed by an Auckland man a fortnight ago $A47,000 on a National victory at $A1.22, from which the punter stands to reap about $A10,000 profit.

“That’s a very, very big bet from a Kiwi with an Australian bookmaker and that’s as good a statement as you’ll get that New Zealand’s headed for a change of government.

. . . But Labour supporters can take heart that Centrebet got it wrong last time.

The day before the 2005 election, the bookmaker was offering $A1.65 on a Don Brash win, compared with $A2.10 for Clark.

Whether you’re polling or gambling you can monitor and measure the trends but there can still be upsets on the day, especially under MMP which isn’t a two horse race .

Front Page Dogs


You know you’re in the provinces when the front page of the local paper has a report on the annual sheep and cattle dog sale.

Friday’s Ashburton Guardian story, headlinedTop dogs bring the big bucks, noted that dairy conversions have taken their toll on the number of stock dogs for sale: 122 in 2006, 94 last year and just 51 this year.

A five year old heading bitch, Queen, sold by Amberley farmer Neil Evans gained the the top price of $5600. The top huntaway made $2000.

The report finished with an explanation for the uninitiated:

A heading dog has a natural instinct to circle silently and widely around stock to bring them back to the handler, whereas huntaways are trained to drive sheep away and are characterised by their loud bark.

There are some of both breeds in politics 🙂

$10,000 punt on National Win


I’m having one of those fortnights this week so just caught up with this in yesterday’s Press over breakfast:

A Melbourne punter thinks National will win New Zealand’s election and has plunged $A 10,000 ($NZ12,720) on John Key’s party. The punter stands to win $A13,500 with Australian betting agency Centrebet if National wins the election later this year.

Centrebet has since firmed National in to $1.30 with Labour the outsider at $3.35.

“It’s one of the biggest bets so far, but we also have a London punter who’s placed L2000 ($NZ5,300) on Key at $1.30,” Centrebet political analyst Neil Evans said.

However, he said Clark has not been friendless in the betting, with a Christchuch punter recently backing her at $3.15, while an earlier Wellington punter staked $1000 on her at $2.65.

Would it be unkind to point out this could prove that only losers are backing Labour?

National opened three months ago at $1.47 and Labour at $2.62.

Over at The Inquiring Mind  Adam Smith has copied a letter to the editor of the NZ Herald from Labour president Mike Williams in which he argues that polls are losing their predictive value.

I wonder what he thinks about betting agences? They can be wrong, but their businesses thrive because they’re right more often.

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