Bet the Lodge: Coalition quickening

A cascade of money for the Coalition has turned the two-horse federal election race into one between Black Caviar and a provincial donkey.

The election betting markets have shown a flood of money for the Coalition in the past fortnight as it retains a 10-point or more lead over Labor in the public opinion polls.

The Coalition are now $1.04 favourite to win the election with Centrebet, although $1.08 is still available with Luxbet and $1.09 with Sportsbet. The best odds for Labor are a staggering – for a two-horse race – $9.60 with Centrebet, with the other agencies offering odds around $7 to $8.

These odds are extremely skewed, it would appear, given the election is still four months away and the Coalition seems to be running into a few headwinds with paid parental leave, industrial relations and its direct action plan to reduce carbon emissions.

For Labor, with the budget next week, DisabilityCare in place, low interest rates and robust economic fundamentals in its favour, one might expect the betting markets to be a little closer. Perhaps the odds will alter in the weeks and months ahead.

The various exotic markets for the election show a similarly overwhelming move towards the Coalition. In the 150 seat House of Representatives, the Coalition are $1.95 to win over 100 seats, a result that would make it one of the largest majorities in electoral history. Labor are $23 to win over 80 seats, odds that reflect the overall position of the market in favour of the Coalition.

The two high profile independents in the current parliament, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, are favoured to be beaten, at least according to the betting odds.

In New England, where the National Party have pre-selected Barnaby Joyce to run against Windsor, Joyce is a firm $1.40 favourite with Windsor at $2.70. It looks like being a close race.

In Oakeshott’s seat of Lyne the odds are strongly in favour of the Liberal-National Party with its candidate $1.06 to win, while Oakeshott is at $7.

Independent Andrew Wilkie is the $1.55 favourite to hold the traditionally Labor seat of Denison, with Labor at $2.30.

In the sea of gloom for Labor, there is one potentially bright spot and that is in the seat of Melbourne, which was won in 2010 by the Green’s Adam Bandt. The current odds have Bandt at $2.40 against Labor, who are favourites at $1.47.

The bookies still are pricing in a minority for the Coalition in the Senate. The odds of the Coalition gaining a Senate majority are $9 while $1.03 is available for those of the view that the Senate will be hostile to an Abbott government.

Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose.

For those with a gambling problem, please see www.problemgambling.gov.au

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