BET THE LODGE: Swing blade

With the odds of a Coalition victory shortening toward the uneconomic, the bookies have turned their attention to how far the swing against safe Labor seats will be.

It’s all but over. Tony Abbott can book the removalists for 15 September to pack up his goods and chattels in Sydney and move them to the Lodge in Canberra. 

The election betting odds have further tightened in favour of the Coalition winning the election on 14 September. The Coalition are as short as $1.05, while $1.07 to $1.10 is available. Labor is a rank outsider with odds as wide as $8.00.

With less than five months to go to election, the conventional wisdom is that a lot might happen to bring the two main parties closer together. Labor has a budget to deliver, the Rudd destabilisation and division has ended, interest rates are low and there is certain to be closer scrutiny of the Coalition’s policies as election day draws closer. Are these issues that can change voter sentiment?

Punters and the betting agencies clearly are saying “no”.

A number of the betting agencies are offering odds on individual electorates and there are some interesting favourites in the early markets which reflect the overall hot favouritism of the Coalition.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is a line ball bet to lose his seat of Lilley. Labor are $1.90 while the Coalition is the $1.85 favourite. If Labor lose Lilley, the Coalition majority in the 150 member House of Representatives would likely to be at least 40.

In New South Wales, the stink from state Labor is showing up in the betting markets in most electorates. In Banks, where Labor currently has a small 1.5 per cent margin in its favour, the Coalition are almost unbackable favourites at $1.11 with Labor at $5.00 to hold it.

Seemingly safe Labor seats in NSW are at huge risk of falling to the Coalition. In Blaxland, with a 12.2 per cent margin, Labor are $1.46 with the Coalition $2.42. In Chifley, where Labor has a 12.3 per cent margin, Labor are $1.20 versus the Coalition at $3.75. In Eden-Monaro, a seat that has gone the way of the government elect for 40 years and has a 4.2 per cent margin, the Coalition is a hot $1.44 favourite against Labor at $2.50. The Coalition are also warm to hot favourites in Labor held seats of Parramatta, Robertson and Barton.

If the betting market favourites prevail in each electorate, the Coalition will win in a landslide.

One market that seemed curious is the $1.08 offered for Labor winning the seat of Canberra. Gai Brodtmann holds Canberra with a quite substantial 9.2 per cent margin. With the Coalition promising to cut 20,000 public service jobs, admittedly not all in Canberra, one would expect a solid win for Ms Brodtmann and odds more like the $1.01 on offer for Mr Abbott in Warringah.

*  The odds are subject to change and the bookmakers reserve the right to refuse bets. Wager only what you can afford to lose.

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