I have a working theory that overall betting odds on elections are affected by what people wish would happen as much as what people think will happen. However, my theory is individual seat odds are less likely to be affected by the casual gambler and the betting odds are likely to be dominated by either (a) hardcore gamblers or (b) those with actual “on the ground” insight into what is happening – and both of these are groups I believe can offer insight into likely outcomes.
My next step is to categorise the seats into categories based on odds:
- Very Likely = $1.17 or better, implying an 85% chance of victory
- Likely = $1.18-$1.50, implying a 67%-85% chance of victory
- Maybe = $1.5-1.8, implying a 55%-67% chance of victory
- Toss-up = any worse odds
This gives me a better feel for the likelihood of an election outcome – in the past, this methodology has been successful at picking winners or identifying that it was too close to call (for the Gillard hung parliament).
With this in mind things look grim for the Coalition:
- If every single one of the 25 “Maybe” and “Toss-up” seat falls to the Coalition, they will only have 73 seats, with Labor on 74.
- If Labor win 2 of the 25 Maybe and Toss-up seats then they will have an outright majority. If they win 1 of the 25 and can convince an independent to be speaker then Labor will have a majority.
Final thought – while the Warringah odds are close, at pixel time Tony Abbott is still in front even after the GetUp polls showing a likely loss for the Coalition. Given that Tony is a high-profile polarising figure, I’m guessing that Warringah is also affected by people betting for what they wish would happen – I just don’t know in which direction…