Thursday, August 19, 2010

Odds on for an overwhelming Labor victory, say bookies

AT NATIONAL level, the bookies have Labor as overwhelming favourite to win Saturday's election. But at seat-by-seat level, their odds are pointing to a hung Parliament.

On the odds posted late yesterday by online bookmakers Centrebet and Sportsbet, punters are expecting the government to lose a net 13 seats that are notionally Labor after the redistribution leaving it with just 75 of the 150 seats in the House.

In the past 24 hours, the Coalition has swept to favouritism in the Sydney seats of Bennelong and Lindsay, which until now Labor had been expected to hold.

Overall, the bookies have the Coalition as favourites in 13 notionally Labor seats eight of them, seats it won in 2007, and the other five, Liberal-held seats which on 2007 voting, would be Labor under the new boundaries.

But Labor is tipped to pick up just one seat McEwen, on Melbourne's north-east fringe. And as the bookies are calling it, that would be offset by the loss of Melbourne to the Greens.

If all seats go to the current favourites, Labor would have 75 seats in the new 150-member House, the Coalition 71, independents three and the Greens one. To make the House workable, Labor would have to reach some binding agreement with the Greens, and/or one or more independents.

Yet at national level, few are punting on a hung Parliament. The odds are shortening, but late yesterday the hung Parliament was a $3.22 outsider at Centrebet, and $3.85 at Sportsbet.

That was about the same as the odds offered on the Coalition winning a majority: $3.60 at Centrebet and $3.72 at Sportsbet.

Labor remains the clear favourite with punters at both agencies, with Centrebet offering $1.28 for your dollar and Sportsbet $1.27.

Judging from the odds, the closest seats are now the outer western Sydney seat of Lindsay (which the Liberals are tipped to win narrowly) and the Darwin seat of Solomon (which Labor is tipped to retain narrowly).

In Victoria, Labor is firming as favourite to hold Deakin and Corangamite, and to take McEwen. Sportsbet still has Corangamite as the closest seat, but Centrebet's odds are now pointing to a potential cliffhanger in La Trobe, where Liberal Jason Wood won narrowly in 2007 and is tipped to do so again.

In New South Wales, the Coalition is now tipped to hold two seats it notionally lost in the redistribution (Gilmore and Macarthur) and to take Bennelong, Lindsay, Macquarie and Robertson from Labor.

In Bennelong, former Davis Cup hero John Alexander has surged to favouritism over former ABC TV journalist Maxine McKew, potentially wreaking revenge on the defeat she inflicted on prime minister John Howard in 2007.

But in Queensland, where 11 notionally Labor seats are at risk, the bookies have the Coalition as favourite in only five.



NSW (6), Queensland (5), WA (2)






LABOR $1.28/$1.27

COALITION $3.60/$3.72