There were 3 polls out this week; Newspoll, Ipsos and Essential. While all 3 polls had the ALP narrowly in front on a two-party preferred basis, they also had both major parties on a primary vote below where either would want to be, making it difficult to claim they were on track for victory.
It just reinforces the fact that minor party preferences in key states, led by Queensland, will be crucial to who ultimately wins the 76 seats required to form Government.
Both the ALP and LNP are sitting on a primary vote of below 40%, meaning, on average across the nation, 25% of the electorate will be voting for minor parties in the House of Representatives.
In some seats in Queensland that number will be even higher, at 30% plus of the vote given the influence of One Nation, Palmer’s United Australia Party and Katter’s Australia Party.
While the polls are always interesting to watch, the betting markets also provide an alternative perspective on how the major parties are tracking.
Here is a take across 3 betting markets:
Across these 3 markets, Labor has an average of 76% chance of being elected. There is one punter out there that is so sure of a Labor victory that they have bet $1 million for Bill Shorten to win, which if correct, could see that punter win an estimated $1.23 million.
Just like polling, betting markets are an interesting indicator, but they are not 100% accurate.
Are betting markets a superior predictor to electoral polling? I will leave that for the academics to argue.
There are some interesting takeaways that have been published in recent days though.
Across the 3 betting markets, Labor is at odds of $1.10 or less to win in 59 seats compared to the LNP with 34 seats.
Of the remaining electorates, Labor is favourite in 23. If the betting markets are right, that means Labor is on track to win 82 seats, 6 more than the majority of 76 needed to form Government.
This would also represent a net pick up of 10 seats for the ALP. While 82 seats would definitely be a comfortable majority to govern with, it would be by no means a landslide victory.
Let’s look at some of the odds in some key seats under threat from independents.
Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah, both Abbott and Zali Steggall are at $1.88 each.
The seat of Wentworth, the Liberals’ Dave Sharma is favourite at $1.25 versus sitting member Kerryn Phelps at $3.55.
In the seat of Farrer, held by former health minister, Sussan Ley, Kevin Mack the independent challenger is marginally in front at $1.80 versus $1.85 for Ley.
Cowper sees former MP and independent Rob Oakshott at $1.55 versus $2.20 for the Nationals’ candidate.
Indi being vacated by Cath McGowan, has the Coalition on track to regain the seat at odds of $1.40 versus $2.70 for the independent McGowan is supporting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jody Fassina is the Managing Director of Insight Strategy and has served as a strategic adviser to MedTech and pharmaceutical stakeholders.