Thursday, 18 September 2014

Backing on more than YES or NO

Just two hours to go...

Indyref (see previous) has been a huge betting opportunity - millions of pounds have been staked and not just on the outcome itself. The straightforward YES/NO bet has seen substantial sums wagered on NO being the outcome and this, combined with polls, has seen NO consistently long odds-on with YES at much longer odds.

A typical market would be NO at 1/6 and YES at 9/2 (not symmetrical of course as bookies have to make money as well).

Beyond the simple bet (and the movements on the exchanges which allow positions to be traded and cashed out in advance of the actual result) are a range of other bets such as on turnout, the area with the largest YES vote, the one with the largest NO vote, the time the final outcome will be announced.

So what do I think will happen ?

The polls COULD be wrong - they have been wrong before but they would have to be very wrong for YES to squeak a victory. On the other hand, those on sites like politicalbetting arguing for a result of 60-40 in favour of NO also seem to be wide of the mark.

My gut feeling is NO will win by roughly three points - 51.5 to 48.5  on a turnout just shy of 90%.

As with many close results, this will only mark the start of the next series of battles to be fought across Scotland and at Westminster too.

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