Betting on politics: the contest hots up in Australia

Craig Kelly © Alamy
Liberal Craig Kelly

Two weeks ago this column looked at the relative performance of the two major Australian political groupings in tomorrow’s federal election. I’m now going to look at some individual seats that offer value for the punter. However, you’ll have to get a move on – Bet365 closes its book tonight. The polls suggest a close contest, but the betting markets seem to disagree, as you can get quite generous odds on what are normally considered to be safe Coalition seats.

For example, at the moment you can get 1/6 (85.7%) on the Coalition retaining control of Aston in Victoria. Since the Liberal party won easily at the last election in 2016, with more than half the votes on the first round and just under 60% on second preferences, the value is in the Coalition winning again. Hughes in New South Wales is another safe seat the Coalition should easily retain, with Liberal Craig Kelly getting 59% of second preference votes in 2016, so I’d take the 1/5 (85.7%) on the Coalition.

Kooyong in Victoria is even more solidly Liberal, as the Liberals managed to get 63% of second preference votes. So, you should definitely snap up Bet 365’s offer of 1/5 (85.7%) on the Coalition. Finally, I’ll turn my attention to Casey in Victoria. While it is a bit more marginal than the other seats I’ve mentioned, the Coalition still won it with 56% of second preferences last time, making the 2/5 (71.4%) on offer good value.