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Punters lose out again on Blair’s departure

July 27th, 2005

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    Even when he looks down keep following Lucky Tony

For the fourth time in just two years punters who piled in to bet on Tony Blair’s imminent departure are set to lose money on the political betting markets. In the aftermath of the May 5th General Election the price on him stepping aside during 2005 was just 2/1. On the Betfair exchange one punter bet that he would be out by September at a price less than evens.

More bookmakers are now taking bets on when Blair will go and the money is going on this happening later rather than sooner. The price against it happening during 2005 is now 25/1 and the favourite period is 2007 – 2008.

    There seems to be a lemming-type mentality amongst a group of gamblers who seem always ready to put money on Blair going at silly prices whenever a new issue emerges.
  • July- September 2003 Almost exactly two years ago, when the headlines were dominated by the aftermath of the David Kelly suicide and the Hutton Inquiry, Betfair launched a series of markets under the generic title “Government Scandal” in which punters assessed whether a list ranging from Andrew Gilligan to Geoff Hoon would still be in their posts on September 30th 2003. For a period the price on Tony Blair being being out tightened to below evens – that is an implied probability of more than 50%. The punters who bet against him lost – Tony Blair survived.
  • January 2004 In the run-up to the publication of the Hutton report at the start of last year Betfair tried to replicate their “Government Scandal” success and punters bet on whether a different list of figures would still be in post the following month. Again, though not for long, the price on Tony Blair tightened to a 50% chance that he would be out. The punters who bet against him lost – Tony Blair survived.
  • May 2004 During one heady rumour-filled weekend Gordon Brown became favourite to lead the Labour Party at the 2005 General Election. For a time the implied probability of Blair going exceeded 50%. Those who bet against him lost – Tony Blair survived.
  • As we said before the Olympic 2012 venue was announced punters should follow lucky Tony and those that did got a nice payday. The problem, however, with backing Blair to stay is that you are locking your cash up for as many years as he remains – which might not be a smart move even if the judgement is right.

    Mike Smithson






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