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Will the Irish Lisbon referendum be closer than we think?

August 26th, 2009

Could October 2nd produce another shock?

At the end of last week the Dublin bookmaker, Paddy Power was reported as saying that sentiment on the betting markets over the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum had moved more towards the “No” camp.

Yes is still the firm favourite but there has not been a poll since June and that suggested that more than 54% would vote that way. But it’s being recalled that “Yes” was leading ahead of the last Lisbon referendum which, of course, the Irish rejected.

The general theory has been that since the last vote the whole world has changed with the global financial crisis and the Irish might be less willing to rock the boat by rejecting the treaty again. I’m not so sure and the general pattern with referenda like this is for a level of convergence. Maybe I’m reading it wrong but I can see a turnout lower than last time with those opposed being more motivated to cast their votes.

Certainly the YES campaign ad featured above seems a touch naff.

Ladbrokes have it as Yes 1/5 with No at 3/1. The main PaddyPower market has 2/7 on YES but only 11/4 on NO.

The best bets I could find are on PaddyPower’s YES PERCENTAGE market where below 50% comes in at 7/2 and it’s 5/1 in the 50.01% – 55% segment.

Those two bets together seem great value especially even though the below 50% has tightened from the 5/1 that I got overnight. Quite why the less than 50% price is still not the same as the NO one beats me but seems to offer great value which surely cannot lost.

Mike Smithson