According to the weight of money wagered with Sportingbet Australia, Labor has won more days of the campaign than the Coalition. After 31 days, the “Punters’ Poll”– Sportingbet’s term for the money wagered on the federal election – has favoured Labor on 18 of those days and the Coalition 13 times.

The big bets also tend to be on the ALP and as a consequence 75% of the money we’ve taken since the calling of the election has been on Labor. Yesterday we took the biggest bet since the campaign began of $70,000 for Labor to win, taking our total holdings on the election to around $2 million


Betting provides a sensitive gauge to the changing mood of the electorate and our betting ledger shows three distinct phases to the campaign so far.

According to our punters, the Coalition won week one. The Coalition’s taxation policy announcement on the first full day of the campaign immediately seized the momentum. The Coalition clearly won four of the first six full days of the campaign.

The debate at the end of week one swung things back in Labor’s favour. For the next two weeks, Labor won 12 out of 15 days.

Since the Melbourne Cup and the following day’s interest rate rise, most days have favoured the government again. Perhaps punters think the uncertainty over interest rates favours the government. Or perhaps Coalition supporters backed Efficient on Cup Day and had more cash to splash.

Meanwhile, Richard Farmer writes:

If you think that Labor will end up in nine days time with a vote anywhere near what the pollsters are predicting then there is great value to be had on the betting markets.

The Crikey Political Indicator, based on prices at the Betfair betting exchange, has Labor a 73% chance of winning with the Coalition at 23%. Take the average of the latest national polls as being correct and apply the standard margin of error and you would have Labor’s chance at 10 points longer. The people who put their money where their opinion is clearly think that the race is not over yet.



Perhaps they subscribe, as I do, to the theory of the underdog effect which holds that being seen as a certain winner persuades some people to change their vote to prevent the side they expect to win from doing so too easily. These are people who think that being too electorally successful makes a government too arrogant.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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