And they’re off!

paddypower.com has these odds for the presidential race up:

Michael D.Higgins evens
David Norris 9/4
Martin McGuinness 4/1
Gay Mitchell 8/1
Mary Davis 12/1
Sean Gallagher 40/1
Dana Rosemary Scallon 50/1

Looking like a two-horse race (candidates very rarely win with odds outside of 3/1). Will be interesting to see if these numbers shift in the coming weeks…

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8 thoughts on “And they’re off!

  1. Trust that this forum does not lose sight of its purpose.
    Following the details of Presidential election campaign may leave something to be desired.

    Unless political and institutional reform somehow or other becomes an issue during the campaign. I doubt this, given that the office has very little formal power to influence political and institutional reform

  2. To be fair, it’s more of a geeky interest of mine than anything else. I’ve just had a paper accepted on the usefullness of betting markets for predicting election outcomes, so am interested to see how they perform here.

    Reform may yet arise in the campaign itself, Iknow that Michael D has been making noises on this topic for a while now.

    • Matthew,

      Where is your paper being publihed? Fascinating area of study – I knew a guy who had worked out the likelihood of referendums being successfully passed based on issue polls at various stages of campaigns. Your paper may be of value to those who take a punt on election outcomes, of whom there are many! But it’s way too early to predict the outcome of this particular contest at this stage. Exposure to the public will do a lot for candidates’ prospects during the ‘real’ campaign and the odds will shift accordingly. About a week before the vote is the best time for reliable predictions as to the likely final outcome.

    • Colette,

      Expect you know the answer to that one. Norris is something of a cultural icon among the middle classes, the majority of whom will vote in this election. He’s also, very clearly, an independent candidate; so establishment parties’ candidates will leak votes to him from the same middle classes. On the other side of it, the older establishment Ireland – the catholic nationalist xenophobics – can’t stand the idea of him as President of Ireland. It would be the final hole punched in their already leaky, sinking boat of so-called representation of the ‘soul’ of Ireland. Can’t be having that now, can we, on either front?

      As it happened, in the final analysis the political establishment would have moved heaven and earth to get him back on the ballot paper as they realised the long term damage that would have been caused to their own interests had he failed to secure a nomination.

  3. Bookmakers have a much better record of prediction than most pundits. The reason for that is obvious. They have a vested interest in getting the result right and operating a market that protects their interests as much as possible. The initial price about Michael D. Higgins of even money now looks like a veritable steal – he has shortened to 2/5 with Boylesports this evening. I assume that the Late Late debate had some impact on the trajectory of odds. But it is mostly that the front runner has not damaged himself thus far whilst negative publicity continues to attach to some of the other campaigns. It could be that Gay Mitchell remains hugely over-priced at 10 to 1. If Fine Gael engage in a ‘full court press’ and get their vote out on the day he could go very close. 10 to 1 might look like a very tasty price two weeks from today.

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