Monday, August 27, 2007

Polls and horses

The broad Australian community is in shock today as our horse racing industry is laid low with a dose of the flu. I’ve talked to several men who are almost distraught that wall to wall racing has come to a temporary standstill.

Even people who don’t normally mention the racetrack are panicking that the country’s biggest sports event, The Melbourne Cup, might be cancelled. That would be three disruptions in a row, as the cup falls on the first Tuesday in November each year.

Now as I was really going to tell about our upcoming election polls I need to explain just how I drifted into horse racing. It started with a recent quote from our Attorney-General Philip Ruddock; bearing in mind the polls are not looking at all rosy for the government.

Ruddock claims voters are sick of opinion polls and won't make up their minds on whom to vote for until the federal election campaign gets under way. "I think people have been polled out, quite frankly," he adds. Sounds like sour grapes to me, but…

I have added several Australian political blogs below, mainly for my own ease of access to some expert analysis. What the experts are telling me is forget the polls, look at the odds being set by bookmakers.

I can understand where they are coming from, gamblers look at the form, work the systems. They put their money where their mouth is. I look at the form, at some readers know I’m fascinated by election prediction systems; I’m just not all that familiar with betting systems and odds.

So given the concept has captured my attention I expect there will be a bit more in future based on the betting odds. For now I can say that in both the polls and the betting odds the opposition Labor party is set to form the next government. Well, it is a two horse race, so I’m not sure there are really any winners in the eventual outcome.


reality-based educator said...

Gonzo gone.

Cartledge said...

We should open book on who will survive the end run.