Having shortened a little in the penultimate week of the campaign, the punters have deserted the Coalition in the final week. The odds of a Coalition have returned to the price they were after the second week around the 5.50 mark.
In the seat-by-seat betting there has been a trend where both major parties have consolidated their positions in their fairly safe seats leaving the battle being fought in just a handful of marginals.
On the Labor side of the pendulum, the Craig Langdon factor has seen Ivanhoe almost displace Macedon as the ALP’s most vulnerable seat. Former Ivanhoe Labor member Langdon is preferencing the Liberals and some think this might give the Libs their best chance of picking up the electorate for the first time in almost two decades.
On the other side of the pendulum the presence of John Howard at Eastland was clearly seen by some as a reflection of Liberal nervousness about the seat of Ringwood, prompting Labor’s odds to come in from 2.90 to 2.50. At slightly longer odds, there also been a little specking for Labor in Burwood, Prahran and Morwell. On the other hand the big improver for the Coalition has been Forest Hill which after looking 50/50 last week has now seen the punters rally to the Liberal cause. The other electorate in play is Melbourne where Labor is an easing favourite against the Green challenge.
Generally, the different agencies are now offering similar odds in every seat but one with a significant variation is Ripon where Labor’s odds range from a competitive 3.00 to a longshot 6.00.
So in summary with a day to go, the odds are predicting the ALP winning 48 seats and the Coalition 40. The odds indicate that the Coalition’s best chance of getting to 45 would be win Macedon and Ivanhoe off Labor, and defy the odds to hold the sandbelt seats of Mordialloc, Carrum and Bentleigh. Conversely, Labor could get as high as 52 by winning all the seats where it is currently favourite, plus picking up Ringwood, South Barwon, Morwell and Forest Hill.
Any result outside the range of Labor winning between 43 and 52 seats would indicate that the punters have been way off the mark.