Australia Politics By Jessie Cooper

Australia: Differing Opinions Between the Pollsters and Bookmakers

The recent opinion polls - Newspoll, Essential and Morgan - have Labor edging ahead in the race for a federal election victory. The betting market at bookmaker William Hill, however, still has the Coalition as a firm and odds-on favourite. So much for the theory of some of the political “experts” that the betting odds simply reflect what the pollsters tell them!


The current William Hill market has the Coalition at $1.34 to be returned as the government at the election expected to be held on 2 July.


True it is though that Labor’s price of $3.25 is the shortest it has been since Malcolm Turnbull took over from Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.


Upon the opening of election betting at William Hill back in September 2013, not long after the Abbott led Coalition’s big win, the Coalition was $1.36 about a repeat with the ALP $3. The Coalition briefly shortened into $1.30 but that’s as good as it got for a Tony led team. At the end of year one it was the Coalition out to $1.50 with Labor at $2.55.


The betting tide continued to turn in Labor’s favour. After knighting Prince Philip it became $1.90. Abbott survived a potential spill motion in February 2015, and the Coalition returned to narrow favouritism for the next 7 months despite being behind in the polls.

Perhaps the astute political punters believed that those poll numbers would see Turnbull replace Abbott. When Turnbull did successfully challenge for the leadership in September last year, the Coalition was back to clear odds-on favouritism at $1.40 to the ALP’s $2.90.

By late November, with William Hill having paid out Coalition backers nearly $70,000 as if the election was as good as over, the Turnbull team was in to $1.10. 

Then came a change. From $6.50, the ALP shortened to $6 - at which price one William Hill client bet $10,000 - and all the way into today’s $3.25.

The election now looks like a real contest.


Winning Party - House of Representatives - Straight 

ALP $3.25

Coalition $1.34


Exact Election Result (Bands) 

Pay on Winning Party and Their Total Seats Won

Coalition 76-80 Seats $4.50

Coalition 81-85 Seats $5.00

Coalition 86-90 Seats $6.00

Coalition 91-95 Seats $13.00

Coalition 96-100 Seats $34.00

Coalition 100+ Seats $81.00

Labor 76-80 Seats $5.50

Labor 81-85 Seats $8.00

Labor 86-90 Seats $13.00

Labor 91-95 Seats $41.00

Labor 96-100 Seats $101.00

Labor 100+ Seats $201.00

Hung Parliament $5.00

Hung Parliament? 

No $1.14

Yes $5.00


Green Seats - House Of Reps Seats Won

One $2.00

Two $2.30

Three or More $4.50

None $10.00