In the last week of this long election campaign, a decisive political event has emerged.
And it hasn’t happened in Australia – it’s the international economic uncertainty arising from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
This plays into the Coalition’s major campaign themes about economic growth, jobs creation and political stability.
Bill Shorten has been arguing that Australians should change their government because Labor is more likely to hold down health costs for families.
But this now looks small beer compared to concerns about job security, the value of shareholdings and superannuation returns coming out of Brexit.
I’m expecting a 1-2 percent boost in the Coalition vote as a result.
Other trends are running the government’s way.
History tells us that last-minute voting decisions tend to be fairly conservative, with waivers sticking with ‘the devil they know’.
It is also worth noting that the Coalition’s spending on negative television advertising has become more substantial than Labor’s.
People often say they hate watching negative political ads, but have no doubt: they work in practice.
Objectively, punters can make an informed judgement pointing to late swings to the Coalition.
This is the key to successful wagering in an election: to get ahead of the information influencing betting markets.
Smart money should jump in on the Liberal/National Parties.
The Coalition at $1.16 is already very tight to win the election overall, so the best value will come in individual seats.
This is especially the case in Victoria, where Labor has been under siege due to the volunteer fire-fighters controversy caused by the Andrews Labor Government.
In his visit to Victoria last week, Shorten campaigned in the Labor-held marginal seats of Chisholm and Isaacs – a sign the ALP is worried about going backwards in the Garden State.
Let’s look at the value bets on offer.
I would anchor my wagers in Victoria around Liberal victories in three seats they currently hold: La Trobe (margin of 4.0%, with Sportsbet offering $1.50 for the sitting Liberal MP Jason Wood), Deakin (3.2% margin, $1.35 Sportsbet) and Murray - $1.35 for the new Liberal candidate Duncan McGauchie winning a three-cornered contest, following the retirement of Liberal MP Sharman Stone. Labor has announced it will be preferencing the Liberals in Murray, ensuring McGauchie can hold out the Nationals’ Damian Drum.
All-up betting in these three seats offers a $2.70 return.
I suggest betting 7 out of every 10 units in Victoria on the La Trobe/Deakin/Murray Liberal trifecta.
For the remaining three units, go all-up La Trobe/Deakin/Murray, adding 1 unit each all-up into upset Liberal wins in the following Labor-held seats:
• McEwen (0.2% margin, $8.50 Sportsbet) – The Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn has been hopeless but the firefighter issue will grab big-time in McEwen. With the margin so tight, $8.50 is excellent value. The weekend Galaxy poll had Labor ahead 52/48, perhaps not enough to hold out against a late swing.
• Chisholm (1.6% margin, $3.30 Sportsbet) – the very effective Labor MP Anna Burke is retiring, opening up a Liberal win at good odds.
• Isaacs (3.9% margin, $16.00 Sportsbet) – the sitting Labor MP Mark Dreyfus is a smart guy and good Shadow Minister, but he lives well outside his seat and tends to take it for granted. The Liberal candidate Gerry Spencer is a very strong local. Got to love $16.00 in a two-horse race.