A Happy St George’s Day to all our English readers!
Confronted yesterday by one of my tireless volunteers who smirked “I’m going to make money off you”, I was unsure whether to be happy for them or wonder if my overdraft was under (more) threat. But it turned out that he’d put his money where my mouth is and got 7:1 odds from William Hill before they shortened to 5:1 yesterday. This is encouraging but throws me into a dilemma because, as a sceptical scientist an with understanding of statistics, I’ve never even bought a lottery ticket.
I doubt that many local voters consider the betting odds before casting their vote but, unlike the pollsters and their predictions, these odds are life or death to betting companies and you can rest assured that such odds are not offered without solid reasons behind them. Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “As the gamble on the SNP winning the Election has gathered pace so have the suggestions that even leader Iain Gray may not be secure in his own constituency – and thus far we haven’t taken a single bet of over £10 on him winning the seat”.
Which is why when ELC Labour Group Leader Willie Innes is quoted as saying: “Quite honestly, this is just ridiculous. There is absolutely no chance of this happening. I think it is just bravado from the SNP” I get deeply encouraged. I have watched Willie’s plausible bluster get exercised across the council chamber for 12 years now. But, in fact, either he sees his Leader’s future as worth no more than a £10 punt or he hasn’t put any money where his mouth is. Either way, it seems to me he’s actually betting I will win.
‘Scuse me—I’m off down the bookies.