Archive for the ‘Political indicators’ Category

Conservatives favoured to win most seats

May 7th, 2015 Comments off

The opinion polls pretty much have it 50:50. The Owl Indicator has the Conservatives favourite to win most seats and to provide the Prime Minister.


The doubts about Abbott remaining Liberal leader continue

May 4th, 2015 Comments off

Federal parliament has not been sitting for a few weeks so the parliamentary press gallery has laid off on its obsession about Liberal leadership challenges, But out in the world where people are prepared to put their money where their opinion is the belief remains that Prime Minister Tony Abbott will not be Prime Minister when the next election comes.

The Owl’s leadership indicator, based on the betting markets, puts Abbott’s chances of remaining in charge at only just over 33%. That’s an improvement from earlier this year hardly encouraging as the House of Representatives returns for the budget session.
4-05-2015 liberalleaderindicator

An interest rate cut by Reserve Bank narrowly favoured

April 6th, 2015 Comments off

The Owl’s election indicator narrowly supports the view that the Reserve Bank board will decide to lower official interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

april 2015 interest rates

Toss a coin on Australian interest rate decision

March 3rd, 2015 Comments off

The Owl’s market election indicator cannot pick which way the Reserve Bank board members will vote this afternoon on official interest rates.

march indicator

And my opinion? I am as confused as the rest of the punters.

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Backing Malcolm Turnbull

February 26th, 2015 Comments off

For Tony Abbott it’s just going from bad to worse. I cannot see how he will keep his Liberal Party leadership.
I’m suggesting what for me is a major investment. 200 at the currently available $1,46 that Malcolm Turnbull will be Liberal leader at the next federal election.

See The Speculator’s Diary

Here is the latest Owl indicator.

liberal leader indicaior

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Punting on the Oscars – it’s Birdman for me

February 22nd, 2015 Comments off

I’m reverting to my normal practice of assuming that the punters don’t get the favourite in short enough when betting on elections. Hence 100 on Birdman at $1.70 to be best picture at the Oscars.

At least it makes watching more interesting.

My record on election betting isn’t bad either. See The Political Speculator’ Diary

Here’s the Owl’s Election Indicator:

best picture indicator

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An election designed to be about entertainment – Oscar voting

February 10th, 2015 Comments off

And now for an election designed to be about entertainment.

10-02-2015 best movie oscar indicator

Rupert was feigning disinterest this morning but his Fox Searchlight Pictures does distribute Birdman – the favourite for Best Picture.

10-02-2015 murdochvoting

Good to see the boss man being impartial and not trying to influence the voters. Just the same as he is with those editorial writers at The Wall Street Journal.

10-02-2015 murdochinfluence

I really must apologise for the innuendo in my earlier post Echoes of his master’s voice – Credlin should go




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Will Abbott last the leadership distance? Probably not

February 9th, 2015 Comments off

The voting is over and the market has considered the prospects. Malcolm Turnbull is still the firm favourite to lead the Liberal Party at the next election.

liberal leader indicator

And as for who will be the government? Little change on the day.

federal indicator (1)

Will Abbott be Prime Minister at the end of next week?

February 6th, 2015 Comments off

There’s not enough data to produce one of the Owl’s election indicators on Tuesday’s Liberal party meeting but here is one guide. Sportsbet had these odds at the time of writing:

abbott as leader

Call it a toss-up.

When it comes to who will win the next federal election the market has barely moved after today’s events.

federal election indicator


Given that the opinion polls have Labor a long way in front it is reasonable to assume that many people think there could be a dramatic change – something like a change of Prime Minister – before polling day.

A win for the LNP but not for the Queensland Premier?

January 29th, 2015 Comments off

A victory for the LNP but defeat for Campbell Newman are being pointed to by The Owl’s election indicators.




The real Murdoch message – sack Abbott not Credlin

January 29th, 2015 Comments off

The Rupert Murdoch I have known (and sometimes worked for as both journalist and lobbyist) is politically astute enough to know that calling for the dismissal of Peta Credlin ensured that Tony Abbott would keep her in the job as his chief of staff. A Prime Minister would not survive being seen to cave in to the public advice of his tweets. No. The cunning old fellow actually has Tony in his sights not Peta.

As I wrote on Tuesday: Be afraid Tony Abbott, be very afraid. The News Corp empire has determined that a Coalition government led by you will put Labor back in office and that would never do.

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Labor edges a little closer in Queensland

January 25th, 2015 Comments off

A slight movement in favour of Labor on the Ow’s Queensland election indicator but the Liberal National Party government is still the firm favourite.

qld indicator (3)But perhaps the approach of the Murdoch press suggests there are fears that things really are getting closer.

sunday mail shows the family mancourier mail

When politicians try and switch attention to their spouses you know their own popularity leaves something to be desired.


With a friend like Tony Blair who would need an enemy?

December 31st, 2014 Comments off

Hardly cheerful New Year’s eve reading for the UK Labour leader Ed Milliband on page one of London’s Daily Telegraph. Tony Blair, his party’s last election winning leader, and the most electorally successful politician in Labour history, declares that Mr Miliband risked taking his party back to the dark days of the Eighties and early Nineties, when it suffered a series of heavy defeats to the Tories. May’s general election risked becoming one in which a “traditional Left-wing party competes with a traditional Right-wing party, with the traditional result”.

Asked by The Economist if he meant that the Conservatives would win in those circumstances, Mr Blair replied: “Yes, that is what happens.”

Mr Miliband has repeatedly attempted to distance himself from New Labour, but has faced criticism for Left-wing policies, which some have argued are anti-business.

In a thinly veiled condemnation of Mr Miliband’s leadership, Mr Blair said that Labour “succeeds best when it is in the centre ground”.

“I am still very much New Labour and Ed would not describe himself in that way, so there is obviously a difference there,” Mr Blair said.

“I am convinced the Labour Party succeeds best when it is in the centre ground”. When asked what lessons he derives from his experience of winning elections, Mr Blair replied: “Not alienating large parts of business, for one thing.”

So far the opinion polls are predicting a better result for Ed Milliband’s Labour than Tony Blair appears to be if the Telegraph can be believed. The UK Polling Report website in its poll of polls survey has Labour three points ahead of the Conservatives – 34% Labour, Conservatives 31% with the Liberal Democrats on 8% trailing UKIP at  15% with the Greens on 5%.

The Owl’s market based UK Election Indicator similarly has Labour marginally more likely than the Conservatives tp be the party that wins the most seats.

UK election indicator

When it comes to predicting the party that provides the Prime Minister after the election things get more complicated. The greatest probability is that no party emerges with an overall majority

Majority government indicator UK


The reaction to cabinet and leadership changes? Support falls

December 24th, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Coalition does a few ministerial sackings and a little of Cabinet reshuffling. NSW forces out its parliamentary leader. And the immediate reaction is a general yawn of indifference and a market that marks down the election chances.

Not big moves admittedly. But a warning for both the Federal Coalition and NSW Labor nevertheless. The slides of both will not easily be turned around.

Federal indicator

NSW Indicator

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Force me to bet on the Australian election and I’d back the Coalition

December 8th, 2014 Comments off

The opinion polls showing Labor with a comfortable lead over the Coalition keep coming. At the weekend there was Galaxy putting the twp party shares at 45% for the Coalition and 55% for Labor. This morning Fairfax-Ipsos had it 48% Coalition 52% Labor.

It is an uncommon thing to have a government so consistently behind the opposition for such a lengthy period in its first year or so in office but would you really like to put your own hard earned on Labor winning? I certainly wouldn’t and if you forced me to have a wager I’d be backing the Coalition. To me the Owl’s federal election indicator considerably overstates Labor’s chances of being the majority party come polling day.

Australian federal election indicator

Now don’t get me wrong. Tony Abbott is an unpopular Prime Minister. It’s just that with almost two years to go one of two things will most likely happen. Abbott will change his ways or his party will dump him. In both cases the voting public will start to look more closely at Labor’s Bill Shorten.

To my mind Shorten is a man who will fall short under real scrutiny, bringing the Labor vote down with him.


The barnacles really are dragging the Abbott coalition down

November 28th, 2014 Comments off

The opinion polls have been showing it for some time and now the markets are catching up. The current Owl’s election indicator shows the Coalition’s chances of re-election have dropped considerably in recent weeks. The probability of a Coalition victory is now just 53.6%.


Labor still favoured to win election in Victoria

November 28th, 2014 Comments off

The Owl’s market based election indicator still has Labor quite a firm favourite to win tomorrow’s Victorian state election but its chances have not improved any over the last week.


To me this suggests there are believers in the underdog theory of elections alive and well. One chance in six of a Coalition victory is enough to make election night worth following for at least a few hours.


Labor becomes an even shorter favourite in Victoria

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

The odds about a Labor victory in Victoria keep increasing. The Owl’s election indicator, based on market prices, now gives Labor an 82.9 % chance of winning.

victorian indicator

Republican control predicted for US Congress

November 2nd, 2014 Comments off

The Owl’s election indicator is pointing to the Republicans ending up with control of both houses of Congress after Tuesday’s mid-term US elections.

The probability of the House of Representatives remaining with a Republican majority is put at 99%.


For the Senate the indicator has Republican control as a 76% chance with the Democrats at 9% and no party having control at 16%.


Details of all the Owl’s indicators present and past will be found at The Owl’s Indicators page.


The winning chances of the Abbott government edge upward

September 17th, 2014 Comments off

Take notice of the opinion polls and you would think that the Abbott government is going backwards in public support. Look at the evaluation of the markets and you would find the opposite with a modest increase over the last few weeks in the probability of the Coalition being re-elected.


In Victoria the market’s verdict is tending to coincide with the polls with Labor a firming favourite.

2014-09-17_victorianindicatorCheck out the Owl’s indicators on other events HERE.



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A verdict on Abbott’s first year – still a likely winner

September 7th, 2014 Comments off

I have dutifully read any number of those first year report cards on the Abbott government and find myself largely unmoved from my belief that governments invariably get a second term. Sure there is the problem of saying a promise or three must be broken, and that has upset some people, but the Senate looks like ensuring that the planned nasties like the $7 health co-payment do not actually happen. Something that could have happened but didn’t is unlikely to be worrying people by the end of year two.

To my mind the market is giving a better guide to how things really stand, and what will happen when the electorate next votes, than the opinion polls. The Owl’s election indicator puts the election probabilities as follows:

7-09-2014 australianindicator

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Backing the No vote again in Scotland

September 4th, 2014 Comments off

A couple of recent opinion polls have the gap between No and Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum narrowing a little but with the margin still around six points it does not look close to me. Perhaps that’s because I’m Australian and used to the No vote being the referendum winner except when all the major parties are urging people to vote Yes.
To me the $1.30 on offer about a majority for No is akin to stealing money.
I’m going in again with another $200 of my own hard earned.

Details of my bets on political events are at the portfolio page of my speculator’s diary.
The Owl’s election indicator has this assessment of the probabilities based on current market prices:


Categories: Political indicators, UK election Tags:

A debate ends and the voting in Scotland begins

August 26th, 2014 Comments off

The media consensus and the instant finding of the pollsters was that the Yes case for Scottish independence had the best of the debate last night which preceded the beginning of pre-poll voting for the referendum. But will it actually mean anything?

26-08-2014 scottishpapersondebateNot if the Owl’s election indicator is any guide. The No vote is a firmer favourite today than it was a week ago.


Voting day proper for the referendum is Thursday 18 September.

Note: The Owl backed the No vote at $1.23 and then again at $1.30. You will find details of all his political bets at the political speculator’s diary.


The Peta Credlin approach to Coalition staff recruitment

July 2nd, 2014 Comments off

From my internet browsing comes this gem from 2009 that seems relevant to today’s Australian politics:

2-07-2014 wizardofid

And perhaps this reflects the Peta Credlin approach to Coalition staff recruitment:

2-07-2014 speechwriter

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The Australia Post nonsense

June 11th, 2014 Comments off

I get bemused reading about the so-called crisis in the letter delivery service of Australia Post.

So putting those basic letter into the letter boxes of people every day results in a loss. A sensible approach would be to say we can either put the price up so it is profitable or reduce the frequency of deliveries so the service is profitable.

Which to choose?  Business might favour slower deliveries to keep down the costs of sending out bills but the voters, I guess, like their letters getting delivered promptly.

To me it is a perfect example of a problem that we elect politicians to solve.

But then, I’m an old man who remembers when Australia Post was just half of the responsibilities of a Post Master General who did not have the help of multi-million dollar a year heads of posts and telecommunications.

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A modest improvement in UKIP’s chances in the European parliamentary election

May 23rd, 2014 Comments off

The strong showing by UKIP in the UK’s local government elections has resulted in the markets making a five percentage point improvement in the assessed probability of that party gaining most votes in the elections of members to the European Parliament. Those votes for MEPs were caste on the same day as those for local governments but will not be counted until Sunday when elections in all European countries are concluded.

At this point of proceedings I am happy with my recommendations:
  • $460 on Labour at $2.20 to win most votes in the UK at the European parliamentary election
  • $450 on UKIP at $2.25 to win most votes in the UK at the European parliamentary election.

UKIP and Labour are both winners.

Full details of my political betting are at my political speculator’s diary blog.

Categories: Betting, Political indicators Tags:

Sticking with UKIP

May 18th, 2014 Comments off

A couple of new polls this morning with predictions on what will happen on Thursday when they vote in the UK to elect members to the European Parliament.

The  ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday had UKIP clearly doing best and gave an explanation as to why its UKIP figure was higher than that of some other pollsters.

One of those other was a YouGov/Sun poll that had topline figures of CON 22%, LAB 28%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 25%, GRN 10%. Labour are just ahead of UKIP in first place but the Polling Report website commented:

A lot of this apparent difference is down to how they approach turnout – YouGov’s topline figures are based on all respondents, if they took only those certain to vote UKIP would be ahead. ComRes’s figures include only those 10/10 certain to vote, if they included those who say they are 5/10 or more likely to vote UKIP’s lead over Labour would be a far more modest 2 points.

The betting markets are pointing towards UKIP polling the most votes with the politicalowl’s indicator assessing the chances this way:

You will find my investments on the event at my political speculator’s site:

Another short priced favourite on the interest rate indicator

March 31st, 2014 Comments off

On the eve of the Reserve Bank board’s April meeting the Owl’s indicator pointed strongly to there being no change.

31-03-2014 aprilinterestindicator


You will find all the Owl’s current indicators HERE.

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A reminder that shorty priced election favourites can get beaten

March 19th, 2014 Comments off

Just a reminder that favourites can get beaten.

I did not produce an Owl’s election indicator on the South Australian election because the only markets available were the very fragile ones of the corporate bookmakers. Just how fragile was shown on Saturday morning when they stopped betting after Newspoll in The Australian came out suggesting, accurately as it turned out, that it was going to be a close run thing.

The night before, when I checked, the major firms had the Liberals around $1.02 with Labor at $15. Take out the bookmaker’s margin and the assessment was round about a 94% chance of a Liberal win with Labor on 6%.

The result is still uncertain but anyone who took the $1.02 would be feeling a little uncomfortable at the moment. And the Kouk’s red rover should be sweating a little as well.



The verdict so far on the Abbott coalition government – what the market says

February 24th, 2014 Comments off

The Owl is a believer in the wisdom of crowds being superior to  pundits like himself when it come to predicting future political events. Hence he uses the assessment of the market to compile his election indicators and this is the early appraisal of the Coalition government:

2014-02-24_AUSTNFEDINDICATORYou will find other indicators HERE.


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A close run thing for control of the US Senate in November

February 24th, 2014 Comments off

There’s a lengthy analysis on the Real Clear Politics site at the moment on How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate? at the US mid-term Congressional elections in November that suggests the conventional wisdom of the pundits is that they are more likely to do so than retain their current majority. The problem the Democrats have, the analysis suggests, is the low approval rating of President Barack Obama,


Using what has happened at past elections RCP’s Sean Trend compiled this summary of  what the Democrat losses in the Senate would be for various Obama approval ratings:



This is a grim picture for Senate Democrats, suggesting that the president would have to get his approval above 50 percent by Election Day before they would be favored to hold the chamber. This is also consistent with what we’ve seen in polling, which shows the seven “red state” Democrats in truly severe states of distress, while Democrats in Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and Colorado are exhibiting surprising weakness.  If these 11 seats are showing similar signs of weakness in November, Democrats will have an extremely difficult time holding the chamber.  At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.

Well that’s one view of the prospects in November but the Owl is more inclined to stick with the wisdom of the crowds and look at how his Congressional Election Indicator assesses things. This is the market assessment for contol of both the House of Representatives and the Senate:

2014-02-24_congressionalkindicatorsYou will find the Owl’s Indicators for other events HERE.



Categories: Political indicators, US Election Tags:

No official interest rate change likely in March

February 24th, 2014 Comments off

The Owl’s interest rate indicator suggests that the Reserve Bank board will make no change to official rates at its meeting on the first Tuesday in March.


The “No” vote gains support in Scotland’s referendum election

February 24th, 2014 Comments off

The latest poll published in Scotland on Sunday shows sup0port for a “No” vote increasing.

2014-02-24_scotlandpollThe Owl’s referendum indicator shows a similar strengthening in support for the “No” vote.



Categories: Political indicators, UK polls Tags:

Ticket clippers, disappearing butterflies and other news and views Wednesday 5 February

February 5th, 2014 Comments off

A ticket clipping update. The head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Martin Wheatley, has told MPs that 10 banks were now helping with its investigation of foreign exchange rate-fixing. “The allegations are every bit as bad as they have been with Libor,” Mr Wheatley told the Treasury Select Committee referring to the interest rate scandal that led to banks paying $6bn in fines. And the investigations of the ways banks and their employees make a billion or so from the unsuspecting public is now going even wider. Mr Wheatley revealed the FCA’s probe had now widened, and “a number of other benchmarks that operate in London” were being investigated “because of concerns that are being raised with us”.

In the United States meanwhile, Morgan Stanley said it would pay $1.25 billion to the U.S. regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to settle a lawsuit related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities.

Not to forget about Australia where a court ruled that the late payment fees the bank charged customers by the ANZ Bank were extravagant, exorbitant and unconscionable.

The disappearing butterfly. The number of monarch butteflies migrating from the north of America to the Oyannel fir forest in Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains has dropped this year to a new record low.

World Wildlife Fund Mexico announced onWednesday that just 33.5 million individuals are wintering in Mexico this year – back in 1997, there were over 1 billion.

5-02-2014 monarch


An article in Climate Progress notes that although the number of butterflies varies from year to year — the long term average over the past 20 years of record keeping is 350 million — this year’s number is the 9th consecutive yearly measurement below the long term average.

Researchers have identified three major factors that are driving the decline: deforestation in Mexico, agriculture displacing key milkweed habitat in the U.S., and episodes of extreme weather along the migration route.

Our small time boat people problemReports the BBC:

More than 2,000 migrants landed on Italian shores in January, the government says, compared to just 217 in the same month last year. Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico said Italy was subject to an “incessant and massive influx of migrants” in 2013. He said that a total of 42,925 migrants reached Italy by sea last year, an increase of 325% on 2012. The figures do not include migrants who died making the perilous sea crossing.

Other items noticed along the way

  • OECD ‘debunks myth’ that poor will fail at school – “There is nothing inevitable about the weaker academic performance of poorer pupils, says an analysis of Pisa tests by the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher. Mr Schleicher, who runs the tests, says the high results of deprived pupils in some Asian countries shows what poor pupils in the UK could achieve. The most disadvantaged pupils in Shanghai match the maths test results of wealthy pupils in the UK.Mr Schleicher says it ‘debunks the myth that poverty is destiny’.”
  • New research reveals that unemployment is especially hellish in the U.S. — because unemployed Americans blame themselves for their plight.
  • Miles Kimball on the Extraordinary Inequities of Restrictions on International Migration – “Miles Kimball starts a train of thought that leads to the conclusion that our descendants 500 years in the future–if we have a good future, that is–may well likely to regard our tolerance of our present-day restrictions on global migration from country to country with roughly the same kind of horror that we today regard James Madison’s, Thomas Jefferson’s, and Aristotle’s tolerance of slavery.”
  • Why the Rich Feel Besieged: A Checklist
  • Lessons from the economics of crime – “In many settings, criminal behaviour can be analysed just like any other economic decision-making process, namely – as the outcome of individual choices influenced by perceived consequences. This column explains the advantages of adopting an economic approach to understanding crime. Furthermore, criminal law and crime-prevention programmes can be evaluated using the same normative techniques applied to health, education, and environmental regulation.”

No Australian interest rate change more likely

January 22nd, 2014 Comments off

After today’s consumer price index figures the market rates no change in official interest rates as even more likely when the Reserve Bank board meets next month.

22-01-2014 februaryrates

No Australian interest rate change the prediction

January 18th, 2014 Comments off

A fall in official interest rates by the Australian Reserve Bank is rated as being more probable than an increase but no change is the firm favourite according to the Owl’s interest rate indicator.

2014-01-18_interestrateindicatorAll the current Owl’s Indicators are listed here.


Scotland’s referendum date set and what are the chances?

November 25th, 2013 Comments off

The Owl is a believer in the markets being the best indicator of likely political outcomes. Hence the series of Political Indicators you will regularly find on this site giving a probability of various results occurring.

Now that the Scottish government has set March 24, 2016 as the date Scotland will become independent of the United Kingdom if a majority of Scots vote to end their 306-year-old union next year it is time for our first Scottish Independence Indicator.


Updated 18 January 2014

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