David Stuart

OUR SAY: Election odds are hard to pick

I AM always intrigued by the odds given to political candidates by major betting agencies - and how they often seem to clash with public sentiment at a local level.

The agencies often do get it right.

A spokesman for Sportsbet highlighted the research and polling that goes into the decision-making, although it's clearly not an exact science.

Their figures often seem to favour the incumbent, and there often is an advantage to being a recognised name.

But that can sometimes backfire spectacularly.

Just before the state election in 2012, Sportsbet was offering odds of $1.06 for Chris Foley to get back in, while LNP's Anne Maddern was a long shot at $6.

Well, they certainly got that one wrong.

It's interesting to note that on Thursday evening, Sportsbet offered odds of $1.25 for Cr O'Connell to retain his throne as Mayor.

However the odds were lengthened slightly to $1.33 as Friday progressed.

With two "big name" candidates on the ballot papers, it would not take much for a third party to create some waves.

But for now, I'm keeping my wallet firmly closed - this election is too heated to make an early call.