Finnegan's Take

There may be trouble ahead. Just one month ago, Irish bookmakers were offering odds of 1/10 on a Yes vote in the October referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. That means you’d have to bet €10 to win €1 – indicating that the bookies strongly fancied a win for the Yes side.

Since then, the odds slipped to 1/7. Then 1/6. Now the you’ll get 1/4, marking a significant loss of confidence. As noted previously, bookmakers were betting on a Yes vote in the months ahead of last year’s referendum, only for that lead to be steadily eroded in the run-up to polling day.

Last week, a report in the Sunday Tribune (a Dublin weekly broadsheet) suggested that focus group results are showing the Yes vote as being ’soft’. It seems No voters are in the minority but, of those who say they are certain which way they’ll vote, the No side are leading.

This means the large chunk of voters in the middle are leaning towards backing the Treaty but are open to persuasion.

Add to that a recent blog post by respected Irish Times political correspondent Deaglán de Bréadún. He says a government TD (member of parliament) told him the Lisbon vote is “a dead duck, a goner, not a hope in hell”. This pro-EU member of government was pessimistic because he said most farmers will vote against the Treaty (again), despite the main farmers’ lobby urging a Yes vote.

It’s going to be an interesting month…

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  1. Do theses bookers any past experience in political bets? What is their expertise in the EU politics field?

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