Bookmakers have slashed the odds on a Yes vote in the independence referendum after recording an ‘unprecedented’ surge of bets.
Before the second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, all bookmakers had the Better Together campaign as overwhelming favourites to be victorious on September 18. But four of the largest bookmakers in the country contacted by STV have all slashed their odds on a Yes vote as polls have tightened. However, despite the change in odds and support by punters for Yes reported at bookies’ shops, all four of the main bookmakers still predict a No victory.
|Odds for YES vote 24/08/14||Odds for YES vote 4/9/2014||Odds for NO vote 24/8/2014||Odds for No vote 04/09/2014|
Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue said: “The main story this week is that the money for Yes is surging at an unprecedented rate of over £10,000 a day made up of smaller stakes. This is an all time high and represents the momentum for Yes perfectly. “It’s unprecedented for political betting overall. This is now the biggest political betting event of all time and for there to be such a groundswell of betting support for one particular party or movement like this is unheralded.”
William Hill said the £2m volume of bets it had recorded was a record for a political campaign with the placing of a £100 bet for a Yes vote in a Fife bookies. The bookmaker now expects the betting turnover to exceed that of both the 2010 UK general election and the 2012 US presidential election combined. Spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “The volume of betting has taken us completely by surprise and a turnover in excess of £2m was not anticipated when we began betting on the outcome. “The closer we move to polling day the greater the betting interest seems to be. “At the moment we are seeing over 80% of the bets we are taking being placed on a Yes vote. “On Wednesday alone we have taken bets of £8000, £2000, £1200 and £1000 for a Yes vote.”
The difference in betting trends across the UK with Coral are evident, with 90% of bets in Scotland backing a Yes vote whilst 70% of punters across England and Wales have placed money on a No vote. Coral spokesman David Stevens said: “The odds still have a No vote as the most likely outcome on September 18th, but as far as our Scottish customers are concerned it’s a different story, with the overwhelming majority of bets struck backing independence, although perhaps unsurprisingly it’s a different story elsewhere in the UK” It hasn’t all been strictly Yes and No markets available for anyone who wants a flutter, there are some other fun markets which punters may be interested in.
A Paddy Power spokesman said: “Punters have been piling on since betting began a couple of years ago and, with now just two weeks to go, it’s really hotting up. “After everyone thinking the No camp would walk it, we’re now on for a real nail-biter as we’ve seen a steady shortening of the odds for a Yes vote to be returned over the last week or so. “Despite a No vote still being favourite, we’ve already got some interest in odds on what would happen if Scotland were to vote Yes, including whether Alex Salmond would celebrate in true Scottish style – by shaking up a bottle of Irn Bru instead of champagne.”