Brian O’Neill of Sportsspread.com told Slugger today that they have a seen a huge shift in money over the weekend in the political spread market. In just three days, Fianna Fail have had a surge in money, moving them from a predicted 63 seats up to 70. In the same period, Fine Gael and Labour have sunk respectively from highs of 52 and 22 to 47.5 and 17.5. PDs have seen some late money coming in, and currently sit at 3.5. Even before the Sunday polls, one senior FF figure put down a bet of €3,500 per seat for anything over 64 seats for his party. He could stand to gain between €15,000 and €20,000 in profit – if the current rate is even remotely accurate. Both the Greens and Sinn Fein are both stable and isolated from the main game, currently sitting one seat apart from the other on about 9 and 10. With a media blackout on party output for 24 hours before the election, it is hard to see which part of the horizon the opposition can look to see the 7th Cavalry to come riding over the hill. Perhaps the previous buried news that the current (former?) government had been planning 1000 redundancies in the Health Service might tickle a little momentum back their way?
O’Neill believes that in the aftermath of this election Kenny may come to question the advice proffered by Frank Luntz: ie that voters don’t like dirty fighters. His failure to engage directly with Fianna Fail’s punchy aggressive style may have turned potential ‘switchers’ off and in some cases run with the PDs instead, on the basis that it is ‘better to keep the watchdog on them”. But there are still two days to go!!
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty