Jude Collins, Eoghan Harris & an ill-conceived wager

It’s sometimes hard to predict what people will say or do when the heat is on and the blood is up. Eoghan Harris must be rueing the moment he thought it a good idea to goad the assembled crowd at West Belfast’s Talk Back event in August 2007. On that occasion, he seemed to relish informing the largely republican audience that Sinn Fein would be finished off by Fianna Fail in the next General Election. Seizing the moment, writer and broadcaster, Jude Collins, made a very public bet with the veteran anti-republican Harris, with the latter offering odds of 10/1 on a £100 bet that Sinn Fein would win no seats in the next election.

 Now, predicting the voting intentions of the general public a month prior to polling day is normally a precarious occupation, but doing so several years ahead of a return to the polls is downright careless….and, it appears, costly.