AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? The battle of the Independents.

AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? The battle of the Independents.

Following on from previous odds-analysis, from Paddy Power’s spread on the Assembly Election constituencies, what about those with a more solitary route to election, or in some cases, re-election? Some constituencies have more independents than others, Foyle and East Antrim have just one apiece. North Down however has 3, and West Tyrone tops that particular league table with 4. But what do the bookies make of their chances? Not much, I’m afraid. East Londonderry If you’re running as an independent, this is the place to be. Both independents are odds-on for election, the best available odds on an independent by a furlong (or five). Claire Sugden is in the key-five spots at 4/9, returning just £0.44 on a £1 bet, and Gerry Mullan slightly outside of Sugden at 5/6, giving you £0.83 on your quid stake. Why such short odds? Re-election, that’s why. The odds-settters are clearly weighting the stakes in favour of re-election bids. Both of these candidates have a party history though, Sugden worked for the late David McClarty, who was in his later years an independent himself, but originally in the UUP. Gerry Mullan is a much more interesting tale, having been elected in 2016 as the SDLP MLA for the constituency, only to be de-selected for the 2017 race, sparking his race as an independent candidate (and a legal battle was suggested in the press). It’s incredibly unlikely that both of these independents could scrape in, but the fact that two party-less candidates are in the odds-on range does much to dispel the suggestion that the reduction from 6 seats to 5 per constituency could...
AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? Outside the top 5

AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? Outside the top 5

Continuing on from yesterday’s post about the average returns offered by Paddy Power for each party’s full candidate list in the 2017 Assembly election, now I think would be a good time to look at the likely fallers, to use gambling parlance. In the 2017 Assembly election, there will be 5 candidates returned for each constituency, compared to 6 in previous elections. This will bring the total number of MLAs down from 108 to just 90. There are some who suggest that this will potentially hurt the smaller parties more than the larger ones, whilst that is true of sorts, it’s not the whole story. Yes, People before Profit might lose 1 seat, and the DUP might lose 8; the DUP obviously will be losing more MLAs, but that 1 loss for PBP will be 50% of their total MLAs, whereas the DUP would only be losing 22%. Swings and roundabouts, perhaps, but plurality of voice could be hit in this election. So, let’s see which notable figures, according to Paddy Power, are outside of the top 5 favourites in this election. Belfast East Straight off the bat, in with a potential big faller. The under-siege Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Newton. Currently sitting at 5/6, as the sixth favourite, still odds-on to be returned, but outside of the 5 strong favourites. Following yesterday’s article, a point was made to me that these odds are likely based on the form of the candidates from the 2016 Assembly election, and this is likely a big influencer on the odds given, however – the third favourite in this race, is David...
AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? Average Returns

AE17 and Paddy Power – what do the odds say? Average Returns

It’s always interesting reading the analysis and predictions of political watchers, especially closing in on an election. The thing is, the likes of Alex Kane, Newton Emerson, Allison Morris, and David McCann all have one thing in common – they don’t really stand to lose anything if they’re wrong. Maybe a bit of egg on the face, or maybe standing in a dress at the steps of Stormont… As happened above when Alex Kane dared to suggest that Clare Bailey of the Green Party wouldn’t succeed in 2016. He was wrong. You know who does stand to lose if its predictions are wrong? Bookies. Which brings me to Paddy Power – who offer odds on all candidates *in the 2017a Assembly Election (why a? Because I suspect there’ll be a b…). *except one… they missed an independent candidate from Fermanagh & South Tyrone I took a deep look at the odds offered, and will try, over the next couple of days, to highlight some interesting points from the betting stakes. WHO OFFERS THE WORST RETURN ON YOUR MONEY? Assuming that you were to bet £1 on ALL of a party’s candidate – what is the worst average return offered? As odds work, if you aren’t aware, the lower the money offered back in return for your bet, the more likely it is to happen. Which is to say, that over a spread of candidates, the lower the reward, the likelier the result. If I was to bet £1 on someone at odds of 20/1, I would win £20 (plus the return of my £1 stake). If I was to bet £1 on...

#AE17 – What Are The Options? Direct Rule…?

The most recent Northern Ireland Executive was made up of Sinn Féin and the DUP, with the addition of the blesséd peacemaker, Claire Sugden as Justice Minister. And, mathematically, barring some absolutely generation-shattering political revolution, those two parties will return as the largest once again. On a linear basis, what are the likely outcomes from the Unionist and Nationalist parties, we’re hearing so much about the twin poles on offer, let’s be real. Largest two parties from unionist and nationalist designations: DUP and Sinn Féin – DUP have made it abundantly clear that they won’t be enacting such previously (disputed) signed agreements as the St. Andrew’s Agreement. No Irish Language Act. – Sinn Féin have made it abundantly clear that they won’t be returning “to the status quo” – which is widely regarded as meaning having Arlene Foster as First Minister. If we allow for an element of reason to be applied here, if Arlene Foster is shown by a public inquiry to be completely and utterly cleared of wrongdoing, corruption, cronyism, ineptitude or incompetence… Sinn Féin would have to step back from this brink. That, however, seems unlikely purely on a calendar basis… the results of that aren’t expected for some time. One DUP source tells me they don’t expect a report back on the inquiry until Autumn, and a Sinn Féin source tells me they aren’t expecting results until June at the earliest. Sinn Féin have also made it clear they won’t be joining an Executive which won’t endorse those previously (disputed) signed agreements which give provision for, amongst other things, an Irish Language Act (even though they...

The pejorative language of religion

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes. I am an Atheist. Or actually, I’m a non-theist. Or is it Humanist… Language tells us everything, its importance cannot be underestimated. But when it comes to common parlance, the language of the day-to-day, the centuries old pervasiveness of religion in language is hard to avoid. I try, but, as a mere mortal, I fail. It frustrates me to hear an atheist say, “I don’t believe in God.” Do you mean the Christian God? The God referred to by the name “God”? Or do you mean gods, plural, all of them…? I always try to make the effort when saying such things, to phrase it as, “I don’t believe in any gods.” It just feels more accurate; it’s difficult as a non-theist to give any special credence to the religion identified with most prominently in my geographic locality, I don’t believe in the Christian God any more or less than I disbelieve in Queztalcoatl, Zeus, Thor, or Vishnu. But when I’m surprised, I may say, “Oh god.” When I’m expressing my disbelief or shock at something, I may exclaim, “Jesus Christ!” Goddammit, Christ alive, and others – all phrases that mean something, mean everything, and mean nothing – depending on your perspective. It is challenging not to fall into the deistic linguistic trap of giving status to what I believe to be an utter myth, as it owns so much of our culture. It genuinely is tough to keep a check on language which gives that special status...