More or less overnight, betting companies slashed their odds of the Swedish Pirate Party’s re-election to the European Parliament. Where a re-election scenario used to give you 8x your money back in a bet with them, it now gives a mere 1.25x. It appears the betting companies know something that Swedish oldmedia haven’t picked up on yet.
Late yesterday, the betting company Unibet slashed the odds of the Swedish Pirate Party getting re-elected to a mere 1.25x. This is lower than several of the more-established parties. Other betting companies followed suit, and no betting company is currently offering higher odds. This flies in the face of a press release a month ago, when the odds were at 8x, and Unibet issued a press release stating that the Pirate Party wouldn’t make it back in, giving negligible odds (1.05x) for the lose-all-seats scenario.
The Swedish Pirate Party holds two seats in the European Parliament today, with MEPs Engström and Andersdotter, and those seats are up for re-election this month and need to be defended. The Pirate Party’s MEPs have been successful in everything from defending net neutrality to being instrumental in torpedoing ACTA and outlawing “three strikes” schemes.
Therefore, re-election has remained crucial, both to continue this work of net liberty and civil rights, as well as for the overall narrative – that their initial election wasn’t a stroke of luck or a freak random occurrence, but a sign of fundamentally changing values in society toward caring for civil rights online and the sharing economy.
In general, there are two reliable predictors of election results. One is the ordinary run-of-the-mill polls, which there haven’t really been any in Sweden for the European Elections (which is a problem in itself); all the polls concern the local government, which is little more than a budget council when you’re a member state of the EU. Apart from the polling, there’s the betting companies, which tend to be notoriously precise as the election approaches – and the urns open on May 7, six days from now. Yesterday, they all slashed their odds for the Pirate Party’s re-election as one.
Therefore, there’s something the betting companies know that hasn’t come to the attention of the mainstream oldmedia yet. And to be honest, I don’t know what it is. It could be a leak from an ongoing poll before the results are presented. It could be a poll of their own. It could be patterns of betting that only they are privy to, and know through decades of betting management what it translates to. But in either case, this is a really strong indicator.
This has happened once before, on April 29, 2009. On that day, the first poll in Sweden ahead of the 2009 European Elections was published, and that poll predicted a sensation – that the Pirate Party was about to get elected, with 5.1% of the vote in that poll. That also happened, with 7.13% of the final vote on June 7, 2009. On that day, the betting companies slashed their odds from 6x your money back in an election success scenario to 1.2x your money back – essentially the same odds as in this dramatic slashing of the odds from 8x to 1.25x.
What information, exactly, is it that the betting companies have acquired that cause them all to bet on a re-election?