The chances of Scotland breaking away from the U.K. are getting smaller, at least according to people willing to put their money whether their mouth is.
The odds of a Yes vote on online gambling site Betfair have blown out from 3 to 1 to over 5 to 1 after a second poll showed the No vote holding a narrow lead.
The YouGov poll release late on Thursday showed the pro-union support back in front by 52% to 48%. Though that lead is narrower than at any time before the last two weeks it adds support to the earlier Survation poll which also showed the No vote with a 53% share.
YouGov president Peter Kellner said the poll showed the pro-independence campaign’s momentum has “stalled.” Though it may be too early to assert that with any confidence, especially considering the average margin of error for these polls, it is at least a sign that the increased efforts by Westminster parties over the past week may be starting to pay dividends.
That betting markets are reflecting recent polls is particularly interesting. As economist Justin Wolfers explained in a recent New York Times article:
Political prediction markets, in which people bet on the likely outcome, are all about evaluating and quantifying the full range of risks. And currently, bettors aren’t buying into the pro-independence hype … Prediction markets may not get it right every time, but they get it wrong less often [than polls].
It looks as if the Scottish referendum will provide another strong test of Wolfers’ contention.
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