Where is the money going in Ireland's swing constituencies?
With General Election voting well underway, betting trends during the past three weeks may offer some clues as to which way key-constituencies are going to go.
According to Paddy Power Galway West has been "by far" the busiest constituency in the country - while betting has been the slowest in Laois where there are only 6 candidates, and three of them at incredibly short odds.
Kerry's Danny Healy-Rae is the most backed candidate in the country. Newstalk Brealfast's Ivan Yates analysis of the constituency suggests that only Michael Healy-Rae will secure a seat with Danny Healy-Rae missing out. If he can pull it off the bookmaker faces a "large" five-figure pay out.
Of the 550-plus candidates there are 10 who no bets have been placed on.
Social Democrats’ Galway West Candidate have been the biggest mover, coming in from 33/1 to 10/3 in the volatile constituency - on the other hand Fine Gael's Jerry Buttimer has been the biggest drifter, moving from 1/4 to 2/1.
The money has also turned on Tánaiste Joan Burton - she has seen her odds stretch over the course of the campaign from 4/9 to 2/1.
Here's Paddy Power's breakdown of some of Ireland's swing constituencies:
Leo Varadkar (FG) has moved from 1/50 to 1/100. His appearances on national media, and a small, but determined, pool of betting support, has seen the minister move to the top of the market. He and Donnelly would be looking to be elected early in the count.
Paul Donnelly (SF) opened at 1/8 and moved to 1/100. Little customer support, because his price has been unattractive. The party’s support in national and local polls puts him in a great position.
Jack Chambers (FF) opened at 4/9 and has gone to 1/18. The last week has been most dramatic, as his price moved from 1/8 to 1/18 in seven days. He is benefiting from a national rising tide for Fianna Fáil, but is also winning continued support from punters.
Ruth Coppinger (AAA-PBP) began at 1/4 and gradually came in to 1/9. Her targeted attacks on Labour have landed sustained blows on the junior coalition partner and Coppinger has put herself in a good position to fight the Tánaiste for a seat.
Joan Burton (Lab) opened at 1/3, but has slid out to 2/1. She started moving out in January and was 8/15 by the time the election was called. A series of poor poll results and her own lacklustre performances in the televised leaders debates saw her reach evens by February 11th, and continue to slide as the days passed. Despite this, she has attracted enormous support from customers who believe that a value bet may be found.
David McGuinness (Ind) has slightly moved from 5/1 to 6/1. He has seen some market support, but nothing that would force him past the main pack.
Dublin Bay North
Richard Bruton (FG) has sprinted from 1/18 to 1/50 on the wave of opinion polling and having the jobs portfolio as the economy improves. The market leader has gained little support in the betting, but purely because there is little value in doing so.
Finian McGrath (Ind) has made a strong move from 4/6 to 1/18. With a strong national profile, McGrath has benefited from the decent polling figures of independents nationally, as the electorate looks for reliable local candidates who might be part of a deal with the parties.
Sean Haughey (FF) has come from 5/6 to 1/3, but has hovered at that 1/3 level through the entire campaign, garnering enough support without blowing the competition away.
Micheal MacDonncha (SF) has seen his price fluctuate wildly through the campaign, moving from 2/9 to 4/9, before settling at 1/3. This can be explained partly by support from customers, party by having a running mate here, but mainly by his party’s fortunes in opinion polls which, if replicated in Dublin Bay North, would impact on his chances against such a large field.
Aodhan Ó Riordáin (Lab): At the 5/6 he was a month ago, but has fluctuated a little during the campaign. In spite of the party’s national poll figures, Ó Riordáin has seen his odds remain stable, getting no worse than even money, but the performance of others means he has a fight on his hands for one of the final seats.
Tommy Broughan (Ind): Stable at 5/6. A decent level of support in polls and in the market suggests that he is in contention for a seat.
Denise Mitchell (SF): Slight improvement from 3/1 to 7/4 as the campaign progressed, Mitchell would need a very strong performance and a good vote management by her party to have a fighting chance.
Averil Power (Ind) has halved in price from 6/1 to 3/1, on the back of significant support from punters.
Naoise O’Muiri (FG) has hovered around the 4/1 mark and has earned a decent amount of bets, but will need a decent personal vote and strong transfers from Richard Bruton to help him out.
Cian O’Callaghan (Social Democrats) has come in from 9/1 to 5/1 and has seen a huge number of bets. However, with the main parties dominating, it’s hard to see where O’Callaghan would get the necessary transfers from.
Dublin Bay South
Eoghan Murphy (FG) has eased slightly from 1/80 to 1/40, but is still, by some distance, the market leader. Little support from customers, who are looking for value elsewhere.
Chris Andrews (SF) has found support from the polls and our customers, as he moves from 11/10 to 1/9 in the last month.
Lucinda Creighton (Renua) has a national profile and gave a credible performance in the second televised leaders debate. However, her odds have moved out from as little as 1/25 in November to 4/9 now, as the larger parties mobilise their supporters. Still a likely seat winner, but not as comfortable as she would have liked.
Kevin Humphreys (Lab) has steadily drifted from 4/7 to 5/6 as he, like most of his party colleagues, suffer from a marked decline in popularity. Despite that, he has his backers among the betting public and will feel that he can win a seat.
Kate O’Connell (FG): Moved in from 3/1 to 10/11 on foot of huge betting support and will be challenging for a seat.
Eamon Ryan (Green): The party leader had been the party’s leading hope of regaining at least one seat after the annihilation last time around but, despite a lot of backers, his price has steadily collapsed recently, moving from 1/3 to 7/4 in less than two weeks.
Jim O’Callaghan (FF) has had more bets placed on him than anyone else in the constituency, but has only seen a slight improvement in his likelihood of winning a seat. Moving from 2/1 in December to 11/4 at the end of January, he has since returned to 2/1, but will have a fight on his hands to make inroads.
Glenna Lynch (SD) has seen her price halve from 50/1 to 25/1 as her party gains prominence and she herself enjoys betting support.
Mannix Flynn (Ind) has had significant market support, but hovering between 40/1 and 50/1 suggests that this market support isn’t shared by the constituency as a whole.
Michael Lowry (Ind) started at 1/50 and is now 1/100. One of the most secure seats in the country, and the clear favourite to be the highest first preference vote winner in the whole country, Lowry enjoys immense support. Little in the way of bets placed on him, purely because his price represents little point in doing so.
Tom Hayes (FG): Started at 1/6 and now 1/9, Hayes has drifted to 1/3 last week, before a large number of bets showed he was more popular than the polls suggested.
Michael Smith (FF): Decent support and has moved in from 1/2 to 1/4, as the polls (and some significant betting) improve his chances.
Alan Kelly (Lab): The Labour deputy leader has slightly fluctuated, but has largely stayed around the 1/3 mark, as he enjoys some decent betting and a solid personal support base.
Jackie Cahill (FF) is benefiting from the party’s revival of fortunes, but though he has moved from 14/1 in mid-January to 4/7 now, he will be competing against two sitting TDs for a seat.
Seamus Healy (WUAG): Has eased out considerably from 1/6 to 8/11. The Boundary Commission has reduced Tipperary from two three-seaters to a single five-seater, making it harder for Healy. However, his popularity ensures that he will remain in the hunt until the end.
Mattie McGrath (Ind): Slight move out from 5/6 to 5/4. Like Healy, the loss of a seat in the county makes McGrath’s task harder, but his national profile and his willingness to offer support in exchange for benefits for Tipperary should a government need the help, won’t harm his chances.
Noel Coonan (FG) has drifted from 11/10 to 15/8 as his party fails to ignite the desires of the electorate. Will keep in the race with transfers from his running mate, but only significant betting is keeping his price from sliding further.
Cork South Central
Michéal Martin (FF): Significant cut from 1/5 to 1/80. The runaway leader in the betting, the Fianna Fáil leader has benefitted from well-received performances in the leadership debates on television and comfortably retain his seat.
Michael McGrath (FF): Significant cut from 1/5 to 1/33. Like his constituency colleague and leader, McGrath enjoys a national standing and has seen a significant level of support as the party enjoys an improvement in its fortunes. Ought to easily claim a second Fianna Fáil seat.
Simon Coveney (FG): No change from 1/33. Incumbent TD since 1998, and enjoys a high national profile. Small number of bets purely because of his odds.
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF): Significant move from 4/7 to 1/7. Has enjoyed considerable support in the last fortnight, and likely to claim a seat.
Jerry Buttimer (FG): Unchanged at 2/1. No price change in recent weeks, but was as short as ¼ in January and is facing a challenge to retain his seat, as the constituency is reducing from five seats to four.
Ciaran Lynch (Lab): Drifting from 10/3 to 5/1. Has earned support with customers, but is in the firing line of voters unimpressed with his party’s record in government. Will struggle.