NATIONALS candidate Scott Barrett has firmed into $1.20 with online bookmaker Sportsbet to win the seat of Orange in Saturday’s by-election.
As of Tuesday, 75 per cent of money wagered on the Orange result had been placed on Barrett to win, despite continued criticism for the Nationals following on from a series of controversial issues.
Barrett’s price has subsequently been trimmed from $1.45.
Early money on the by-election had been with Phil Donato from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, however that money has dried up over the past few weeks, which has seen his price drift from $4 out to $11.
Orange isn’t the only by-election set to be held this weekend, with Wollongong and Canterbury residents also heading to the polling booths. Labor is expected to win both seats, represented by Paul Scully ($1.20) and Sophie Costis ($1.01) respectively.
“While all the attention is on the US election this week, NSW voters across three electorates will head to the polls this Saturday and it looks as though they will stick with the status quo,” said Sportsbet’s Ben Bulmer.
“The Nationals are near certainties to retain Orange according to punters, while Labor is tipped to maintain its vice-like grip on Wollongong and Canterbury.”
The Orange by-election was prompted by the resignation of Nationals MP Andrew Glee, who left his seat in order to contest the federal seat of Calare, which he won.
The Nationals have held the seat since 1947 and hold it by a 21.7 per cent margin, however internal polling conducted late last month suggested the Nationals could face a swing against them of up to 18 per cent.
This is believed to have been impacted by Premier Mike Baird’s proposed merger between the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne Shire Councils.
Also touted to be a negative for the Nationals is Baird’s greyhound ban, despite the fact it was overturned in early October.
Talkback giants Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, both of whom are stark opponents of both the council mergers and the greyhound racing ban, will head to Orange this week in an attempt to apply some heat to the Nationals in the days leading up to the by-election.
Orange by-election betting market
Scott Barrett (The Nationals) – $1.20
Bernard Fitzsimon (Labor) – $4.50 with Sportsbet
Phil Donato (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) – $11
Scott Munro (Independent) – $21
Janelle Bicknell (The Greens) – $67