Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How hung?

I was with the assistant editor of The Times, Andrew Pierce, yesterday. We were in Soho House for a talk he was giving about - well no-one was quite sure until he gave it (least of all him, I suspect..)

It was actually a fascinating insight into the kind of thing journalists deal with every day. An incisive analysis of the recent Bush/Blair spat - and then of the relative chances of Labour, the Conservative and (even) the LibDems at the next General Election.

But what for what will happen in an election post-Blair? Andrew said 'put your money on a hung parliament'. So I did, at Betfair.

The odds at the moment are 2.38 - 1 for hung, 3.05 - 1 for Tory and 3.75 for a Labour victory. This makes interesting reading! I have, by the way, the utmost regard for Betfair for predicting political outcomes. As a metric it is almost never wrong in it's analysis of the situation to-date in terms of what will actually happen! I feel what people qualified enough to have an opinion yet also prepared to put cold hard cash toward that outcome is useful. It's a neat way of aligning their incentives toward their best, honest prediction. Once collated, the result is useful!

While I was at this event I also met a journalist who works on 'Hard Talk' for News 24 - and the owner of the 'Outlet' website (where I'm looking for a room at the moment, as it happens).

Andrew's off to be assistant ed. of The Telegraph next.

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