Labour’s Sportsbet Odds Shift After Unemployment Rate Gaffe

Ben H / April 18, 2022 / 4 min read

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese felt first-hand how everything you say and do during the election campaign can have an immediate impact on your chances to win.

Labor are still the favourites to win the federal election with bookies. However, they now know that their leader will have to brush up on key figures and rates for them to stay the front-runners in this race.

Unemployment Rate Gaffe

Labor was priced at $1.30 at the start of the election campaign with betting operator Sportsbet. Only two days into the campaign, though, they saw their odds increase to $1.44 after Anthony Albanese couldn’t answer a question about the unemployment rate in Australia.

A journalist asked the Labor leader what the rate of unemployment was, but it was evident Albanese didn’t know the exact figure and said “it’s five point… four…” before apologizing and admitting he wasn’t sure what that number was.

Katy Gallagher, Labor’s spokesperson, had to step in to save the situation and tell those asking that the unemployment rate was 4% and the cash rate was 0.1%.

As for Albanese, he accepted responsibility for his gaffe and said that he made a mistake and that he would “fess up to it.” The leader of one of the two largest political parties in Australia added that he wouldn’t blame anyone else and that he would always accept responsibility as that was what leaders did.

As hard as Albanese tried to present the whole thing as a test of character, though, the betting markets don’t lie. The chances of Labor winning the federal election decreased in the first week of the campaign, and Albanese played a part in that.

The First Major Shift in Odds

Sportsbet’s Felix von Hofe said that after Albanese’s unemployment rate gaffe, they recorded the biggest change in odds since the start of the campaign. He added that they expected the federal election betting market to be their biggest to date, as this was the closest race Sportsbet has ever had.

The bookmaker currently has the Liberals at $2.70, moving from $3.00, to supply the next Prime Minister, whereas Labor is at $1.44, having pushed out from $1.30 due to the unemployment rate gaffe.

The Seats Are Where the Value Bets Are

Felix von Hofe said that even though the odds for the 47th Parliament of Australia might seem on the low side, especially if you are backing the favourites, they are on the money and betting providers are often even more accurate than polls.

He went on to say that if you are looking for some value, the seats are where the real value lies. The Sportsbet representative said that some of the independent challengers were fantastic value, adding that there was a lot of value in the swing seats that bookmakers couldn’t price up as accurately as the other markets.

However, one market has been pretty easy to price up, according to Felix von Hofe. You can get $67 for Clive Palmer to come through, as unlikely as something like that might seem.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and three children's books... [Read full bio]

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