Bookmakers in Austria are putting their money on the line giving anti-mass migration Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer the best odds to win Sunday’s election.
The current polls for the re-run of the Austrian presidential election between anti-mass migration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer and his rival left-wing ex-Green party leader Alexander Van der Bellen have become extremely close in the days before Sunday’s election. One group, however, are claiming a favourite in the race as bookies across Austria are giving the odds to Norbert Hofer to achieve victory on Sunday reports Kleine Zeitung.
Sports betting site Interwetten gives the odds of victory to Norbert Hofer with a 1.5 payout on a single bet, while Alexander Van der Bellen has a 2.5 payout on the single bet. Another site located in the UK, Bet-at-home, gives a similar scenario with Hofer on 1.5 and Van der Bellen on 2.4 payout on victory.
Betting sites and bookmakers have become a force in politics as many of the polls that have predicted wins for the Remain campaign in the Brexit vote and an overwhelming victory for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential race, failed to manifest themselves. In the case of the Brexit vote, even the bookmakers proved to be wrong in their predictions as they gave the Leave campaign 3.65 odds only days before the referendum.
During the Brexit campaign, the odds did not deter former UKIP leader Nigel Farage who bet £1,000 on Brexit and ultimately won a few thousand pounds after the result.
The Austrian election on Sunday is a repeat of the second round of the presidential election that took place back in May. In May many polls predicted a tight race between the two candidates and many were shocked when the race came down to a difference of a mere 31,000 votes that tipped the balance in Mr. Van der Bellen’s favour after postal ballots were counted.
The postal ballots have become a bone of contention and controversy since the result in May as it was discovered that there were several instances of people given access to them during counting who should not have been. The resulting controversy led to the Austrian court to rule the vote invalid and a problem with the glue on the postal ballots delayed the election even further.
With only days before the vote and tight polling, there is uncertainty regarding who will win, but a left wing extremist march planned for the day before the vote has some speculating that violence on the part of the protesters could tip the balance for Mr. Hofer.