Bookies’ odds favour BJP wins in Gujarat, Himachal

Palak Shah Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Drumroll begins An advertising hoarding of the BJP that came up at a major junction in Ahmedabad recently   -  Vijay Soneji;Vijay Soneji -

The betting market has a record of getting polls right

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to address around 50 rallies in Gujarat, the satta bazaar (betting market) is putting its money on the possibility that that the Modi magic will prevail over the anti-incumbency factor faced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming State elections.

The saffron party, which has been ruling the State for over 22 years, is not expected to win more seats than it did in 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections. But bookies believe that forming the government will be a cakewalk for the BJP.

Gujarat goes to the polls between December 9 and 14, and the BJP and the Congress, the two major parties, will fight for 182 Assembly seats. The odds on the BJP winning 90 seats to form the government are a paltry 0.32 paise over every rupee bet.

Simply put, a punter betting on the BJP winning at least 90 seats stands to win ₹1.32. The odds on the BJP winning 110 seats are pegged at 1:2.15

Typically, the odds are the lowest on the most likely outcome of the match. The odds on Congress winning even 80 seats are 1:2.15, the bookies will pay ₹2.15 over every rupee. S atta bazaar trends are widely followed as the betting market usually gets it right on India’s elections.

“The Modi magic still works in Gujarat,” a top Mumbai bookie told BusinessLine. “Modi is likely to address over 50 rallies and that may turn the tide as the Congress is not seen as an alternative by Gujaratis. Betting turnover of around ₹25,000 crore is expected in the Gujarat elections.”

Bookies say the Congress may end up improving its vote share by 2-3 percentage points but its gains are not seen as a serious challenge to the Modi-Amit Shah duo in their home State. The BJP managed to corner around 48 per cent votes in the 2012 Assembly elections while the Congress came second, with 39 per cent. The satta bazaar expects the BJP’s vote share to come down to around 44 per cent.

“Usually, 45-50 per cent Muslims vote for the BJP in Gujarat, and that trend may continue as the Congress has not done much to consolidate its vote bank among the community leaders recently,” said another bookie operating from Dubai.

Bookies expect the BJP’s tally to improve as the election date approaches. Nobody believes that Hardik Patel, the poster boy of the Patidar agitation in the State, will be a decisive factor.

In Himachal Pradesh, which goes to the polls in the second week of November, bookies expect the BJP to form the government with a simple majority.

Bookies say the HP electorate flips the government in the State in every election. HP is currently ruled by the Congress. The odds on the BJP winning 35 seats in the 68-seat HP assembly are 0.22 paise on a rupee; the odds on the Congress winning 30 seats are 1:2.75.

Published on November 05, 2017

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