Punters backing Hogan in to win
THE SEAT of Page might lose its bellwether status if the bookmakers have judged the market accurately.
Bookmaking firm Ladbrokes has the Nationals' incumbent Kevin Hogan a $1.62 favourite to beat ALP challenger Patrick Deegan, $2.50, for Saturday's federal election.
Since 1990, the Page electorate has elected a government member, but if Saturday's election goes according to the odds, the ALP will win government, with Mr Hogan moving to the Opposition benches.
Ladbrokes head of media, Roger Oldridge, said the Coalition had opened the betting at $2.40 when the market was first framed. "They have been backed in, so clearly punters are thinking we will see a deviation from what has been a 30-year trend," he said.
The cautionary tale for Mr Hogan is the bookies have not had a good track record in Page, backing against him in 2013 and 2016.
In 2019 he is the favourite, but response to questions about narrow odds with the bookies was terse.
"I take no heed of what the bookies say," he said.
Mr Deegan was more interested in Mr Hogan's support of penalty rates cuts.
"The only odds I am interested in right now are the odds that Kevin Hogan and the Nationals will abolish the penalty rates of other workers if they win on May 18," he said.
Mr Oldridge said the absence of other candidates from the Ladbrokes market was an oversight that had been corrected.
Independent Fiona Leviny has been added at $26, along with the Animal Justice and Christian Democratic Parties, both at $51.