Don’t get mad, get Evens

Before we begin, a poetic apéritif:

In Memoriam Tigris

An advert on Newstalk when Newstalk was new
Who was the second man on the moon?
No-one remembers the guy who came second
Except for the guy who came second

Except that a stuffed platypus in Rangoon
Could tell you the name of that man on the moon
And also
That you are a complete cunt.*

I can’t remember which company was responsible for that advertisement, but it was fairly typical of the “cheeky”, “ballsy” corporate shtick which seeped from the rancid pores of the PR industry at the time.

I mention it because I intend (unless you propose to stop me) to write about Paddy Power today, one of the last adherents to the old ways of confrontational marketing. And why wouldn’t they be? The company has actually expanded its operations over the course of the recession, on the backs of naive punters desperate to gamble themselves out of poverty. Not me, of course. I’m strategically accumulating losses in the hope of reaching the €100 million mark, at which point I expect hard-working suckers like you (especially you) to bail me out.

The item which particularly caught my eye on Paddy’s bill of fare just now was a range of political bets relating to what some squeamishly call this jurisdiction. I’m going to perform a quick run-down of the bets available (as much to gauge where we’re at politically as anything else), so, as Henry Kelly used to say, why don’t you come too?

Let’s kick off with our mutual “special interest” selections.

How many seats will the Socialist Party win in the next Irish General Election?

None: 4/1
One: 10/3
Two: Evens
Three: 9/2
Four: 7/1
Five or more: 8/1

I wish I shared their optimism here. They’re obviously very confident about Clare Daly treading the blue baize alongside the returning Joe Higgins. I’m not so sure, serious gamblers could do worse than lumping on the 10/3 there.

How many seats will People Before Profit win in the next Irish General Elction?

None: 5/4
One: 5/4
Two: 7/2
Three or more: 15/2

At this stage, None or One are exactly as likely as the odds reflect (and the One is likely to Collins rather than RBB, in my opinion.) However, PP are surrendering some hostages to fortune here. If a couple of likely-looking independents align with PBP in the interim, the adventurous punter might be rewarded for snatching those longer odds while they’re hot.

Next Leader of Fianna Fáil:

Michael Martin: 7/4
Dermot Ahern: 7/4
Brian Lenihan: 2/1
Mary Hanafin: 18/1
Noel Dempsey: 20/1
Batt O’Keefe: 22/1
Eamon O’Cuiv: 25/1
Brendan Smith: 28/1
Mary Coughlan: 33/1
Tony Killeen: 66/1
Pat Carey: 80/1
Sean Connick: 100/1

I don’t know much about this one, but I know it scares the shit out of me.

The next one’s a no-brainer, in more senses than one.

Will Brian Cowen lead FF into the next election:

Yes: 2/7
No: 9/4

Nothing to see here, The Beer Belly Putsch seems to have stalled, and I can’t see Cowen being unseated at this stage (you’d need a fucking JCB for a start.)

Year of Next General Election

2010: 13/8
2011: 7/4
2012: 7/4

I do believe the government will offer satisfaction before the year’s out.

How many seats will the Green Party win in the next Irish General Election?

None: 2/1
One: 6/4
Two: 3/1
Three: 9/1
Four: 10/1
Five: 14/1
Six or more: 14/1

Desperately hope I’m wrong, but three and up could be a steal at those odds.

How many seats will SF win in the next Irish General Election?

3 or under: 12/1
4 or 5: 6/1
6 or 7: 5/2
Exactly 8: 11/4
9 or 10: 5/2
11 or 12: 5/1
13 or more: 15/2

Value would seem to be at the lower end here. Good enough for ’em, too.

Next Irish Goverment

FG/Lab: 4/9
FF/Lab: 4/1
FG/Lab/Green: 7/1
FG Minority Government: 10/1
FF/Green/SF: 16/1
FF/SF: 20/1
FF/Green: 22/1
FG/Lab/SF: 22/1
FG/Green: 25/1
FG Majority Government: 28/1
FF Minority Government: 33/1
FG/FF 40/1
FG/SF: 40/1
Lab/SF/Green: 50/1
FF Majority Government: 50/1

FG/Lab/SF jumps out at me here. That may well be the way of it, numbers-wise, and Fine Gael will usher SF under their wing at the drop of a beret if they have to. All else is posturing.

Next Taoiseach:

Enda Kenny: 10/11
Richard Bruton: 3/1
Brian Cowen: 7/2
Eamon Gilmore: 7/1
Dermot Ahern: 10/1
Brian Lenihan: 10/1
Micheal Martin: 10/1
Joan Burton: 16/1
Mary Coughlan: 25/1
Ruari Quinn: 25/1
Mary Hanafin: 25/1
Bertie Ahern: 50/1
Mairead McGuinness: 50/1
Mary Harney: 100/1
John Bruton: 100/1

No surprise to see PP call Gilmore’s bluff.

Most Seats at Next General Election

FG: 4/7
FF: 6/4
Lab: 9/1
Green: 250/1
SF: 500/1


Next Fine Gael Leader

Richard Bruton: 4/6
Brian Hayes: 6/1
Denis Naughton: 8/1
Leo Varadkar: 9/1
Simon Coveney: 10/1
Fergus O’Dowd: 14/1
Phil Hogan: 16/1
Olwyn Enright: 16/1
Damien English: 18/1
James O’Reilly: 18/1
John Deasy: 22/1
Olivia Mitchell: 28/1
John Perry: 28/1
Jimmy Deenihan: 28/1
Alan Shatter: 33/1
Lucinda Creighton: 33/1
Michael McDowell: 50/1

True story: I genuinely felt nauseous typing out those names. It was actually a physical ordeal.

General Election Special

Labour to win more 1st Preference Votes than FF: 7/2

Nah, interesting that it’s offered though.

Next Health Minister

Dr. James Reily: 2/1
Noel Dempsey: 9/2
Mary Hanafin: 6/1
John Maloney: 6/1
Barry Andrews: 7/1
Conor Lenihan: 8/1
Liz McManus: 12/1
Dermot Ahern: 14/1
Micheal Martin: 16/1
Brendan Smith: 16/1
Dick Roche: 20/1
Jan O’Sullivan: 25/1

Lenihan? Fucking hell.

Next President

David Norris: 5/2
Brian Crowley: 5/2
Bertie Ahern: 8/1
John Bruton: 8/1
Mairead McGuinnes: 10/1
Fergus Finlay: 12/1
Sean Kelly: 12/1
Michael D. Higgins: 14/1
Mary O’Rourke: 14/1
Mary Davis: 16/1
Emily O’Reilly: 20/1
Mary White: 20/1
Alan Dukes: 25/1
John Hume: 25/1
Margaret Ritchie: 28/1
Marian Harkin: 33/1
Fergal Quinn: 33/1
Liz McManus: 33/1
Gay Mitchell: 33/1
Eamon Ryan: 33/1
Geraldine Kennedy: 40/1
Mary Hanafin: 40/1
Ali Hewson: 40/1
Susan Denham: 40/1
Enda Kenny: 50/1
Dick Roche: 50/1
Trevor Sargent: 50/1
Martin McAleese: 50/1
Charlies McCreevy: 50/1
Ivan Yates: 50/1
Peter Sutherland: 50/1
Ivana Bacik: 50/1
Shane Ross: 50/1
Bono: 50/1
Albert Reynolds: 50/1
Michael McDowell: 66/1
Brian Farrell: 66/1
Seamus Heaney: 66/1
Maura Geoghegan Quinn: 66/1
Mary Kenny: 80/1
Judge A. Mahon: 100/1
Mary Lou McDoland: 100/1
Michael O’Leary: 100/1
Eddie Hobbs: 100/1
Roy Keane: 125/1
Louis Walsh: 250/1
Shane McGowan: 500/1

Norris a shoo-in if he gets the nom, those odds aren’t getting any longer.

First Mayor of Dublin:

Dermot Lacey: 6/4
Ruari Quinn: 3/1
Gay Mithell: 6/1
Royston Brady: 9/1
Sean Haughey: 14/1
Eibhlin Byrne: 14/1
Pat Rabbitte: 16/1
Joe Duffy: 20/1
David Norris: 20/1
Bill Cullen: 20/1
Duncan Stewart: 20/1
Trevor Sargent: 20/1
Killian Forde: 25/1
Mary Lou McDonald: 25/1
Brian Hayes: 25/1
Joe Higgins: 25/1
Paul Gogarty: 25/1
Fintan O’Toole: 28/1
Bertie Ahern: 33/1
Marian Finucane: 33/1
Bono: 50/1
Shane Ross: 50/1
Bob Geldof: 50/1
George Hook: 50/1
Paddy Bourke: 50/1
Gay Byrne: 80/1
Miriam O’Callaghan: 100/1

Curiously enough, the only declared candidate (Bríd Smith) isn’t quoted! Most of those odds would be stingy if they were being offered on the individuals running, not winning.

You can check out the odds for yourself at Paddy Power’s political section, if you feel like lining the pockets of some bourgeois shysters.

*Speaking of poetry, one recalls a dread encounter with some Mike Murphy-hosted arts show in the mid-nineties. A poem was described as “almost Japanese in its intensity” a fatal nanosecond before my hand reached the dial. The Irish intelligentsia – too stupid to be dangerous, or too dangerous to be stupid? Symposium at Farmleigh, book now.


6 Responses to “Don’t get mad, get Evens”

  1. Mark P Says:

    None for the PBPA is seriously bad value as a bet.

    Healy hasn’t yet formally signed up, but there has to be a strong chance that he will and there’s no way in hell he’s not getting elected. Collins and RBB are both in with a shot. Taken collectively, the chances of none making it under the PBPA banner strike me as being very small indeed.

    Some of those long lists of names above are a real rogue’s gallery.

  2. dfallon Says:

    Great post, really enjoyed that

    “Roy Keane: 125/1
    Louis Walsh: 250/1
    Shane McGowan: 500/1”

    Do people actually *ever* do these “for a laugh” options? Dustin for President etc. Tragic stuff.

    I think you’re completely right on the SP call there, I’d be tempted to pop down to Mr. Power on those odds. 10/3 is great.

  3. Mark P Says:

    Yes. I don`t think that 1 seat for the SP and 3 or more for the PBPA are the most likely outcomes, but they are great value at those odds.

  4. coc Says:

    I have had 15 yoyos riding on FG/Lab/SF government at 33/.1 with PP since Jan of 2009. One in the eye for the bourgeois shysters if that comes off – apart from the fact that they’d still be running the country of course.

    I don’t think Norris would stand a chance against rollermullet by the way, not if Miriam O’Callaghan has anything to do with it at any rate, and let’s face it, she will.

  5. ejh Says:

    Sorry to be late on this, but did you notice FF’s odds for attaining a majority were precisely the same as those for Bono being the next President?

  6. Bill Tormey Says:

    Bill Tormey for Mayor!

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