With the UK making its decision this Friday (NZT) whether to leave or stay in the European Union, bookmakers and gamblers are strengthening their conviction that it will remain within the union. Polls also show a swing away from the possibility of a Brexit.
UK bookies Ladbrokes shortened the odds on a "remain" vote at a 2/9 chance, indicating an 82 per cent probability. Betting exchange Betfair said its wagers suggested Brexit opponents may win with a 50 per cent to 55 per cent of the vote.
"This market continues to mimic the pattern of the Scottish referendum, where historical confidence in the eventual 'No' vote slipped slightly 10 days before referendum day only to resettle in the week of the vote," said Naomi Totten of Betfair, which places about a 76 per cent probability on the UK opting to stay inside the EU. "The margin of victory could end up being very similar to the result of the Scottish referendum which saw a 'No' vote win with 55 per cent."
This late swing coincides with polls released since the killing of pro-EU campaigner Jo Cox that suggest the remain camp is regaining ground, reaffirming the intention to stay in that bookies and gamblers had anticipated before her death. "As far as the money's concerned, it looks like Brexit is beginning to fall at the final hurdle," said Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge.
At one point last week, bookies were placing about a 40 per cent chance on the UK voting to exit, and differences in polling results for the respective campaigns show the outcome of Thursday's vote isn't yet a foregone conclusion.
A YouGov poll of 1652 voters for the Times newspaper published late on Monday showed "leave" at 44 per cent and 42 per cent to "remain", while a survey of 800 people by ORB for the Daily Telegraph had "remain" at 53 per cent and "leave" at 46 per cent once those unsure of voting were stripped out.