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Chances Of Brexit Are Plummeting, According To The Betting Markets

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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The chances of the United Kingdom voting for Brexit have collapsed to record lows, according to the betting markets.

The final clutch of polls before the UK votes on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union Thursday show the “Remain” campaign recovering ground it lost last week. (RELATED: UK Currency Sliding As Brexit Jumps Ahead In The Polls)

The betting markets are also confident the UK will stick with the EU. Brexit has just an 18 percent chance of succeeding, according to the Spectator, which weighs the EU referendum chances as implied by the bookies’ odds. (RELATED: Post-Brexit Britain: Blueprint Released On UK’s Future With The EU)

The bookmaker Paddy Power has the chances of a remain vote at 92 percent. Reports of high turnout and an expected swing to the status quo are likely reasons for the high expectation of a remain victory.

Five of the last nine opinion polls have a lead for “Remain” campaign, with only two showing the “Leave” campaign ahead. A poll published by the company Populus Thursday had a hefty 10 point lead for Remain.

The UK’s pound sterling is on the up, rising 0.7 percent against the dollar, while the FTSE 100 index rose 1.23 percent on the expectation of a remain vote.

But hope may not be lost for the Brexiteers. The UK’s polling industry suffered great embarrassment at the 2015 General Election when they all had the race neck and neck between the Conservative and Labour parties.

The Conservative Party shocked pollsters and pundits by winning the election decisively, and Labour suffered its worst defeat in decades. The “Remain” campaign’s strength in the betting markets may also be slightly overstated.

While it’s clear the big money and the largest bets are going for the country remaining, the actual number of bets is more divided. Sixty-six percent of all bets made Thursday at the time of writing are going for a Leave vote, according to gambling company Ladbrokes.

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