Brown’s debate night rise and fall
by Joe Fraser
Live betting on last night’s leaders’ debate suggests Gordon Brown can still connect with voters.
Starting out as an 8/1 outsider, Mr Brown performed well enough to be favourite for a time to win the contest during in-event betting with Paddy Power.
When the audience were reminded of the expenses row though, he quickly lost favour.
On a night short of flashpoints, Mr Brown’s odds were volatile. They shortened dramatically up to 8.45pm and, according to the betting, for a fifteen minute period he looked likely to come out on top.
Around 9pm though, things took a dramatic turn. By the end of the debate he looked as improbable a winner as the bookmakers had predicted beforehand.
While the live worm wriggled tamely, a graph of the changing odds on the debate shows much more violent reactions. During a discussion on expenses and the need to restore faith in politics, punters were driven away.
It seems Mr Brown may struggle to throw off the scandal and his hard line failed to convince. He said the behaviour of those involved was, “unacceptable” that “no punishment is too great for them” and that anyone who breaches new guidelines “should be thrown out of the House of Commons.”
But as the debate moved onto pensions, his slide continued; his moment at the top all too brief.