Australia

Sure of Conservative Win, Australian Bookies Pay Off Bets Ahead of Election

Big lead in the polls

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BRISBANE—The Australian election due in eight days already has a winner according to the most important umpire on Australian political fortunes—the bookmakers.

At Sportsbet, which takes bets on political contests, they are paying out punters who placed bets on a victory by the Coalition—the banner under which right-of-centre politicians have campaigned since 1922.

Sportsbet figures Coalition leader Tony Abbott, who leads the Liberal party and the Opposition in Parliament, is so far ahead of his rival, Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, they might as well get the pain over with.