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Scotland braces for independence referendum, betting odds drop as race tightens

TAGs: Kirby Garlitos, Ladbrokes, Peter Kellner, Scotland, Scottish Independence Referendum

September 18 has become D-Day for Scotland as voters finally get the chance to decide whether the country breaks free from the United Kingdom and become an independent country.

Scotland braces for independence referendum, betting odds drop as race tightensIt all boils down to a simple yes or no question: should Scotland become an independent country? If the yes vote wins, Scotland leaves the United Kingdom. If the no vote wins, Scotland stays with the United Kingdom.

What initially seemed like a runaway vote for no has turned into a tight race as activists on both sides of the potentially history-making referendum step up their efforts.

Recent polls throughout the UK indicate a close vote, maybe too close for comfort on both sides of the fence. One poll conducted by YouGov for The Sunday Times showed the yes side receiving 51% of the votes with the no side receiving 49%. Meanwhile, a Panelbase poll commissioned by the Yes Scotland movement showed 48% supported becoming independent with 52% preferring to stay with the United Kingdom.

It’s a dramatic turnaround from the past month when it appeared that the no vote had a significant edge over yes. However, the yes side has rallied in what YouGov president Peter Kellner called an “astonishing momentum shift.” Kellner told CNN that the Yes campaign “has not just invaded No territory; it has launched a blitzkrieg.”

Online sportsbooks are paying close attention. CalvinAyre.com reached out to Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue, who said the odds have moved dramatically in the last few days. “We were originally 2/5 [odds on no] and 7/4 [odds on yes] immediately after the poll showed yes was ahead was published.”

“But now we’re seeing money again for no, perhaps agreeing with the consensus that there was something of an overreaction to the poll, especially as Panelbase still shows that no is [still] ahead.”

Right now, Ladbrokes is offering no at 4/11 with yes posted at 2/1. However, odds have seen significant corrections in recent weeks, especially when momentum on the yes movement began to pick up. According to Donohue, betting was 1/8 [odds on no] and 5/1 [odds on yes] just two weeks ago. That was the biggest price Ladbrokes has posted for yes since the prop on the Scottish referendum began.

The vote is nine days away. All eyes are on Scotland now.

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