Bill Shorten, the former union boss who orchestrated the execution of Kevin Rudd from the Labor leadership, has been backed by punters to lead the party to the next election. While hundreds of punters sweat on the final election outcome,
Mr Shorten, the parliamentary secretary for disabilities, has been installed as the clear favourite with bookies to topple the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is fighting to form a minority government.
Leading betting agency Centrebet has Mr Shorten, a Victorian Labor-right figure who is married to the daughter of Governor-General Quentin Bryce, a $2.70 favourite, with Ms Gillard at $4.10.
Mr Shorten is widely credited as joining forces with NSW Labor powerbroker, Mark Arbib, and South Australian party factions boss, David Feeney, to launch the dramatic late-night assault on Mr Rudd’s prime ministership in June.
The fallout from Mr Rudd’s demise has been blamed for huge swings against Labor in Queensland, where it is set to lose nine seats to the Coalition.
Centrebet’s spokesman Neil Evans said Financial Services minister Chris Bowen was third favourite to lead the party at $7 with former ACTU boss and Defence Materiel minister Greg Combet close behind at $8.50.
Treasurer Wayne Swan, who suffered an embarrassing swing against him in his Brisbane seat of Lilley, is an outsider at $15, while Mr Rudd has the juicy odds of $31.
“Of course, the market will move depending on who can eventually form government, but if the Coalition takes power, Ms Gillard’s hopes of being leader when Australia next votes would nose-dive,” Mr Evans said.
Evans said the Coalition remained at $1.57 to form government, with Labor at $2.25 – although they had firmed markedly in the past few hours.
THE CENTREBET MARKET
$2.70. Bill Shorten$4.10 Julia Gillard$7 Chris Bowen$8.50 Greg Combet$9 Any Other$12 Stephen Smith$14 Anthony Albanese$15 Wayne Swan$21 Kate Ellis$26 Nicola Roxon$31 Kevin Rudd