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TMC Or BJP: What’s Kolkata’s Betting Market Prediction?

Gambling syndicates in Kolkata are offering bets on the results of 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly elections, including picking the winners of 294 seats.  The official results will be out on May 2. So, who will form the next government? How many seats will the TMC win? Will the BJP improve its tally? You get some answers from the bookies, based on their projections, as on April 12: BJP may win 154-156 seats, while TMC may bag 116-118 seats and the balance by other political parties. The going rate is even money, that is, 1:1, for both TMC and BJP. BJP is clearly the favourite as of now. Bookies are paying Rs 1.20 for WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is contesting from Nandigram and Rs 0.40 (40 paise) for BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, Didi’s confidante-turned-adversary.  Higher rate indicates lower winning probability while lower rate indicates higher winning probability. A month ago, before elections began, the bookies were paying Rs 0.40 for Didi and  Adhikari. After the first phase, the rates for both Mamata Banerjee and BJP were Rs 0.90 each. The bookies were quoting a price of Rs 1.20 for TMC and Rs 0.40 for BJP after the second phase. High rate indicates lower winning probability, while lower rate indicates higher winning probability. The high-voltage poll rallies have kept the bookies on their toes as they are frantically exchanging notes almost every minute, and fixing rates for each party and candidate. Following the completion of the fourth phase of polling, Kolkata bookies claim BJP is clearly ahead of TMC. The fifth phase of the poll scheduled for April 17, may go in favour of TMC and Left Front, they speculate. As for the veteran political pundits, the fierce tussle seems to be leading towards a hung assembly!