iPredict site shows Anderton as easy winner

Jim Anderton will easily win the Christchurch mayoralty, says an online trading stockmarket that has a history of picking the winners of political contests.

Trading on the Wellington-based iPredict website yesterday gave the Wigram MP an 84 per cent chance of winning the October election, with Mayor Bob Parker given just a 15 per cent chance of winning a second term.

The first poll of the election season this week also gave Anderton a strong lead.

Formed about two years ago, iPredict has correctly predicted other events of political significance.

Anderton said the poll "reflects the mood of the city", but he did not approve of any online "gambling website".

Parker said there were bound to be lots of polls and websites on the mayoralty race.

He was standing because he and the council had set out a positive blueprint for the city and he wanted to continue "being a part of that".

Canterbury University senior economics lecturer Eric Crampton, who sits on the iPredict advisory board, said the Christchurch mayoralty contest had attracted plenty of trading.

He believed more money would be placed on the race over the next 3 1/2 months.

Parker's online fortunes had plummeted in recent months, said Crampton, who has placed money on him winning a second term.

Early this year, Parker was given a 54 per cent winning chance on the site.

"Parker started to drop after Anderton confirmed he was running and he fell further after this week's poll came out," Crampton said.

"I thought the [ministerial] credit-card expense controversy would have hit him [Anderton], but it didn't."

The Press