Tuesday 30 July 2013

Chasing the Xenophobic Vote?

One piece of evidence perhaps consistent with that that Labour's "dey terk yer house" xenophobic housing policy was in pursuit of votes that otherwise go to NZ First: shortly after Shearer announced it, traders at iPredict downgraded Winston's chances of returning to Parliament.

It's hardly conclusive: it's a pretty thin market. But traders reckoned that Peter's chances of returning to Parliament dropped from about 85% to about 62% on Sunday, 28 July.

And here's the strange part. Q&A, the TVNZ Sunday newsmagazine programme on which Shearer made his announcement, airs at 8:50 a.m. I'm not sure at what time after 8:50 Shearer made his announcement, but the trading on NZ First started at 7:19 Sunday morning, when what looks like a single trader pushed Peters to a 30% chance of returning to Parliament. That returned to 68% later in the day, and since eroded to 54%. So either:

  • iPredict's time stamps are a couple hours out;
  • Somebody knew what Shearer was going to announce and predicted that it would hurt NZ First - that somebody would most likely be in Labour as the announcement only came on Q&A;
  • Something else served as shock to NZ First prices early Sunday morning and that move then stuck, perhaps because of the Shearer announcement, perhaps because of something else.
I don't think iPredict's time stamps are out. I shorted one "NZ First not to be in Parliament after next election" share at 10:35 to check it, and it's reporting that that's the last trade time. So pick one of the other two. 

If somebody in the Labour camp put a few bucks against Peters in anticipation of Shearer's Q&A appearance, that would be interesting.

Thanks to @JohnnySharland for the pointer.


  1. Would that qualify as some sort of "insider trading" and if so, should this be regulated by the gummint?

  2. iPredict encourages insider trading as it makes prices more efficient. If the Labour Party wants to ban its employees and representatives from trading on inside information, that's a matter between them and their employees. As best I understand things.

  3. mm. Looks like my sarcasm tag wasn't saved as part of the original comment.

  4. Still... its a race to the bottom of the muck barrel... its bloody hard to convince foreigners to invest capital in the productive sectors of the economy with this sort of shrill nonsense going on.

    The only saving grace is how appallingly bad Labour has executed its policy announcement and the 'research' that was done...

  5. I think you said you could make an argument for open borders. One's position depends on one's world view. Whether this is xenophobia (or the alleged xenophobes are wrong) is a moot point. Herman Daly makes good arguments against globalisation.