Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Prediction market shows boost for Ma poll hopes

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The odds of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) being re-elected in 2012 rose slightly after Sunday’s debate with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on a trade pact the administration seeks to sign with Beijing, according to a university prediction market yesterday.

On a scale from NT$0 to NT$100, bidders felt the probability of Ma winning re-election was NT$35.40, National Chengchi University Center for Prediction Market said.

It was higher than any other potential challengers such as Tsai, former premiers Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). The likelihood for Tsai to win the 2012 election was NT$34.28, and that for Su and Hsieh was NT$14.90 and NT$6.80 respectively.

Prediction markets are speculative exchanges, with the value of an asset meant to reflect the likelihood of a future event. Members can tender virtual bids on the events, with the bidding price meant to reflect probability.

Since the center opened trading on Ma’s re-election chances on April 11 last year, prices have largely hovered around NT$60, but rose to NT$70 in mid-June before falling to NT$51.80 in August after Typhoon Morakot lashed Taiwan, killing hundreds.

After then-premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) resigned in September, the price returned to NT$63.2 and remained at around NT$60 for the following two months, the center said.

Since Ma took over as KMT chairman, the center said the number had steadily declined from NT$58 on Nov. 18 to NT$50.80 on Dec. 5. The figure fell below NT$50 after the “three-in-one” local elections in December last year.

Su’s prices exceeded Ma’s on Jan. 8 this year for the first time, but the prices for Ma and Su held steady at around NT$35 since then. Hsieh also caught up in January, but his prices have held steady below NT$30 since January, trailing behind Ma and Su by NT$5 to NT$7.

Tsai emerged as the black horse among her male colleagues. The center attributed her growing popularity to a string of election victories. Under her leadership, the DPP has made significant gains in legislative by-elections.

The prospects for her winning the next presidential election jumped to NT$40 in January and beat the prices of Su and Hsieh on Jan. 29. Since February, her prices have stayed at around NT$40, about NT$3 to NT$8 more than those of Su and Hsieh.

Before Sunday’s debate, the possibility of Ma being re-elected was between NT$30 and NT$33, against Tsai’s NT$40. The chance of Su winning the 2012 election dropped from NT$18.4 to NT$5, while that for Hsieh floated between NT$7 and NT$10.

After the debate, the price for Ma rose NT$2 to NT$35.40, and that for Tsai dropped NT$7 to NT$34.28. Su’s, however, grew by NT$10 to NT$14.90, the center said.

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