iPredict is running a contract on National winning the 2014 election. It was originally launched on 26 October 2011, a month before the 2011 General Election, and has been floating around between $0.40 and $0.60 since then. It’s only in the last month that the stock has moved significantly beyond $0.60, so it’s worth taking a quick look. Full trade history is taken from Luke Howison’s excellent API interface for iPredict, and then tweaked with a bit of Excel.
As shown in the graph below, the increase in price since has been pretty constant since it was trading at about $0.45 in October 2013, about a month or so after David Cunliffe was elected leader of the Labour Party. The average daily price hasn’t dropped below $0.60 since 8 February 2014.
In case you are wondering if this is just a short term fluctuation the answer is probably not. Daily volumes are shown below.
Even disregarding the spikes you can still see that trading has increased quite a bit since, again, about mid-October. In that four month period a total of $19200 changed hands, or about 42% of the $46100 total that has been traded since 2011. The stock is not just bouncing around on weak liquidity.
It should also be mentioned that bid order book is quite solid: if you wanted to force the evaluation of National’s chances of winning the election back to an even 50/50 then you would need to drop a total of $1420 on 2500 contracts at an average price of $0.57. Then you’d have to keep it there. It’s doable, but I don’t fancy your chances.
Intra-day volatility is shown below:
The most volatile days were 28 January 2014 (David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation speech and “baby bonus”, the new flag debate), 26 October 2011 (contract launch, so meta), 28 November 2011 (first weekday after 2011 General Election), 28 October 2011, and 11 October 2012 (opposition parties’ discussion on “manufacturing jobs crisis” and Labour allegations a video exists of John Key talking to GCSB staff in February about their involvement in the Kim Dotcom case), although most on small volumes.
Daily changes are as follows:
The biggest absolute daily changes (other than those mentioned above) were 29 April 2012 (general debate over whether David Shearer was the correct choice for Labour Leader (see Dim-Post) and the Banks/Dotcom scandal), 22 April 2012 (a series of bad headlines for National, none of which seemed to have any affect on the polls), 13 October 2012 (“manufacturing jobs crisis”, although interestingly also the day before the MSD/WINZ security leaks exposed by Keith Ng hit the headlines?).
The 28 January 2014 in particular was an interesting day: on the day David Cunliffe was giving his State of the Nation/Baby Bonus speech stocks surged 6.6c from 59.8c to 66.4c on near-record volumes as over $1300 changed hands. Was this the beginning of the end for Labour’s 2014 election chances?
Finally, this is the point where I’m obliged to point out that if you really think that iPredict has a pro-National bias, and that National actually have a less than a 65% chance of winning the election then you should put your money where your mouth is and go and short some stock. There is plenty of liquidity there for you to bail out should your views change so you won’t be locked into your position long-term; you can’t use that as an excuse either.
For what it’s worth, I personally I think that barring 4-5 good poll results for Labour the stocks are going to settle at around 65c for the next few months. I don’t see how they can realistically go higher than 70c prior to the pre-election leaders’ debates. Having said that, I don’t think one or two good poll results for Labour are going to be enough to move them in the opposite direction either. Labour’s prospects are looking genuinely shabby compared to four months ago (post Cunliffe election), or even 12 months ago when Shearer was still leader.