Early poll now very likely: bookies

FEDERAL POLITICS:

Online bookies have slashed the odds of an early federal election following news that a large number of pork barrels will soon be given away free in selected regional areas around the nation.

SportsBet this morning reduced its odds of an early election between August 1 and the year’s end from 3-1 to 6-4 on, while Ladbrokes were only slightly more wary, dropping their price from 4-1 to 7 to 4.

The bookies responded fairly quickly after Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack (above) earlier this week tweeted fresh news of the sixth round of the Stronger Communities Programme (right).

The grants are worth $150,000 each – in layman’s terms, that’s about six barrels of top-quality pork sausages, pork chops and pork mince to successful community applicants.

That’s enough pork product, for example, not only to keep a country sports or social club weekend barbecues supplied for at least an entire three-year political cycle but the grant also comes with all the thongs, spatulas and long-handled forks infrastructure needed to cook them properly.

Applications opened on January 19 and will close on March 22. Regional community groups do not need to apply to gain a grant but it wouldn’t hurt.

As Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister, Mr McCormack will oversee the grants approval process and he made this pledge via The Bug this morning: “I’m totally committed to ensuring all people in the country get an equal and fair red-hot go at getting some of this Stronger Regional (sic) Communities Program dosh.

“As you can see from my tweet, the program is clearly funded by the National Party so no-one should be the least bit surprised if most if not all the successful applications come from safe National Party seats or marginal seats the Nationals hope to target.”

STOP PRESS: Bookies have suspended all betting on an early election after Georgina Downer was spotted showing her personalised and rather large novelty cheque for a $150,000 Stronger Communities Program grant, complete with Liberal Party logo, to surprised committee members of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation Inc that runs a small Jewish primary school in the heart of the federal electorate of Mayo.