The second Scottish referendum is odds-on to take place after 2020, bookies said today, after first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she will seek permission to hold another independence vote.
Paddy Power said it was 5/6 the vote will be held in 2020 or later, putting the chances of it happening this year at 50/1. Although it has emerged Sturgeon's preferred timeframe is some time between the fourth quarter of next year and the first quarter of 2019, the bookie put both those periods at 7/1.
William Hill offered a 4/6 chance it will happen before the end of 2020 – and a 2/9 chance it'll happen before the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, despite scepticism from analysts, Paddy Power put the referendum at 2/5 to pass, and 13/8 to fail, while William Hill gave the odds of a Leave vote 4/6, while Remain are 11/10.
"Despite Nicola Sturgeon’s calls this morning, we’re still odds-on that any Scottish Referendum won’t happen before 2020," said a spokesperson for Paddy Power.
“Whenever it does come, it seems pretty likely that it’ll pass – though the early money from our punters is on it failing. Hardly the vote of confidence Sturgeon will have wanted.”