So the election is over, those #sp11 winnings have been collected and all Holyrood political betting is off until 2015, right?

Well, no apparently. I was pleased to see that there are still some odds available on the minority bloodsport that is Scottish Politics over at PaddyPower.

First up, the date of the independence referendum.

2011 – 16/1
2012 – 8/1
2013 – 15/8
2014 – 11/8
2015 – 9/4
2016(?) – 5/1

Despite James’ recent (controversial) claims that 2012 would be the ideal date, we’re probably safer to take Salmond’s steer on this, given the First Minister has a majority Government in one pocket and an SNP Presiding Officer in the other.

Salmond told members of the Foreign Press Association: “We will organise a referendum on independence within this five-year term. It will be towards the end of the five-year term. The questions will be enunciated in good time for that referendum to take place.”

So 2014 or 2015 looks like a certainty, particularly with Cameron admitting that Westminster won’t stand in the way and those dates making strategic sense for the Nats too. Consequently, Paddy Power seems to be giving money away here.

Were you to put £10 on 2014 and £10 on 2015, you would make a profit of £3.75 or £12.50. Despite the short odds, I reckon 2013 can safely be ruled out and the rest of the years are simply bonkers bets. So, yes, easy money. Get in there.

The odds on the result of the independence referendum, a simple Yes or No, are much less interesting. At 5/4, a Yes result is eyebrow-raisingly short odds and 4/7 is probably too tight to put big money on. The old adage that you shouldn’t bet against Salmond comes to mind here and I think I’ll leave this one be.

The final option for Scottish betting is Labour’s next leader, a curiously under-discussed topic thus far from what I can make out. Amazingly, Jackie Baillie has the shortest odds at 4/7 but anecdotal evidence from Labour members backs up my belief that picking Jackie would be a terrible move for the party. Fiercely tribal, unable and unwilling to work with the SNP and not very Newsnight-friendly, I just don’t see it happening. John Park at 8/1 is a very interesting bet and there’s even some value in Ken MacIntosh at 13/8, though if he can’t even beat Hugh Henry in a constituency battle then is he going to win the party leadership?

Speaking of Hugh Henry, the man is current holder of MSP of the Year, has demonstrated a highly commendable no-nonsense approach to the civil service and would take Labour in a refreshingly different direction to that of the past couple of leaders. At 20/1, I’d be crawling all over that bet (and probably will do once I can find my cash card).

Malcolm Chisholm at 12/1 is a fine bet too as, despite not having too many friends in the last parliamentary term, many of them have moved onto pastures new now and Malcolm’s support for minimum pricing may prove to the party faithful that he ‘gets’ what Labour has to do next – move away from opposition for opposition’s sake. With such long odds, one could hedge their position by betting big on as many as four different contenders. And there’s always Gordon Brown at 200/1; highly unlikely given there’d have to be a by-election before Iain Gray stepped down.

So there we go; a rival to the Burdz flutter on a Friday but bookmakers do tend to be happy to give money away when it comes to betting on Scottish politics and it’s great to see that trend continue even today.