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Odds rise on Banks being stood down

Published: 12:01PM Tuesday May 01, 2012 Source: ONE News

The probability of John Banks standing down as a minister in the next fortnight is at 69% and rising, according to online political and economic forecaster iPredict.

According to punts on iPredict, the probability of Banks temporarily standing down as a minister before May 15 is up nearly 30% today.

The likelihood of a by-election being held in his Epsom seat before the next General Election is running at 58% on the website, which calculates odds on the basis of its 5000 traders' predictions.

The site also estimates a 43% probability of Banks being charged with an offence over donations from Kim Dotcom by this time next year and a one-third chance he will be charged over a donation given to him by SkyCity.

However, there is only a 24% probability on iPredict's calculations that Banks will disqualify himself from votes on gambling or SkyCity while police are investigating Labour MP Trevor Mallard's complaint.

The Act Party leader is embroiled in controversy over whether he knew internet tycoon Dotcom had donated to his mayoral election campaign in 2010.

The Regulator Reform and Small Business Minister says he was unaware Dotcom had donated and denies ringing to thank him.

Pressure is, however, mounting on Banks with a new claim that he called the Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson to lobby for Dotcom over his bid to buy a $30 million Coatesville mansion.

Mallard has asked Auckland Council's chief electoral officer to investigate alleged non-declaration of a donation from SkyCity and regular donations of radio advertising to Banks.