ditched their positions en masse

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Senior Member
The quotation comes from https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/06/daily-chart-5

Quotation: Betting markets had been bullish about a Conservative majority. But after a shock exit poll predicted the Tories on just 314 seats, they reacted savagely. They vacillated on slightly better early results for Mrs May and, when the accuracy of the exit poll was confirmed, punters ditched their positions en masse.
Hi everyone! How to clarify the bold part.

I guess it means "punters were no longer bullish about a Conservative majority" and "ditched" means "gave up". But I'm unsure whether "positions" has special meaning in betting markets.
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  • agwilson86

    English - Ireland
    Hi Irelia,

    Your interpretation is correct; the word "position" is widely-used in betting circles, but the meaning is not particularly technical. It simply means the way a player bets - the decisions they make on how to gamble based on what they think is going to happen in the future. Here, gamblers would have felt betting on a Conservative majority was a "strong" position, but as the results began to come out, they realised that in fact it was a weak position, and so they abandoned this betting strategy.

    Hope that helps!
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