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Politics Betting Best Odds

Elections and political predictions often rely on data, but there are other, often unforeseen, circumstances that determine political events. The upshot of this is that there can be major disagreement among bookmakers on the odds for political events. For the savvy punter that means there can be value in shopping around for different odds. Consider the odds for the 2020 US Election from top political bookies:

Bookie Donald Trump Joe Biden Kamala Harris
Paddy Power ReviewPaddy Power6/412/113/2
Sky Bet ReviewSky Bet13/818/17/1
Coral Sports ReviewCoral6/420/18/1
BOOKMAKER
BETS
Paddy Power Review
Paddy Power
Donald trump: 6/4
Joe biden: 12/1
Kamala harris : 13/2
Sky Bet Review
Sky Bet
Donald trump: 13/8
Joe biden: 18/1
Kamala harris : 7/1
Coral Sports Review
Coral
Donald trump: 6/4
Joe biden: 20/1
Kamala harris : 8/1

As you can see from the table, with the exception of Donald Trump there is huge disagreement among bookies for the US Election 2020 betting. Notice that there is a 40% difference in potential returns between Paddy Power sport and Coral sports when it comes to chances of Joe Biden becoming President in the next US election, which is a significant profit margin if you believe the former Vice President will win in 2020.

We can look at a similar table for betting on the next British Prime Minister. It should be noted that the nature of UK politics means that a general election could happen anytime over the next few years:

Bookie Boris Johnson Jeremy Corbyn Michael Gove
Paddy Power ReviewPaddy Power6/15/18/1
Sky Bet ReviewSky Bet5/14/18/1
Coral Sports ReviewCoral6/15/112/1
BOOKMAKER
BETS
Paddy Power Review
Paddy Power
Boris johnson: 6/1
Jeremy corbyn: 5/1
Michael gove: 8/1
Sky Bet Review
Sky Bet
Boris johnson: 5/1
Jeremy corbyn: 4/1
Michael gove: 8/1
Coral Sports Review
Coral
Boris johnson: 6/1
Jeremy corbyn: 5/1
Michael gove: 12/1

The odds are a little tighter in the betting markets for who will replace Theresa May as Prime Minister. However, Coral has the best odds (or joint best) in four out of the five markets, including a standout price for the current Education Secretary Michael Gove.

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Top Political Events & Markets for Betting

UK

The onset of Brexit has meant there is a fragility in British politics not seen in generations. In short, it means that politics betting is not limited to general elections every few years or the odd by-election. Since 2014, the UK has had two general elections, two Prime Ministers, two Labour leaders, a Scottish Independence vote and, of course, the Brexit Referendum. It has led to a ‘golden era’ of political betting. Some of the popular markets are outlined below:

  • Next Prime Minister: This market is not limited by a fixed timeframe and it’s important to note that a general election is not always necessary to elect a new Prime Minister. For that reason, the markets are slightly skewed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (generally found at 5/1) up against several Conservative candidates. Once a general election is called and the Conservative Party choose a candidate (PM Theresa May has promised not to contest the next election), then you would see the markets tighten to an almost ‘two-horse’ race.
  • Brexit Odds: Brexit betting odds can cover a wide range of markets. For example, William Hill sports have a market on whether the UK will have another EU Referendum by the end of 2020, with 4/6 offered for ‘no’ and 11/10 for ‘yes’. Other markets could include the postponement of Article 50 (essentially postponing Brexit) and Theresa May to still be PM by the time the UK Leaves the EU.
Brexit was seen as a triumph of ‘those on the margins’, i.e. people who hadn’t voted in years. The same factors may not apply to the next general election.
  • Next Elections: As mentioned, British politics is in a state of flux and that throws up markets for predicting when something will happen rather than just what the outcome will be. For example, Paddy Power have odds for the year of the next general election in the UK, with 5/4 for 2019, 4/1 for 2020, 7/1 for 2021 and 7/4 for 2022. In addition, you can also bet on various regional elections, such as the London Mayor in 2020, with current Mayor Sadiq Khan the 4/11 favourite with Betfair sports book. Moreover, votes within a party are also followed by punters, so you can bet on the identity of the next Labour leader after Jeremy Corbyn, the next Speaker of the House of Commons and so on.

US

  • Presidential Election Betting: The elections for US President take place every four years and are always held in November, so there aren’t the kind of speculative ‘date of’ markets that characterise British political betting. However, there is no lack of interesting US election betting markets, both now and in the future. You can, of course, bet on who will win the next US Presidential Election, which is scheduled for November 2020. But there is also the chance to bet on the identity of the Democratic nominee who will (probably) face Donald Trump. Beto O’Rourke is backed at 11/4 with Paddy Power to be that candidate, but there is also a possibility of Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and others getting the nod.
  • Congress and Mid-terms Betting: Indeed, with the renewed interest in US politics in the Trump era, UK bookies have offered lots of markets on the race for Congress and Gubernatorial elections. Mid-term elections take place in November every two years, with betting available on a number of seats for the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the races to be Governors of certain sates. The 2018 mid-term elections have just wrapped up, but there will be plenty of Senate and State Governor seats up for grabs alongside the 2020 Presidential election.
  • Donald Trump Betting: It should be noted that the unique circumstances of Donald Trump’s election and tenure as President has meant that there is no end of special markets to bet on Donald Trump. For example, Paddy Power offers odds on whether the President will be impeached in his first term, with 4/5 offered for ‘yes’ and evens for ‘no’. You can also bet on more ‘leftfield’ issues, like the 12/1 Paddy Power cites for Mexico paying directly for Trump’s infamous border wall.

Other Countries

Political betting is certainly not limited to the UK and USA and the majority of top UK political betting bookies will track significant elections and events from around the world. Australia, France, Ireland and Germany are given particular attention, especially when those countries hold general elections or when there are key issues at stake such as the Scottish Independence vote. But other countries are covered too. For example, Sweden, which has its own political turmoil at the moment, is covered by Betfair with a yes/no market on another Swedish general election in 2019.

Popular Bet Types for Politics

Bet Type Description
OutrightWhich party or candidate will win an election.
HandicapBetting on a candidate/party with a theoretical handicap (e.g. seats in Parliament).
Prop BetsA bet on something that doesn’t involve the final result, e.g. turnout of the electorate.
Spread BettingBetting on a candidate/party to win within a range, e.g. Donald Trump to win by 3-5 million in the popular vote.
Date BettingA bet on whether an event will occur within a particular date range, e.g. a UK general election in 2019.

Political Betting Strategy & Tips

Media coverage and pollsters have been much maligned in the last couple of years for failing to predict the outcome of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election. However, there were certainly plenty of predictors that showed these were real possibilities. Indeed, experienced pollsters – like the analysists at FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics – have pointed out that there was a failure to understand the polling data. If Hillary Clinton had an 80% chance of winning in 2018, it meant that Trump had a 1 in 5 chance of winning, certainly not to be discounted. The odds reflected that, but the media didn’t.

Most pollsters and bookies failed to predict Donald Trump’s election, but others, such as FiveThirtyEight, didn’t rule it out. Some pollsters are better than others. For example, those who survey by landline telephone only might overlook younger voters.

So, what can you do to improve your chances of winning a political bet? Discount media narratives, because they can be even subconsciously biased. However, cold, hard numbers do not lie. You should read polling data and pay attention to neutral analysts when they speak of margins of error and so on. Reading of data should also be combined with your own gut feeling and analysis: You could see how passionate those crowds were at Trump rallies, how disgruntled British voters were before the Brexit vote. Sometimes that sixth sense counts for a lot.

Political Bets and Promos

To be frank, bookies don’t often offer political betting promos. However, when it comes to the really big events, like the US Presidential election, you may see top online bookmakers offering enhanced odds on a particular candidate as well as special markets. Also, it should be noted that many betting sites’ welcome offers, like free bets, are usually compatible with political betting.

Bet on Politics Today

We are living in a remarkable political era, one that makes politics and elections betting more exciting than ever before. Because of the unpredictability of the current political climate, punters can get value in the politics odds that rivals the best sports bets.