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The nature of politics these days means that it can almost be as exciting as sport. The competitive, tribal nature sees people engrossed in all the latest happenings of the political world and betting on politics has certainly become very popular indeed. With odds readily available on not only UK-based elections but also across Europe and of course the United States, there's a huge amounts of market that you can use your politics free bets on. gives you the lowdown on all you need to know when it comes to betting on politics.

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Political Betting Markets

Away from sporting events, political betting probably provides the greatest betting potential all year round. That's definitely the case in 2019 as the UK news is do minated by Brexit, problems in the leading political parties and a new Prime Minister on the horizon after Theresa May's resignation announcement.

Online bookmakers continually give odds on political events and not just for the UK. You can vote on elections around the world, especially in America. Then there are other ante-post markets on who the next leader of a party will be and plenty on President Trump.

Election periods are of course a time when betting on politics is at it's most popular and the markets on the overall winner of an election are the obvious big betting opportunities.

In the UK this is the Most Seats market although it varies by nation such as the USA where the system is different and you would instead be betting on the individual winner of the Presidential election. Aside from elections in which either prime minister's or president's are elected, you can also bet on party leadership elections, mayoral elections, referendum results or a host of political specials such as whether or not Donald Trump will complete his first term in office.

UK Political Betting

Who will be the Next Prime Minister

The announcement that Theresa May will be resigning as Prime Minister on June 7 means there will be plenty of markets available in the coming weeks based on just who will replace her. The leadership contest begins with Tory MPs voting until just two candidates are left. Then the Tory party members decide who becomes leader. There are a large number of potential candidates to replace her.

Here are the latest odds - May 24

  • Boris Johnson - The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London is the current favourite to become the next Prime Minister. He's 5/6 at Paddy Power and a chief Brexiteer. A controversial figure, indeed one that is often made fun of but he seems to have the momentum at present but although Tory activists seem to love him, he needs the support of Conservative MPs to make it into the final two.
  • Dominic Raab - The former Brexit Secretary but has only been an MP for nine years. 6/1 at Betfair to become the next Prime Minister.
  • Jeremy Hunt - Believed to be the choice of Mrs May to take over from her, will that count against her? Currently the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and 14/1 at Ladbrokes to become the leader.


General Election Betting

For UK based punters, General Elections are like the World Cup of politics. During election periods, coverage of the event is virtually inescapable and the bookmakers have quickly realised the vast potential of cashing in on the fever. The most seats market will largely revolve around the two major political UK parties. Realistically speaking, only the Conservatives or the Labour party have a significant chance of winning an overall majority and using your free bet on any other party would be a bit of a long shot. Betting on the number of seats a particular party will win is also another popular market and this varies depending on the party.

The Conservatives for example currently hold more seats than any other party but insufficient to be a majority government. You can bet on either the total amount they will win or instead opt for majority betting. This basically translates as their winning margin so you could either go for over 50 or 100 for example. For the smaller parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, Greens or UKIP, you can bet on whether or not they will win a seat at all.

Of course, you can also place bets on whether the smalker parties with little or no current representation in the House of Commons will win the most seats in the next General Election though odds of 33/1 at William Hill on the Lib Dems winning the most seats at the next General Election are debatable considering their low standing in the polls. Choosing to bet on markets such as how many seats they'll win, vote share or their next leader are more likely to produce a return.

The depth in which the bookies' go to with regards to political betting these days is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact you can now bet on individual constituency results. So if you've got some local knowledge with regards to what's going on in your area, there's the chance to have a punt and make a few quid off it. When it comes to General Elections, there really is so much that you can bet on that it almost puts football betting markets to shame!

Other possible markets to use your politics free bets on include:

  • No Overall Majority
  • Turnout percentage
  • Number of seats won by each party
  • Vote percentage
  • SNP to win every Scottish seat
  • Size of winning majority

Other Elections

It's also possible to place bets on other elections held around the world. This includes the USA where you can try to win money on when President Trump leaves office and if he'll win the next Presidential election due to take place in 2020. Remember if you place a bet on when Trump leaves office, even if he loses the 2020 election, he won't leave office until the start of 2021.

It's also possible to bet on who will win the next London Mayoral election in 2020 and whether there will be another EU referendum before 2020 When countries such as France and Germany hold elections, odds will be available.

Scottish Independence Betting

Another popular market in the world of political betting in the UK is the rather thorny issue of Scottish Independence. Scots were granted greater devolved power in 1997 but since the rise of the Scottish National Party, their has been been a growing clamour for an independent Scotland and with the SNP the dominant political party north of the border, this issue does not look like going away anytime soon. There has already been a referendum held in 2014 where the vote for Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom (the No to independence vote) won by 55.3% to the 44.7% obtained by the yes vote.

However after Brexit, the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has signalled her intentions to hold another referendum despite the 2014 referendum being described a 'once in a generation opportunity'. With regards to Scottish Independence, you can currently bet on the year of the next referendum as well as whether or not Scotland will vote for independence before 2024.

Should I follow the polls?

Opinion polls are away of looking at the overall popularity of a candidate or party and are carried out regularly by various different organisations. The bookmakers will generally be in keeping with the latest polls and their odds will reflect this but we should issue a caution that the pollsters do get things wrong! In recent years this has actually been a bit of a trend in the big elections in the West.

The first of which came during the 2015 UK General Election, when most pollsters had anticipated a very tight result with virtually nothing separating the Conservatives and Labour and the prospect of another Coalition government was very likely. However as it transpired, the actual results were very different with the Conservatives performing much better than anticipated as they won an overall majority. In the UK's referendum on their membership of the European Union aka 'Brexit' the majority of polling once more was wrong as the leave vote somewhat surprisingly won and the same can also be said for Donald Trump's triumph in the 2016 US Presidential Election.

The businessman was a complete political outsider when he announced his campaign in 2015, he was priced at 25-1 to succeed Barack Obama as president. However momentum grew as his campaign wore on and as I'm sure you're well aware, Trump ended up defeating Hilary Clinton to become the US president. Closer to home, Jeremy Corbyn was priced way out at 200-1 to win the Labour party leadership contest in 2015 but the veteran left-wing candidate did indeed end up succeeding Ed Milliband. He was also expected to get widely trounced in the 2017 General Election but instead under his stewardship, Labour increased their share of the vote by 9.6%, winning 30 seats and forcing a hung-parliament in the process.

In politics the outsider can often triumph against the odds, so there is certainly value to be found out there. Polls are essentially just people's opinion on the day they have been asked and given they are usually conducted within a relatively small sample scale, their figures cannot be treated as gospel. They are however a good overall gauge for popularity and should certainly not be entirely dismissed when using your politics free bets. Big polling websites include YouGov and Ipsos MORI whilst newspapers will also carry out their own polling research amongst their readers.

The Impact of the Media on Political Betting

Much like with sport, media outlets and broadcasters will dedicated an awful lot of time and effort in to covering the latest news to all things politics related. Political stories will often lead the news agenda and this is even more so the case during the time of an election. With such vast amounts of information readily available, punters are able to ascertain the public mood and make a judgement over how well a politician or party may be faring. Whilst broadcasters must follow strict rules over impartiality and remaining neutral when it comes to politics, newspapers can openly endorse political parties.

For example in the UK, the Daily Mail has always supported the Conservative Party whilst the Daily Mirror has aligned itself to the Labour Party. Therefore when you're looking to the news for a guide in how the political landscape is shaping up, it's perhaps wise to remain slightly objective and to not be sucked in by bias when you're betting on politics.

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