Guide to Political Betting

Outside of sports betting, politics is one of the most popular areas to bet on. There is a growing interest in political betting and current affairs and that is reflected in the large range of markets available to bet on.

The most common markets are based on American and UK politics like the US Presidential Elections and Brexit. If there is a particularly interesting political race that is grabbing worldwide attention then you can usually get odds on that too, for example the Brazilian Presidential Election in 2019.

Occasionally bookmakers will offer some more obscure markets like party seats, by-elections or local elections.

Sports Betting vs Political Betting

There are a number of differences between sports betting and political betting that you need to look out for. Firstly, you should know that bookmakers often place their political markets under the ‘Specials’ tab on their website.

Other factors to note:

  1. Odds in political betting can change quite a lot in the run-up to the event. Political candidates have been known to make embarrassing mistakes in newspaper interviews or TV appearances and their credibility can be wiped away. Be aware that a once promising bet can quickly fall by the wayside.
  2. There is less chance of an upset (usually!) in political betting. Public consensus and media opinion influence the markets and they are rarely wrong. It would be rare to see anyone outside the first two or three options in the market winning.
  3. There is so much public interest surrounding politics that the winning result/candidate is often known before the result is announced and the bookmakers price their markets accordingly.

Political Markets

As mentioned already political betting mainly focuses on UK and US politics. You will more than likely find Irish politics included too. Outside of that then there will be more obscure markets available depending on the relevance of the political event. A good example of this would be this the French Presidential Election market being offered by Ladbrokes.

Some of the most popular political betting markets and the government/country that they are offered in is outlined below:

Betting Market – Country of Government

Next President – United States of America

Next Prime Minister – United Kingdom

Winning Political Party – United States of America

Party with most seats after next General Election – Ireland

Brexit Referendum to be held by the end of 2019 – United Kingdom

Many of’s partner bookmakers have a large range of UK political markets to choose from. This ranges from markets on the next Labour leader, the next Conservative Party leader, the next Speaker of the House to things like the EU Parliamentary Elections and Constituency By-elections.

The markets have expanded for US politics too. Up until recently the only available markets were on the Presidential Election. Today, you can place bets on both the Democratic and Republican Primaries, nominations, winning parties and vice-Presidential candidates. If you’re interested in American politics then there is a plethora of markets to explore.

As already mentioned, you can now also find markets on a host of other political markets including elections in countries like Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Brazil. These mainly revolve around general elections or party leaders.

Short Odds

Political betting is unique in the fact that the favourite almost always wins. The bookmakers prices are influenced by media and well documented research so they are rarely wrong when it comes to political punting.

Short odds aren’t that attractive to casual punters. As a bettor you have two options in this case. You can bet big on short odd bets (e.g. Jeremy Corbyn was 1/7 not to succeed Theresa May with Coral) or steer clear altogether.

Tight Political Races

Occasionally there are some close political races (think David Cameron vs Gordon Brown vs Nick Clegg, the Brexit Referendum, John Kerry vs George Bush). In these cases the result was up for debate until the last vote was counted. It is also in these situations that the most money can be made from political betting.

It’s also particularly exciting if you have an interest in politics. You can bet on your favourite party or candidate.

As always we would advise that you don’t go overboard when placing a bet on a political event. Analyse all the possibilities take into account how public sentiment will affect the outcome.

It can be very beneficial to research the political landscape of the offered markets. Obviously if you’re interested in politics you may do this in due course. The advantage of this is to spot political trends which can influence how the country will vote in upcoming elections.

In recent years we have seen both Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump winning the French and US Presidential Elections respectively. They moved from rank outsiders to short-priced favourites in the year leading up to their respective elections. A well-timed bet on either of these men would have returned a large dividend.


Brexit has dominated the headlines for the last number of years and it has also dominated the political betting scene. Many of the UK political markets are now Brexit-centric. The focus is now on whether there will be a second Brexit referendum and the upcoming General Election.

Brexit Theresa May

Originally the 29th March was penciled in for the UK to leave the European Union. That’s now been pushed back for a second time to the 31st January 2020. A lot will depend on the outcome of the General Election on the 12th December.

You can find all the odds on Bet365 and Ladbrokes. Plenty of spread betting available for the General Election with Spreadex and Sporting Index too.

Conservative Leadership Betting

A major betting market in the UK at the moment is the Conservative Leadership race. As the bookies predicted, Boris Johnson succeeded Theresa May as Prime Minister. Johnson was available to back at as short as 1/7 in the weeks leading up to the decision.

It’s fair to say he has ruffled a few feathers in short tenure as Prime Minister so far. With the Brexit deadline looming, Johnson called a prorogation of the UK Parliament but deemed was unlawful. He failed to get his Brexit Bill through the house and he has been at the centre of a number of scandals during this General Election campaign.