Betting on politics: the five best online resources

To start placing bets on political events, you just need the web address of the website or betting exchange that you plan to use and a credit card. Indeed, if you want to physically place a bet with a bookmaker, you don’t need the internet at all. However, if you are at all serious about betting you will want to do your own research. While sites specifically devoted to betting on politics are still thin on the ground, there are five online resources that we’d recommend.

Political Betting has been around since March 2004. Run by former Liberal Democrat politician Mike Smithson, it features posts from a series of regular contributors from various parts of the political spectrum. The lively comment threads below each post usually contain useful tips, along with heated discussion of political issues.

If you want to see how a particular market is doing without having to trawl through various websites, then consider visiting Bet Data, which provides live betting data. At the moment it has charts on 16 political markets. While you can pay £8 a month for a fully customisable version, the free version is also useful if you just want a snapshot of what’s happening.

OddsChecker is an odds comparison site for online bookmakers. While most bookmakers tend to follow each other (limiting the opportunities for arbitrage), it is always a good idea to shop around for the best odds. OddsChecker also provides the Betfair price (expressed as approximate fractional odds) for comparison.

From Brexit to Trump, pollsters, and polling analysts, had a horrible 2016. However, Nate Silver’s 538 actually did better than most. His UK equivalent is Number Cruncher Politics by Matt Singh.