Betting on politics: Macron's eyes election victory

This French election has proven especially hard to call, says Matthew Partridge. But Emmanuel Macron is edging out in front.


Could Emmanuel Macron steal the French election?
(Image credit: Christophe Morin / IP3)

Donald Trump may have dropped the "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan last week, but the prime minister has managed to upstage him with her shock election announcement. As I thought, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act has proved not to be an impediment, with only 13 MPs voting against dissolution.

If you had taken my advice in July to bet on an election in 2017, 2018 or 2019 at combined odds of 26.7%, you would have made a very handsome profit. Of course, this means that my bet on Jeremy Corbyn leaving before the next election will prove to be a dud, though I'm still comfortably ahead.

Rather than charging ahead with new suggestions yet, however, I'm going to examine the various markets so I can deliver a detailed look at the various betting opportunities related to election 2017 next week.

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For now, I'm going to assess the French presidential election. As you may remember, I've repeatedly held off betting on Emmanuel Macron to be elected president, just because this contest has been so crazy. But his recent poll jitters have caused his price to fall to 1.99 (50.1%) on Betfair from a peak of nearly 70% last month.

To win, Macron has to get in the top two in Sunday's first round election and then win the run off on 7 May. The second part of the equation should be relatively simple, since he leads Franois Fillon by around 30 points, Marine Le Pen by over 20, and even Jean-Luc Mlenchon by under 20, in head-to-heads.

The first part is harder, but he still leads Mlenchon and Fillon by a decent amount and their support seems to have levelled off. I'm therefore giving him around a 65% chance of getting to the second round and at least a 90% chance of winning in the second round. Hence I'd suggest that you bet on him to win at evens with Skybet.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri