Betting on politics: Angela Merkel a shoo-in

With the odds favouring Angela Merkel to win another term, Matthew Partridge sizes up a different betting opportunity.


Angela Merkel is a sure bet
(Image credit: 2017 Chesnot)

There has been an unprecedented number of betting opportunities over the past 15 months, but now we are in a bit of a lull. One of the few interesting bets around is the upcoming German election, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth election victory. Martin Schulz's decision to swap Brussels for the SPD leadership in January led to some brief speculation that he could pose a serious threat. However, recent local election results suggest that, if anything, Merkel's CDU/CSU has gained ground.

So it's not surprising that Ladbrokes is offering 7/1 (12.5%) on the SPD getting most seats, with Betfred offering 6/1 (14.3%) on Schulz becoming German chancellor. Betfair is even more generous, quoting digital odds of 12.5 (8%) on the Social Democrats coming first. Those who want to bet on Merkel's party can get either 1/12 (92%) from the bookies or 1.08 (93%) from Betfair. The problem is that I think these odds are broadly right, so I don't see any value in taking either side of these bets.

At the other end of the political spectrum we have the Ukip leadership election. Nominations are due to close at the end of the month, with multiple candidates likely. However, the two frontrunners are current deputy leader Peter Whittle and activist Anne Marie Waters. Waters has managed the rare feat of being considered too extreme for the Kippers, as she was barred from being both a GLA and a parliamentary candidate, as well as being denounced by Farage himself. David Kurten is also an interesting long shot who has been endorsed by Ukip mega-donor Aaron Banks.

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I'm therefore tipping both Whittle at 9/4 (30.7%) and David Kurten at 25/1 (3.8%), with Paddy Power, for combined odds of 34.6%. In terms of a hypothetical £10 betting unit, this works out to £8.89 on Etheridge and £1.11 on Kuerten.

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