Betting on politics: a bad bet on the Italian prime minister

That Giuseppe Conti is almost certain to be the next prime minister of Italy is not too surprising after all, says Matthew Partridge.


Giuseppe Conti: the probable next Italian prime minister
(Image credit: This content is subject to copyright.)

At the weekend, Janet Daby was selected as the prospective Labour candidate for Lewisham East. This means that last week's tip to bet on her (along with Sakina Sheikh) paid off. Unfortunately, it looks as though the new Italian prime minister is almost certain to be Giuseppe Conte (pictured), which means our suggestion that you bet on both Paolo Gentiloni and Antonio Tajani will not end so well, although this isn't too surprising given the results of the Italian elections in March.

This week also marks the second anniversary of this column and we've had an eventful two years. We had some notable winners predicting that the EU referendum result would be close, that Cameron would leave before 2019, and that Theresa May would call an early election.

We also correctly predicted the results of elections in Australia, Austria, Germany, New Zealand and Virginia. But we also made some mistakes, miscalling the overall results of the US presidential election and the last UK general election.

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Overall, we've made 90 combined tips involving 151 individual bets. One of them ended up being cancelled (the Manchester Gordon by-election) but 65 of the combined bets (and 105 of the individual tips) were settled. If you had followed our advice and properly weighted each part of the combined bets in line with the odds, you would have made a return of 47%. Even if you had just bet an equal amount on each sub-bet you would have made a profit of 15.4%. So far, so good.

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