Features

Betting on politics: the Irish presidency

The Irish presidency has rolled around again. Matthew Partridge looks at how the betting market rates the main contenders.

916-Higgins-634
Higgins is running for re-election

I haven't really covered Irish politics in this column, but the upcoming presidential election looks an interesting opportunity. Unlike America, the Irish presidency is largely symbolic, with real power residing with the taoiseach and parliament. This year incumbent Michael Higgins (who won in the second round in 2011) is running for re-election, and seeking to be the first president to seek two terms in office since amon de Valera in 1966.

Both Ladbrokes and Paddy Power are offering odds on the winner. Paddy Power has the best odds on Higgins at 1/6 (85.7%), but Ladbrokes is the best on four of the other candidates: Sen Gallagher at 13/2 (13.3%), Gavin Duffy at 18/1 (5.3%), Joan Freeman at 28/1 (3.4%) or Liadh N Riada at 33/1 (2.9%). Paddy Power is offering 66/1 on Peter Casey, the sixth contender. Betfair is offering slightly more generous odds on most of the field: 1.22 (81.9%) on Higgins, 9.8 (10.2%) on Gallagher, 22 (4.5%) on Duffy and 40 (2.5%) on Freeman although N Riada is 9.6 (10.4%).

Higgins is well liked, and has the support of three out of the four main Irish parties (Fine Gael, Fianna Fil and Labour). The only poll, conducted last month has him getting 67% of first-preference votes which would be enough for him to win outright without the need to count second preferences. While there are three presidential debates to go, and a minor news story about presidential expenses in the press, I think that you should take Betfair's 1.22 on Higgins.

Recommended

How the fear of death affects our investment processes
Investment strategy

How the fear of death affects our investment processes

Many of our investment decisions are driven by one simple fact: the knowledge that, one day, we will be dead. Here, in an extract from his new book, J…
2 Jan 2020
The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad
Stockmarkets

The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad

John Stepek takes a look back on which investments did well and which did badly in the decade that’s about to come to an end.
26 Dec 2019
How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Will a stronger euro ruin Europe's rally?
European stockmarkets

Will a stronger euro ruin Europe's rally?

International investors have been buying into European stocks, driving the euro higher. But that surge now risks dampening the recovery that started i…
21 Sep 2020

Most Popular

The electric-car bubble could get an awful lot bigger from here
Renewables

The electric-car bubble could get an awful lot bigger from here

The switch to electric cars is driving a huge investment bubble. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, says John Stepek. Fortunes will be made and l…
24 Sep 2020
Can Rishi Sunak’s winter plan save the UK economy?
UK Economy

Can Rishi Sunak’s winter plan save the UK economy?

With his Winter Economic Plan, chancellor Rishi Sunak is hoping to support the economy through the dark months ahead as restrictions tighten again. Jo…
25 Sep 2020
The rising dollar is proving bad news for most other assets – will it last?
Investment strategy

The rising dollar is proving bad news for most other assets – will it last?

Precious metals, stocks and pretty much every other asset has taken a tumble as the US dollar strengthens. Dominic Frisby looks at how long this trend…
23 Sep 2020