Betting on politics: Denmark's general election

Denmark is holding one of the major forthcoming European elections of next year. Matthew Partridge looks at the bookies' favourites.


Can Lars Lkke Rasmussen hold on?

One of the major forthcoming European elections next year is the general election in Denmark, which will have to be held by 17 June. At the moment most people expect the Social Democrats to do well, and Paddy Power has them as clear favourites to win most seats, at 1/5 (83.3%).

It also thinks that the current prime minister, Lars Lkke Rasmussen of the Danish Liberal Party, is the odds-on favourite to win, and it is quoting1/3 (75%) on him staying in power.

Despite the short odds, I think you should take the bet on the Social Democrats getting the most seats. Since Denmark uses a form of proportional representation, the party that gets the most votes nationally will also get the largest number of seats. Over the past few years the opinion polls have been extremely stable, giving the Social Democrats consistent leads of 5%-10% over the other two parties, the far-right People's Party and the centre-right Liberals.

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I'm sceptical about Rasmussen retaining power, however. With the three main parties getting only two-thirds of the seats, it will all hinge on the performance of the minor parties in each bloc. At the moment polling suggests that the various left wing and left-of-centre parties are on course to get a majority of votes. While the gap between the left and right-wing blocs is only a few percentage points, the chances of him retaining power should be less than 50%, which suggests that Paddy Power's quoted odds look poor value.

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