Betting on politics: the European elections

With the European elections coming up, Matthew Partridge weighs the odds to see which party is the favourite to grab the most seats – providing they go ahead in Britain.


Nigel Farage: on the march
(Image credit: 2019 Getty Images)

As expected, Labour won the Newport West by-election, so my tip that you should back Labour to win paid off. The bad news was that it got only 39.3% of the vote, which meant that my tip on Labour getting into the 40s narrowly failed. The next major political event is the upcoming European elections. While they could still be cancelled if an exit deal is passed by parliament, Ladbrokes has stated that it will cancel any bets and return all money to punters in that scenario.

Ladbrokes is offering a market on the party that wins most seats, with Labour at 11/10 (47.6%), followed by Nigel Farage's (pictured) Brexit Party at 2/1 (33%), the Conservatives at 5/1 (16.7%), and Change UK and Ukip at 12/1 (7.7%) each. You can also bet on the Conservative vote share, with less than 10% at 12/1 (7.7%), 10%-20% at evens (50%), 20%-30% at 11/10 (47.6%), and 30%+ at 16/1 (5.8%).

Finally, there is the Labour vote share, with less than 10% at 50/1 (1.9%), 10%-20% at 5/2 (28.5%), 20%-30% at 8/11 (57.8%), 30%-40% at 4/1 (2) and 40%+ at 20/1 (5%).

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I'm unsure about the Conservative share of the vote, because I don't know how many of their voters will switch over to Ukip or Farage's latest venture. However, my guess is that Labour is very likely to get between 20% and 40% of the vote. This means it is a good idea to bet on Labour getting between 20% and 30% and 30%-40%, for combined odds of 78%. If you want to weight your bet correctly, put £7.43 of a £10 betting unit on 20%-30% and £2.57 on it getting between 30% and 40%.

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