Features

Betting on politics: odds on the next EC president

Because of the controversial way in which Ursula von der Leyen was appointed to be the next president of the European Commission, there’s a chance that the European Parliament could refuse to confirm her.

Ursula von der Leyen © Getty Images

1153602947

Ursula von der Leyen © Getty Images

With nearly a fortnight to go before ballot papers in the Tory leadership election have to be returned, the amount of money matched on the betting exchanges continues to rise. The sum matched on Betfair has grown to £14m; another £2.2m has been wagered on Smarkets. Both betting exchanges predict that Boris Johnson will emerge triumphant, and his odds have narrowed to 1.06 (94.3%). Those on Jeremy Hunt have drifted out to 17 (5.8%).

Having tipped Johnson (among a host of other candidates) two years ago, I'm not going to recommend that you put any more money on either candidate. In any case, the odds seem about right, since Johnson has a huge lead in the membership opinion polls. Still, a lacklustre debate performance, his failure to back the (now former) UK ambassador to the US (see right), and the possibility of a last-minute scandal, mean that there is still a small chance that Hunt could yet end up as the next leader of the Tories.

However, if you want some real value, then I'd recommend that you turn your attention to Europe. Last week, it was announced that the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen (pictured), has been selected to be the president of the European Commission. Because of the controversial way she was appointed, there's a chance that the European Parliament could refuse to confirm her. I think it's unlikely they will reject her, so you should take the 1.33 (75.2%) available on Smarkets on her being the next president.

Recommended

Barry Norris: investing for a post-pandemic world
Investment strategy

Barry Norris: investing for a post-pandemic world

Barry Norris, manager of the Argonaut absolute return fund, explains what the investment landscape looks like in a post pandemic world, with the end o…
21 Jan 2022
Latest issue
Investments

Latest issue

Latest issue of MoneyWeek magazine
21 Jan 2022
What will happen to the price of gold in 2022?
Gold

What will happen to the price of gold in 2022?

Gold is traditionally the go-to asset during inflation. But with inflation at 30-year highs, it has gone nowhere. Dominic Frisby investigates why, and…
20 Jan 2022
HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble
Trading

HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble

US tech stocks have had a fantastic couple of years. But this year is unlikely to be so bullish for high-fliers that can’t turn big profits.
18 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners
Investment strategy

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners

Under our system of shareholder capitalism it's not fund managers, it‘s the individual investors – the company's ultimate owners – who should be telli…
24 Jan 2022
Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now
Share tips

Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now

Professional investor Fay Ren of the Cerno Pacific Fund highlights three of her favourite Asian stocks to buy now
24 Jan 2022
Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing
Investment strategy

Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing

Ian Lance and Nick Purves of the Temple Bar investment trust explain the essence of “value investing” – buying something for less than its intrinsic v…
14 Jan 2022