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

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

Trading: catch this coach company
Trading

Trading: catch this coach company

Bus and coach operator National Express has expanded into promising markets abroad – and it looks cheap
28 Jan 2020
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
Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express
Trading

Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express

Bus operator National Express is cheap, robust and ideally placed to ride the recovery. Matthew Partridge explains how traders can play it.
19 Oct 2020

Most Popular

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
UK post-Covid recovery stocks: these 20 companies could be set to rocket
Share tips

UK post-Covid recovery stocks: these 20 companies could be set to rocket

Finding stocks with the potential to rise tenfold or even further is far easier said than done. But the pandemic has produced the most promising backd…
22 Oct 2020
Big spending government is here to stay – just ask Rishi Sunak
UK Economy

Big spending government is here to stay – just ask Rishi Sunak

Governments around the world are splashing huge amounts of cash as they do “whatever it takes” to prop up their economies. John Stepek looks at where …
23 Oct 2020