Betting on politics: the odds on the date of a general election

Punters are betting that a general election in Britain will happen sooner rather than later. Matthew Partridge looks at the odds.

Election party rosettes © iStockphotos

Election party rosettes © iStockphotos

With £604,856 already matched on Betfair, punters clearly think that a general election in Britain will happen sooner rather than later. An election this year is the favourite at odds of 1.53 (65.3%). The other options are 2020 at 3.7 (27%), with 2021 at 36 (2.7%) and 2022 at 17 (5.9%) now seen as longshots. Personally, I'm very happy that I tipped an election in either 2019, 2020 or 2021, back in August 2017.

But instead of putting any more money down on it, I suggest that you take a look at another Betfair market that has sprung up on the month that the election will be held. A total of £134,789 has been matched so far. Although you can still bet on an election taking place this month or in September, the only serious options are: October 2019, November 2019, December 2019 and 2020 or later. Of these, 2020+ is the favourite at 2.86 (34.9%), followed by November 2019 at 3.2 (31.25%), October 2019 at 3.25 (30.7%) and 15 (6.7%) on a December election.

My take on this is that you can rule out a December election since voters wouldn't take too kindly to an election campaign just before Christmas. And I can't see Boris Johnson surviving as prime minister until the New Year. I therefore suggest that you should bet on an election in either October or November at combined odds of 62%. In this case you should split a £10 betting unit with £5.03 on November and £4.97 on October.

Recommended

How will the crash of 2022 play out?
Investments

How will the crash of 2022 play out?

Stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies – everything is crashing at the same time. We’ve seen these kinds of multiple collapses before, says Merryn Somerset W…
20 Jun 2022
A recruitment firm to bet on as the world gets back to work
Trading

A recruitment firm to bet on as the world gets back to work

Recruitment consultant Hays has been volatile, but results are strong and trends encouraging. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to play the shar…
20 Jun 2022
Latest issue
Investments

Latest issue

Latest issue of MoneyWeek magazine
16 Jun 2022
When it comes to investing, sometimes you just have to have faith
Investment strategy

When it comes to investing, sometimes you just have to have faith

To be a successful investor, there’s no substitute for knowledge and experience. But you also need belief, says Dominic Frisby. Here, he explains how …
8 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Market crash: have we hit bottom or is there worse to come?
Stockmarkets

Market crash: have we hit bottom or is there worse to come?

For a little while, markets looked like they were about to embark on a full-on crash. And that could still happen, says Dominic Frisby. Today, he look…
27 Jun 2022
Interest rates are rising, here are the best savings accounts on the market
Savings

Interest rates are rising, here are the best savings accounts on the market

With inflation at more than 9%, your savings are not going to keep pace with the rising cost of living. But you can at least slow the rate at which yo…
24 Jun 2022
Prepare your portfolio for recession
Investment strategy

Prepare your portfolio for recession

A recession is looking increasingly likely. Add in a bear market and soaring inflation, and things are going to get very complicated for investors, sa…
27 Jun 2022