Whether betting on Brexit, the US election, UK politics, Scottish Independence and more, betting on politics can be a very profitable endeavour. In this article, we will discuss political betting strategy and where to find accurate predictions for the US 2020 presidential election.
Table of Contents
- Best Betting Sites We Recommend for the Politics
- Why Politics Betting is So Exiting
- UK Politics Betting Odds 2020
- Year Boris John is replaced as Prime Minister (from Paddy Power)
- 2021 Welsh Assembly Election Odds (from Paddy Power)
- Next Scottish First Minister (2021 Scottish Parliament election)
- Next Scottish First Minister Odds (from Paddy Power)
- Next Scottish Independence Referendum Result
- Scottish Independence Referendum Odds (from Paddy Power)
- When will the next Scottish Independence Referendum take place? (From Paddy Power)
- Other Popular UK Brexit Odds Betting Markets:
- Betting on the US Presidential Election 2020
- The American Voting System
- Why Use Delegates?
- The 2016 Presidential Election
- What Makes the 2020 Election Unique?
- Racial Tension, Protests and Riots
- Mail-in Voting
- Trump’s War with the Media
- Inaccurate (and possibly manipulated) Polling Data
- A Geriatric Candidate
- US Election Prediction Models
- Rest of the World Election Betting Odds
- Politics Betting Markets
- Top 6 Politics Betting Tips
- How to Bet on Politics and Elections
- Biggest and Best Political Election Bets Ever Made
- Politics and Elections Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
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Why Politics Betting is So Exiting
Value. Value is the most important aspect of any betting strategy. In a world where betting money can move odds just as much as bookie analysis, political betting is one of the few fields where punters can find consistent value. If you start your bets early, you can find ridiculous underdogs, who evolve into favourites and even winners.
UK Politics Betting Odds 2020
While the political landscape is a bit quieter since Brexit is almost finalized, there are still plenty of markets and elections for UK punters. While you can bet on current events, you can also bet on future events, such as the next UK election or who will be the next prime minister after Boris Johnson. Of course, you will have to wait early for these bets to settle. With a Brexit deal or Brexit no deal happening imminently, bets on whether a deal will even happen are already being taken by bookies. Here are the major UK betting markets for British politics betting in 2020/2021.
Year Boris John is replaced as Prime Minister (from Paddy Power)
|2022 or later||4/6|
2021 Welsh Assembly Election Odds (from Paddy Power)
Next Scottish First Minister (2021 Scottish Parliament election)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is looking to be re-elected in 2021. Oddly, she is still not listed by the bookies; expect this to be updated soon. Angus Robertson is a favourite, followed by Kate Forbes, John Swinney and Joanna Cherry. The issue of Scottish independence and the relation with post-Brexit UK will likely be the most important in this election.
Next Scottish First Minister Odds (from Paddy Power)
Next Scottish Independence Referendum Result
The next Scottish election will likely be tied to a referendum on independence. Now, bookies see each result equally likely, though this undoubtedly see movement after the 2021 election.
Scottish Independence Referendum Odds (from Paddy Power)
|For Independence (Pass)||5/6|
|Against Independence (Fail)||5/6|
When will the next Scottish Independence Referendum take place? (From Paddy Power)
|2022 or later||2/9|
Other Popular UK Brexit Odds Betting Markets:
Betting on the US Presidential Election 2020
The United States presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voters will get to elect a new vice president, or re-elect Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The 2020 election will offer plenty of options for punters, including prop bets, over/unders, and various specials. This election promises to be extra exciting, with both main candidates so close in the polls.
The American Voting System
In order to understand the upcoming US election, you first need an idea how presidential elections work in the US. The American democratic system is unique in that it is an indirect election. Voters elect delegates, who will in turn elect the president. Each state gets delegates based on its population. However, these delegates are not distributed equally. This explains how Trump became president in 2016, while Clinton still won the popular vote. This also explains why bookies offer bets on the popular vote as well as the ultimate winner (electoral vote).
Why Use Delegates?
The delegates system was designed to protect states with smaller populations from being overpowered by states with larger populations. While most states will send all of their delegates to the winner of that state, Maine and Nebraska states will divide their delegates between the candidates.
In the primaries, each party holds a pre-election, determining who will become their front-runner. The 2020 primaries are already complete, with Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate, and Trump as the Republican candidate. Of course, there are always plenty of possible bets on primaries as well. These can be a huge chance for finding value. For example, in early 2015, during the primaries, Trump was still an 18/1 underdog to win the election.
The 2016 Presidential Election
In 2016, Trump won the popular vote in 30 states, as well as Maine's 2nd congressional district. This got him 306 electoral votes, enough to win the presidency.
Clinton won the popular vote in 20 states, plus D.C. This granted her 232 electoral votes. However, she did win the overall popular vote, since the states she won are more populous than the states where she lost. She won 65,853,514 votes, or 48.18%, while Trump won 62,984,828 votes, or 46.09%.
What Makes the 2020 Election Unique?
There are several key issues, which make the 2020 US election unique. 2020 has been a year like no other in global history, but the US seems to have been struck the worst. With the coronavirus outbreak, protests and riots, and now statewide wildfires, the US is a very different place compared to the year before.
The coronavirus originated from China, and quickly took the world by storm. While the US in not uniquely affected, nowhere else has the epidemic been politicized to this level. In a country where you have both anti-mask zealots and pro-lockdown hardliners, the preferred way to deal with the virus seems divided between party lines.
- Democrats seem generally in favour of extended lockdowns to ensure health and safety. This includes closing schools and placing restrictions on businesses if not banning them altogether. At the same time, they are taking aim at Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
- Republicans seem generally more open to allowing businesses to operate and allow life to resume normalcy. They favour reopening schools and boosting the economy.
Racial Tension, Protests and Riots
Since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, there have been constant protest, riots and unrests. These have already cost the lives of over 20 people (at the time of writing) including several police officers and cost billions in damages. The US would not be the US if this were not politicized as well.
- Democrats are generally taking the side of the protesters. Doing this, they hope to gain the ever-important black popular vote during the upcoming US election, as well as other races. Democrat officials are downplaying the violence, while often ordering police and law enforcement to stand back. Whether this is a good strategy, remains to be seen. They are already seeing backlash from small business owners in their areas and this allows Trump to be perceived as the law and order candidate.
At the same time, it is completely unclear whether the protesters, rioters or their supporters are even voters at all. While they are generally left leaning, a traditional candidate like Biden is not very appealing the people inspired by Marxism and anarchism.
- Trump has clearly positioned himself as a law and order candidate ahead of the US election. While democrat leaders are refusing for federal help to deal with riots, Trump can easily blame them for not stopping the violence immediately.
Mail-in voting is another major point of contention. Many states are choosing to allow mail-in voting as a precaution against the pandemic. How this will affect the US election is unclear.
- Trump: The Trump administration has positioned itself firmly against widespread mail-in voting. Trump asserts that mail-in voting can lead to fraud, delegitimizing the upcoming election.
- Democrats: Democrats see nothing wrong with mail-in voting. Of course, this would not be the US if election strategy were not involved. The idea is that by sending votes per mail, people who are too lazy to vote the usual way will now start voting en masse. This should help the democrat campaign, since many of these ‘lazy voters’ belong to minorities, which are unlikely to vote Republican.
Of course, we will not now which side is right until the actual US election.
Trump’s War with the Media
Trump has always been a figure of controversy, in fact, that is how he built his personal brand before becoming president. However, his war with the media has led to an unseen level of coverage and controversy. He seems to be at the top of each news page, on most sites, with stories that often lack context or nuance. Most major news sites (such as CNN, MSNBC) are radically anti-Trump, while Fox news is his sole faithful supporter.
Again, this is a bizarre strategy for the left-leaning media. While they portrayed Obama as a baby-faced angel (a strategy that clearly worked), they are constantly portraying Trump as the ultimate incarnation of evil. The Democrats and media’s strategy of demonising one candidate instead of building on their own is very questionable. Instead of a choice for a specific candidate, they are turning the election into a referendum on Trump. One can only wonder what would happen if they spent all the energy attacking Trump on praising a Democratic candidate instead.
Inaccurate (and possibly manipulated) Polling Data
In the UK and most countries, polls are generally a good way to predict the outcome of an election. However, polls can be skewed, especially in the US. Research has shown that most people vote for whom they believe will win the election. Because of this, politically inspired news outlets are doing everything they can to manipulate poll numbers to make it look as if their candidate has the best chance of winning.
Polls are often inaccurate because other factors as well. People with certain political views are often less likely to respond to poll requests. At the same time, people sometimes feel under pressure to answer that they will vote a certain way, even though they will vote differently when the election is finally at the door.
In the lead-up to the 2016 election, all the polls had Hillary as a clear winner, while bookies also had her as a clear favourite to win. We all know how that went!
A Geriatric Candidate
Joe Biden is getting very old! This is another unique factor in the 2020 election. He is already 77 years old and even his supporters are concerned with his possible mental decline. He rarely leaves his house to campaign, and seems to read most of his answers from a teleprompter. His staff preapprove his questions and he rarely improvises. If elected, he would be the oldest US president in history. How he would fare in an actual debate against Trump is worrying to the Democrat establishment, which is why Democrat house speaker Nancy Pelosi is actually hoping he will not participate.
Of course, this has led to plenty of speculation what will happen if Biden cannot perform his duties. He could drop out of the race altogether, with the Democrats seeking an emergency replacement. Alternatively, if he wins, he could turn over the presidency to his running mate, Kamala Harris. As you can see in the odds above, bookies consider these realistic scenarios.
US Election Prediction Models
While you could use your gut feeling when analysing 2020 US election bets, there are plenty of polling bureaus dedicated to predicting who will win. Here are four of the best:
- IBD/TIPP Poll: the IBD/TIPP Poll is a collaboration between Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica. In 2016 they were the only outlet to correctly predict Trump’s electoral win. On the site, you will find monthly approval ratings and plenty of other polls, stats and predictions.
- Rasmussen reports: Rasmussen was one of the only bureaus who came close to predicting the election correctly in 2016. They correctly predicted Hillary’s popular vote win, missing by only 0.3%, and came close to predicting who would win the electoral vote.
- Bloomberg: Bloomberg also offers political content and polling. In 2016, they were only off by a few points when predicting the election. However, keep in mind that the outlet is part of the Bloomberg media empire, and owned by a man who ran in the Democratic primaries 2020.
- Reuters/Ipsos: News agency Reuters works with polling bureau Ipsos to offer regular polls on everything election-related. Their polling results were similar to Bloomberg’s in 2016, predicting a small but significant win for Hillary Clinton.
Rest of the World Election Betting Odds
While the UK and the US are undoubtedly the most popular political markets, world politics often offer plenty of betting options and value.
Betting on Australian Politics
Australian politics are often interesting, even to POMs. Currently the Coalition is favoured to win the next parliamentary election. The ACT general election will be held Saturday 28 November 2020.
47th Parliament of Australia odds (from Paddy Power)
Betting on New Zealand Politics
New Zealand is another former UK colony of interest to UK punters. The general election will be held on Saturday 17 October 2020 and determine who will sit in parliament and elect the new prime minister. The New Zealand Labour Party is a ridiculous favourite at 1/14.
New Zealand General Election – Prime Minister Party Odds (from Paddy Power)
|New Zealand Labour Party||1/14|
|New Zealand National Party||13/2|
|New Zealand First||25/1|
|Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand||33/1|
|ACT New Zealand||66/1|
Politics Betting Markets
In order to understand the different types of bets that exist in politics, we should first look at the different ways to place a bet: spread bets and online sportsbooks.
Spread betting sites let you bet on what a result will be, the more correct you are, the more you will win. However, the more you are incorrect, the more money you can lose. A good example of this is Spreadex, where you can bet on points spreads on sporting events as well as election results.
Meanwhile, online sportsbooks provide the most convenient option for players. Through online bookmakers, players can wager on almost anything – the options found nowadays are practically unending. A lot of the bet categories available in sports are available in politics too. The most common bets include a straight up bet, handicap bet, and proposition bets.
Straight up bets
A straight up bet, is usually betting on one of two or more possible outcomes. These include outrights. For example: Trump or Biden to win the 2020 US election.
A handicap bet consists of wagering according to the margin you think a candidate will win by. For example: Trump to win popular vote with 2% extra.
Prop bets rely on the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event, these are usually smaller, less important events. For example: Trump to lose popular vote but be re-elected.
Top 6 Politics Betting Tips
When betting on politics, you will need to have a sharp mind to ensure you are not caught up in the propaganda released by either side. Here are our top 6 political betting tips:
1. Bet early
While you could wait until the day before the election to place your bet, this bet will ultimately have less value compared to a bet placed a year earlier. Usually margins tighten the closer an election draws, while the number of possible candidates is thinned down to a possible two or three. The more candidates in the race the higher the odds for your selection. This goes for US elections, primaries as well as most UK political events.
2. Don’t bet on your favoured candidate for the sake of it
This may seem like an obvious point to some, but a few punters fail to realise that betting on politics requires the same in-depth analysis and research that any other betting market would. Elections betting is not about wagering on your preferred politicians, but finding a bet where the odds are higher than the probability. Analyse statistics, polls and reliable news sources before placing your politics bet. Moreover, make sure you wager on elections you understand well.
3. Research independently
News sources are not always trustworthy. In order to back the data you find, carry out your own research by reading forums and remaining up to date with public opinion. Speaking to acquaintances and observing comment threads can give you a great indication of what is on people’s minds. Remember how Brexit happened, even though most news outlets were predicting it would not?
4. Don’t believe everything you read
This point reinforces our last… always ensure your information sources are reliable through careful research. Most news sources are misleading due to strongly favouring one candidate over another. The one-sided information made available can sometimes outright false and inaccurately represent public opinion, which is why every estimation you come across online should be taken with a grain of salt. Steer clear of biased news sites and political pages when seeking information for your elections betting strategy. The media’s propaganda may indeed cost you a lot of money if you are not careful! At the very least, look at news sources from either side of the political spectrum.
5. Beware of polls
Polls are supposed to be accurate samples of public opinion. In reality, they are often political tools, designed to affect the public’s voting behaviour. As we mentioned while discussing the 2016 US election, polls are often skewed in favour of a specific candidate. Polling bureaus and news agencies do this in various ways, including selecting only favourable participants, or misrepresenting the results in a way favourable to their candidate.
6. Never underestimate the underdogs
Punters often like to favour major candidates, as they believe it is a less risky choice than placing an election bet on a candidate with less of a reputation. Yet, placing bets on a minor candidate achieving a small feat and gaining seats in parliament may prove to be wiser than simply placing bets on the major candidate to win. Trust your instincts; the popular opinion is not always right!
How to Bet on Politics and Elections
Betting on politics and elections is ultimately very simple. If you know how to place a sports bet, you can also bet on any political bet the bookie offers. Simply head create an account at a sportsbook, and head to the sports section. Choose political bets or political specials and add the events to your betting slip. Of course, you will need a bit more patience compared to football betting, since you can usually bet on political events months in advance.
Biggest and Best Political Election Bets Ever Made
Betting on politics has the potential to earn you a substantial figure while still being enjoyable – and some lucky bettors have truly been able to experience that. There certainly have been some impressive political bets over recent years… Here are our three of our favourites:
One of our all-time favourite political betting stories is that of Sedgefield taxi driver George Elliott, who bet on Tony Blair becoming leader and Prime Minister following a lucky taxi ride in 1983. Following an eye-opening conversation with his passenger, Elliot was impressed by the young politician and proceeded to head to a local bookmaker to place a bet on him. Elliott was quoted odds of 500/1, and sure enough, the unlikely event followed through and won him an unbelievable £5,000 in 1997. The 14-year wait did not go to waste!
One of the largest bets in politics was that of 51-year-old Cornish hotelier John Mappin, who had high hopes on Donald Trump, enough to place over 30 bets amounting to £3,500at a variety of odds on him winning the Republican nomination and becoming President. Mappin claimed that he had never placed a bet before this one, yet was compelled to do so through a data analysis system simply three days after Trump entered the contest. Trump sure did not let Mappin down, who enjoyed a massive £110,767 victory! The fantastic figure wasn’t his only cash prize, however. Mappin told ITV news that following his win, Eric Trump called Mappin to thank him for his support, while inviting him to meet President Trump. Mappin said: “I've been working with an information analyst system for about 20 years.
“The purpose of it is to predict outcomes. I was examining information out of America, specifically social media patterns. When Donald Trump's presidency bid was announced we really knew three hours later that he was going to win.”
The lucky London gambler
A first-time political bettor from Kingston, London, placed a bet on the Scots, shortly after realising that they were unlikely to vote for independence in the 2014 referendum. The middle-aged businessman had carried out a lot of research before coming to this conclusion, which in turn saw him bet a whopping £900,000 with William Hill on a no vote. Despite odds that were not in his favour, the daring wager paid off, and saw him earn an extravagant £1,093,333.33.
He said: “Losing the money would have seriously hurt but I wouldn’t have lost my house. I would call it responsible gambling, a reasoned wager.”
Politics and Elections Betting FAQs
🥇 What are the best politics and elections betting sites?
Based on our research Paddy Power, William Hill and Bet365 are the top election betting sites.
🤑 What types of political markets do bookies offer?
Bookies generally offer prop bets, straight picks and handicap bets for politic
⚒️ Is betting on politics legal in the UK?
Yes. Any bet on a licenced UK bookie is 100% legal. On top of that, winnings from any bet you place will also be tax-free.
🎰 Can you bet on UK and US politics?
Of course, most bookies offer political specials on UK politics, US politics as well as many other elections from around the world.
👍 Can I use my sports welcome bonus for political betting?
Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that you might have to wait a long time for your free bet to settle, if you choose to wager it on politics.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Betting on politics requires a bit of mental discipline, since it can be easy to be carried away in one’s own political beliefs and preferences. However, it is important to remain apolitical in your elections betting strategy, as you winning or losing your bet will not help your favourite candidate win. Bet with your mind and not your heart and only place bets after you have identified value.