Political Betting and Odds

Wagering on Real Life and Real-time Events

They say that the current political climate is ripe for satire; from the Trump administration in the States to Brexit and the constantly shifting landscape in the House of Commons.

At Mark Jarvis, we like to think that we have our fingers on the pulse of the political heartbeat in the UK, and as a result of this we offer access to betting markets that cover a comprehensive range of real-time events.

But what exactly are these markets, and why should you care? Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked political betting questions!

Our Politics Betting FAQ

How Does Political Betting Work?

In many ways, betting on politics has a great deal in common with sports betting. More specifically, you’ll wager on real-time events and specific outcomes, whilst looking to leverage your knowledge to create some form of competitive advantage.

However, it’s important to note that a volatile political climate tends to offer more opportunity to punters, both in terms of the range of available markets and the precise odds on offer.

This is why political betting is so popular in the current climate; although you should bear in mind that such volatility typically leads to greater levels of uncertainty and unpredictability.

What are the Most Popular Political Betting Markets?

Whilst some betting markets are cyclical and pertain to specific events (such as general or local elections), others can be accessed on a regular basis.

You can always wager on the identity of the next Prime Minister, of course, while there’s also an opportunity to speculate on who’s next in line to lead the major political parties in the UK.

These markets often offer competitive and high-value odds to punters, although it’s wise to wager relatively early when betting on party leadership races as the fields typically narrow to just two or three candidates quickly.

Can I Bet on the Next General Election?

Against the backdrop of Brexit, it appears as though we’re never more than a decision or two away from another general election. This would be the third vote of its type in four years after Theresa May called an ill-fated snap election in the summer of 2017.

Still, any general election offers significant opportunities to punters, with more than 650 Parliamentary seats being contested and several betting markets in play.

So, whether you want to wager on the outcome of a particular constituency vote or speculate on which party will win the most seats at an election, you can rest assured that we have you covered here at Mark Jarvis.

I’ve Heard of ‘No Majority’ Betting in General Elections - What Does this Mean?

What an excellent question! When wagering on a general election, you’ll often come across the ‘overall majority or no majority’ betting market, which is based on the principle that a single political party must win over half of the 650 Parliamentary seats to form a government.

By betting on this happen, you’re backing one of the competing parties to achieve a clear majority.

Conversely, you can also wager on there to be no majority in a general election, and given the polarised and uncertain political climate that currently exists in the UK, this represents the most sensible bet on any national vote.

Are There any Over /Under Betting Markets in Politics?

Sometimes, the odds on parties winning an overall majority or no majority at all are presented as over /under betting markets.

This represents a popular way of betting on political events and happenings, as it creates two clear outcomes and improves your odds of winning incrementally.

One such bet revolves around the turnout percentage, which varies wildly from one election and referendum vote to another. Typically, bookies will set a fixed turnout of around 63.5%, before asking you to speculate on whether the final number of voters will be more (over) or less (under) than this.

What About U.S Politics? Can I Wager on This?

Yes, you can! The political climate in the States is arguably more volatile and corrosive than the UK, whilst the impending Presidential election of 2020 is offering incredible opportunities for punters to cash in.

You can already get odds on the next incumbent of the White House, with Donald Trump is currently the slight favourite ahead of Democrat rivals Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but these odds are likely to fluctuate wildly once the field of candidates narrows and the campaign begins in earnest next year.

Still, don’t leave it too late to bet, as those of you with some political insight may want to back your chosen candidate whilst the odds remain relatively competitive!

OK, I Like the Sound of That - Do you Have any Politics Betting Tips for Me?

Whilst political betting may sound like fun, it’s decidedly complex and certainly not for the faint-hearted.

For example, the rules of elections in the UK and the States varied significantly, whilst party leadership changes are voted on by MPs and official members rather than the general public.

As with most types of betting, it’s also important that you develop an understanding of politics and specific events before wagering your hard-earned cash. This is arguably even more important with political betting markets, however, due to the complexity of the subject matter and the changeable nature of votes and events such as Brexit.

However, recent evidence suggests that you should only use polling as a guide when placing your bets, as recent examples have failed to predict both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Mid-term polling is thought to be a particularly poor indicator of results, although there are some outliers (such as the Survation polls) that are arguably more accurate than others.