Top Politics Betting Markets To Follow Around The World In 2021
2020 broke all records for political betting. Turnover on the race for next US president rose eightfold, on what was already the biggest market in Betfair’s history.
Sadly, there will be no such record-breaking activity in 2021 because there are no major US elections planned.
There will, nevertheless, be plenty of opportunities in the States and beyond, particularly in Europe.
Trump’s Senate Trial Starts Today
Donald Trump remains centre-stage as his Senate trial begins, following a second impeachment, this time for ‘inciting insurrection’.
At current Betfair odds, you can get a whopping 27-1 about him being convicted. Two-thirds of 100 Senators are required.
Assuming everyone votes, that amounts to at least 17 Republican senators in addition to the 50 Democrats. There is little suggestion that more than a handful from his party will cross Trump.
Both PredictIt and Betfair offer markets on the number of votes for conviction, with 53-56 the confident range.
Could a miracle happen? The only way I can see it is if a secret ballot is established in the rules. That might change the balance.
On a similar secret ballot last week, the House GOP defied the Trump wing of the party to defend Liz Cheney, who had voted to impeach.
Yang Starts Favourite For NYC Mayor
The biggest US market in 2021 is likely to be the race for New York City Mayor in November.
Here, Andrew Yang is a stronger favourite in the UK, where Betfair rate him a 45% chance, as opposed to 37% on PredictIt.
That looks an overestimate – a classic illustration of name recognition bias that would apply double overseas. Yang has a big online following and ran in the Democrat primary.
The 2024 betting is also now open, with odds widely available for Next President, Democrat and Republican Nominee.
Kamala Harris leads at 4.9, ahead of Joe Biden at 5.9 and Trump at 12.0. These markets are already popular, making it possible to constantly trade in and out of candidates.
However if you’re looking for a sooner payday, Europe is the place.
The UK is a constant source of markets.
In May, there is the race for London Mayor and a slate of local elections. In the former, incumbent Sadiq Khan looks a certainty, as reflected by a 92% rating on Betfair.
The most significant of the latter will concern the Scottish Parliament elections.
What Next For Boris Johnson And Post-Brexit Britain?
More exciting are the open-ended markets regarding the man often labelled, fairly or not, as the British Trump.
Betfair offer odds on which year Boris Johnson will leave office – 2021 is a 20% chance. 2024 is 55%.
Naturally there’s plenty of uncertainty and these odds could transform very quickly in response to events.
Johnson’s popularity has waned during much-criticised management of the pandemic but the impressive rollout of vaccines is turning the narrative back in his favour.
Equally though, the negative effects of Brexit are becoming clearer and nobody is more closely associated with it than the Prime Minister.
Parallel to that conversation is the race to succeed him, as expressed in two markets – Next Conservative Leader and Next Prime Minister.
I’d prefer to play the latter at slightly bigger odds, as I expect Johnson to stand aside before the next election in favour of somebody with less baggage.
The favourite for both is Chancellor Rishi Sunak, at around 30% and 25% respectively. He’s popular with the public but these are very short odds. There are dozens of potential candidates so it makes sense to play big odds.
My last two bets here were Liz Truss at odds of 32-1 and Tobias Ellwood at 449-1.
Germany The Pick Of Three General Elections In Europe
For general elections, look to mainland Europe.
The Netherlands in March, then Norway and Germany in September. The last is by far the most significant from both a geopolitical and betting perspective.
Long-standing Chancellor Angela Merkel is standing down and the contest to replace her is virtually tied between Markus Soder and Armin Laschet.
Both are rated around 45% likely, despite representing the same coalition. The latter has just become leader of the CDU party while Soder leads their partner CSU. This selection process should be settled during the spring.
Finally, it is definitely worth looking ahead to what will probably be the biggest global market of 2022.
The French Presidential Election takes place next April but there are various candidate contests to resolve first and the outright market is already lively.
Last time Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen easily in the run-off. They’re rated first and second again, but the race looks much closer. Currently they’re priced at 57% and 18% respectively.
The latter could well rise.