Betting Odds Boards Light Up for French Presidential Duel Between Macron, Le Pen

Posted on: April 20, 2022, 08:44h. 

Last updated on: April 20, 2022, 01:56h.

Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron already won the first round of voting to retain his position. He now faces off against Marine Le Pen this Sunday and oddsmakers see him as a lock for another term.

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the French presidential race of 2017. Although Macron is the odds-on favorite to continue as France’s president, the two are back again. (Image: BBC)

For the past two months, it seemed as though nothing would stand in the way of Emmanuel Macron securing another term as the President of France. When voters took to the polls for the first of two possible elections, they supported him, but not enough to avoid a run-off.

The second – and decisive – vote will be this Sunday. Oddsmakers overwhelmingly see Macron retaining power as he faces the only candidate remaining, Marine Le Pen.

It’s déjà vu, as these two met in the second round of the French elections in 2017. Like that race, oddsmakers and bettors are now putting their money on Macron.

Macron, the Clear Favorite

Sportsbooks are happy to follow the political markets, even though it’s a niche segment that doesn’t always garner a lot of attention. Currently, Macron is getting 90% of all backing on William Hill and Paddy Power to retain his authority, while Ladbrokes has him at 94.1%. A few days ago, his odds were only slightly better than 50%.

Le Pen had a shot of beating Macron in the 2017 election. However, she froze in a televised debate ahead of the first vote. Even Le Pen admits that it wasn’t her finest performance, telling local media that the debate “was a failure” that cost her precious votes. She later blamed her weak appearance on fatigue.

The far-right Le Pen has one shot at convincing France that she’s the better candidate. She and Macron meet for a final debate tonight. While the previous duel isn’t likely to get in her away, her current policies might.

She has, on several occasions, expressed a desire to withdraw France from NATO. This, together with previous meetings she has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has put her in a bad light with some parts of the French population.

With Putin threatening any country with ties to NATO and Le Pen considering a withdrawal from the organization, some view her as a Putin sympathizer. As such, she could be losing crucial votes.

Smarkets Has a Close Race

Smarkets bettors are in line with William Hill and the rest of the sportsbooks. They have Macron at over 92.5% to win the election, with Le Pen only getting 8.7% of the vote.

The Over/Under lines aren’t as clear. Macron receiving over 54% of the second-round vote share is at 33%, while Le Pen is getting 47% for her 44.5% of the share. This would seemingly indicate that Le Pen has a chance at proving herself to be a legitimate candidate.

She’s likely to try to drive that point home in tonight’s debate. She will focus her attention on the average Frenchman while emphasizing Macron’s track record of slighting the segment over the past few years.

Under Macron, France has dealt with a number of protests and public rallies (there are even some occurring now against the upcoming run-off election). These came as more people vented their frustration over rising prices and no relief.

On the other hand, Le Pen will take a different approach than she previously showed. She will portray herself as the “mother” who consoles, embraces the people as her children, and promises to make everything alright.