Political Betting

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Political betting can be a simple task. Punters typically stick to wagering on the government they live under but don't think players outside of the UK and US aren't capitalizing on those lucrative political betting markets too. When an political elections approach, the most popular markets typically revolve around the country's leader like the next Prime Minister market in the UK or the US' equivalent, the next President market.

These are, of course, most relevant to the UK and US markets, and therefore generate the most interest on those shores when it comes to the best political betting sites. Fortunately, there are, though, many more options available to you, especially when an attention-grabbing political event from a lesser known jurisdiction is on the horizon.

A smaller country holding an exciting election that grabs the world media's attention can push bookmakers to release odds despite the markets original appeal. Depending on the bookie, punters can also occasionally delve deep into the more obscure political markets like total US states won by a political party or can stay broad with outright votes on party leaders.

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Politics Betting Tips

Differences Between Betting on Sports vs Politics

When looking at political betting markets (an offshoot of the 'Specials' market on most bookies' sites), there are a few things you should take into account that mark it out as different to sports, games and casino markets:

  1. The first is that most candidates up for a position are at very short prices, because either public consensus causes a sure-fire outcome or because there aren’t many feasible candidates for the post.
  2. There’s also the fact that, if you bet in the run up to the election, it can be a risky business because contender credibility can change very quickly, so what was once a promising bet could suddenly be left without a hope.
  3. There are, though, such a large amount of bets available to you, that there are usually one or two markets that do not offer odds at very short prices.
  4. Unfortunately, such is the public interest surrounding politics, most people know the winner of an election or a primary before he/she has even been announced, and the bookmakers price their markets accordingly.

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Most Popular Political Betting Markets

Political Betting MarketGovernment of PoliticsBookmaker Offering Market
'Next President'United States888sport
'Next Prime Minister'United KingdomWilliam Hill
'Winning Political Party'United StatesBetfair Exchange
'Government After Next Election'IrelandPaddy Power
'Senate Election'United StatesLadbrokes

As well as betting on UK politics, you can, with most firms, place bets on American and Irish politics, along with other more obscure markets depending on the relevance of the country's political races. But with it's growing popularity, bookmakers all across the web have latched on to the fact that America is the most powerful political force in the world and therefore has a political scene followed with considerable interest.

Bookies now offer US markets not only for political election betting, but also for primaries (both the Democratic and Republican), nominations, winning parties, vice-president candidates and even college votes. The sheer amount of choice on offer to the interested punter is highly impressive when it comes to US political betting but that certainly isn't where the ship stops.

Other influential governments around the world outside the US find themselves frequently appearing in political betting like Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Australia to name a few. Most of these countries' political betting markets revolve around government leaders but occasionally you'll get more unique markets from these counties like a referendum on independence.

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Political Betting and the Short Odds

Thus, political election betting does not reap much of a reward, unless the result is really up in the air. So, the solution to this is either betting with big stakes, (1/25 is not a price that appeals to small-time punters) or to steer clear altogether. The limited choice seems to be unique to the nature of political elections as it is consistent throughout the market.

In reality, as is the case with odds-on shots, there is rarely money to be made unless you are completely sure that the candidate can succeed, and, in politics, this is not always a foregone conclusion. One thing is for sure, though; for abstainers, politics betting makes the result a whole lot more interesting.

Betting on Close Political Races

There are, of course, exceptions to this. There have been many close elections in the recent past (Bush versus Kerry, Cameron versus Clegg versus Brown) where the result is up in the air until the last minute. This is a time when political betting really can reap plenty of dividends.

What’s more, for punters with a political interest, all the excitement surrounding elections will inevitably be augmented by being able to back your preferred party or candidate with not only a vote, but with some cash as well.

The vital piece of advice is not to go overboard when you see a short-priced candidate. Just wait for a close election, analyse in detail how wider public sentiment may affect the outcome, and assess your own political loyalties if relevant before, quite simply, piling in and hoping the rest of the world agrees with you.

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Hi, I'm Dean Ryan

"A passionate sports betting broadcaster and journalist with over 15 years spent in the gambling industry."

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Reviewer since June 2016