Next Irish President Betting: McGuinness Leads Finlay And McGregor In The Odds

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Next Irish President Betting: McGuinness Leads Finlay And McGregor In The Odds
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Betting sites have reshuffled their odds on the next Irish president in the wake of Conor McGregor’s high-profile pitch for the job.

However, they don’t expect Notorious to swoop to electoral victory in 2025 and still back Mairead McGuinness to take over from Michael D Higgins at the next vote.

Ireland chooses a new president every seven years. The post is largely ceremonial, but it does offer an insight into the mood of the nation.

There have only ever been nine Irish presidents, of which five had secured a second term. 

Higgins is due to step down from the role in 2025 he was first elected to back in 2011 - and a new candidate will take over.

In recent days there has been chatter about McGregor entering the race. The 35-year-old tweeted an image of himself with the caption “Ireland, your President”. 

Since then he has spoken about his viability for the job, responding to a tweet from Elon Musk by saying: “It would not be me in power as President, people of Ireland. It would be me and you.”

His statement has caused bookmakers to react by reshuffling their odds on the Irish presidency. 

Yet it appears the MMA superstar will need more than a few tweets for betting sites to take him seriously.

Irish Presidential Election Odds

PoliticianOddsBookies
Mairead McGuinness5/1BoyleSports
Fergus Finlay7/1BoyleSports
Bertie Ahern11/1BoyleSports
Miriam O’Callaghan12/1BoyleSports
Micheál Martin12/1BoyleSports
John Finucane14/1BoyleSports
Ruairi Quinn16/1BoyleSports
Emily O’Reilly16/1BoyleSports
Sean Kelly22/1BoyleSports
Ivana Bacik33/1BoyleSports
Conor McGregor40/1BoyleSports
Eamon O’Cuiv50/1BoyleSports

Next Irish President Betting

Betting on Irish politics certainly has its benefits when it comes to maximising profits. 

The uncertainty surrounding recent general elections has made for opportunities to take advantage of a fluctuating market.

That’s the same when it comes to the Irish presidential election betting market. There is no certainty as to who will replace Higgins - so we’ve taken a look at the current frontrunners.

Remember, the next presidential election in Ireland isn’t scheduled until 2025, but that doesn’t mean the odds won’t change between now and then.

In fact, over the past year there have been some major changes to the odds on political betting sites. 

So much so that one of the lead candidates for the presidency - Labour leader Ivana Bacik (33/1) - is now not even in the top list of viable options.

Indeed, some big names are now jostling for position and rumours are afoot that two political heavyweights could soon enter the contest.

With two years to go before the vote, there’s plenty of time for the markets to rise and fall. 

Here, we look at the lead figures in the politics betting markets who could seek the Irish presidency in 2025.

Mairead McGuinness

Top of the markets is Mairead McGuinness, who has been favourite for some years now. 

Her odds recently widened from 4/1 to 5/1 in the wake of McGregor’s tweets, but she is still the firm favourite.

McGuinness has served as the European Commissioner for Financial Stability for three years and has plenty of political clout across the EU.

The former MEP appears a popular choice among voters for her closeness to Europe - and this could come in handy with dealing with Brexit. 

She may also prove pivotal in the development of the relationship between Ireland and Northern Ireland, amid the ongoing prospect of a united Ireland.

Whether McGuinness would swap her role at the EU for the Irish presidency remains to be seen. But the politician described as “unapologetically ambitious” will certainly keep her options open.

Fergus Finlay 

As a former head of the Bernardo’s charity, Fergus Finlay has plenty of admirers across the country. He was also mooted for a run in the 2018 Irish presidential election battle but Higgins’ intention to run again closed that door.

However, in 2018 Finlay did admit that he would always be tempted to go for the presidency, saying: “I would love to give it a go some day. I'd made up my mind a long time ago that I wouldn't oppose Michael D Higgins, but I didn't know what he was going to do.”

Finlay was a senior member of the Irish Labour Party but would probably run as an independent here, as most do. 

His odds have drifted from 6/1 to 7/1 with political betting sites, which is probably a reflection of other candidates entering the market than Finlay himself backing away from the presidency.

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Bertie Ahern

Formerly an 8/1 shot with Boylesports, Bertie Ahern is now out to 11/1

Ireland’s former Taoiseach and a returning member of Fianna Fáil has suffered heavily from the prospect of McGregor’s involvement.

Ahern has endured his scandals in the past but appears keen to make one last stab at frontline politics.

His presence in this race would certainly shake it up, but there is already evidence that voters wouldn’t back Ahern in the 2025 Irish presidential election. 

Bertie Ahern

A poll in February found just 7% of voters would “definitely” choose the former Taoiseach for president. Remarkably, 51% said they would “definitely not” vote for him.

The odds are starting to reflect those polls. A flurry of wagers backing McGregor has resulted in Ahern’s market share falling from 22.5% to 15.2%. 

Fewer people are backing him for the presidency and so his odds are widening.

Having once had the biggest share in the market, Ahern faces the prospect of being overlooked. That would certainly be the case if McGregor targeted the presidency via a position in Fianna Fáil.

Miriam O’Callaghan

TV presenter Miriam O’Callaghan has always been close to politics thanks to her brother, Jim O’Callaghan’s, involvement in Fianna Fáil. 

Polls have regularly suggested that she could do well in a vote for the Irish presidency, but O’Callaghan has never truly expressed an interest in the job.

Back in October her odds fell to 12/1 amid chatter that she could go for the post. In response, she told the Irish Daily Mirror: “Definitely not. That is a definite no.”

Still, that hasn’t stopped some punters backing her.

Micheál Martin

The leader of Fianna Fáil insists he isn’t going anywhere and has eyes on being Taoiseach once again after the next Irish election.

However, there’s every chance Micheál Martin begins to court the presidency if the polls don’t change soon.

With FF languishing, there’s a slim chance Martin will return to the top job in the Dáil. Perhaps, then, the presidency is more realistic.

At 12/1, Martin’s odds have come in from 50/1 last year. That suggests a slim 7.7% probability.

Emily O’Reilly

Currently the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly’s first book was about the Irish presidency and Mary Robinson back in the early 1990s. She, like McGuinness, is close to the European project and her current term expires in 2024.

At 65, O’Reilly is probably open to one last big job before stepping away from frontline politics. And why not the Irish presidency? 

Her odds have come in to 16/1 recently, having entered the market way out.

There isn’t a huge amount of chatter around O’Reilly right now but that could well change by next summer.

Ruairi Quinn

A veteran Labour figure, ex-TD Ruairi Quinn has not been in frontline politics since 2014. However, the energetic politician has not stopped despite being in his 70s.

Quinn stepped down from his role as chairperson of the Institute of International and European Affairs last year, and is seemingly mulling his next steps. 

His odds haven’t changed from 16/1 since he departed the IIEA, but there will need to be some chatter here to get the markets to move in his favour.

Conor McGregor

It was assumed McGregor would not run in the next Irish election, largely because he isn’t affiliated with a party. 

However, his high-profile social media posts regarding the Irish presidency, and the police investigation into his messages posted during the Dublin riots, has caused heads to turn in his direction.

McGregor is not shy of publicity, and he explained why he thinks he’d be a good choice for Ireland’s president.

“Potential competition if I run. Gerry (Adams), 78. Bertie (Ahern). 75. Enda (Kenny), 74,” he wrote. 

“Or me, 35. Young, active, passionate, fresh skin in the game. I listen. I support. I adapt. I have no affiliation/bias/favoritism toward any party. They would genuinely be held to account regarding the current sway of public feeling.”

Conor McGregor

On the face of it, McGregor would be a tempting vote. He would carry support from those disaffected with Irish politics, which has led some to wonder if he could become Ireland’s version of Donald Trump.

We’re not quite there yet but McGregor is gaining support from punters. Almost 30% of all bets on the Irish presidency have gone to the MMA superstar. That’s ruined Ahern’s price and shows the power of McGregor’s social following.

However, only 8% of the voting public would back the Crumlin native for high office. Amazingly, 89% of voters say they wouldn’t vote for him.

Still, BoyleSports cut their odds on McGregor becoming president from 60/1 to 40/1, so perhaps the punters are onto something.

Gerry Adams

At 40/1 on new betting sites, it appears unlikely that Gerry Adams will be Irish president in 2025. However, bookmakers are keeping an eye on the ex-Sinn Féin president. 

Adams would be a controversial choice and right now the Irish public appear uninterested in electing him.

A recent poll found 59% of voters wouldn’t back either Adams or Ahern for the Áras. In fact, the Business Post/Red poll found only 19% of voters would plump for Adams.

Best Of The Rest

Right now, betting apps aren’t sure which way the Irish presidency will go. This is good news for bettors because the odds are way bigger than what they would be if the candidates were confirmed. 

It’s a bit like betting on horse racing in the ante-post markets - the odds are always bigger until the runners and riders are confirmed.

With that in mind, Boylesports have whipped up odds on a number of other candidates. These include both John Finucane and Sean Kelly at 14/1 and 22/1 respectively. 

Sinn Féin MP John Finucane was once an 11/1 shot for the Irish presidency. While his odds have drifted, it appears feasible that he could switch the British parliament for a punt at the Áras. 

However, it would probably mean Finucane not running in the 2024 UK election, which would signal his intention for the Irish presidency, and therefore affect the odds. Meanwhile, ex-GAA President Kelly could prove popular in sporting circles. 

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Will Irish Diaspora Get A Vote?

All Irish citizens registered to vote in elections for the Dáil Éireann can vote for the president too. 

But there have been efforts over the years to expand the franchise rights of Ireland’s non-resident population, particularly for the presidential election.

Proposals have come and gone, and the current bill to extend voting rights to the Irish diaspora doesn’t look like it will come to fruition any time soon.

Indeed, it appears as though a proposed referendum on the subject won’t even make it to the ballot until 2025.

Of the 27 EU member states, Ireland, Slovakia and Cyprus prevent overseas nationals from voting in their presidential elections. There is a campaign to change this, but it has made little progress.

It remains to be seen how extending voter rights for the presidential election would affect the outcome. But it’s a hot topic that won’t go away any time soon.

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