UK General Election Betting: Odds, Tips & Analysis
The next UK election isn't scheduled until the summer of 2024 but that doesn't mean the political betting markets have shut down over this parliamentary cycle.
Almost as soon as Boris Johnson won the 2019 election, the odds on the 2024 vote reshuffled and bookmakers started taking bets. Betting on politics is a much slower game than sports such as football or tennis. It requires a bit of nous as to what's going on in the world, but also nerve to have faith in your wagers over periods of years.
The Conservatives and Labour are expected to be the big hitters once ahead heading into the next election, but the likes of the SNP, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats are always on hand to shake things up.
And with that in mind, let's take a look at how the election betting markets currently stand more than two years out from the big vote.
Political Betting Tips - Interpreting the Latest UK Election Odds
When it comes to examining election betting lines there are a few tricks we can use to get a better sense of what's actually going on. The first is to stay clued up with the news and to know when big events are coming around the corner. For example, being aware of an energy crisis that could consume the government will likely knock said party's poll ratings. Equally, if the opposition is promising tax cuts and the public like what they hear, then their poll ratings - and odds - will improve.
Having your finger on the pulse of the news cycle will help you make better decisions when it comes to political betting. And another great resource is to track the polls. If Boris Johnson's poll ratings are soaring then he's likely to be in a good position should a snap election be called. Likewise, if the opposition leader looks set for the sack then backing that party to win at the next election is not really a smart idea until you know who is in charge.
Opinion polls and the news cycle are important - because these come together to help inform you of why the odds are like they are. So when it comes to interpreting the latest UK election odds, it's worth brushing up on your current affairs knowledge first. From here, you'll be able to gauge if the odds accurately reflect the nation, or if there are differences in the market that could be exploited.
Best UK Political Betting Strategy
Coming up with a general election betting strategy for the UK isn't easy because there are so many players at work. Unlike in America where an election is effectively a binary choice, the UK has numerous parties that combine to create a multitude of outcomes.
It means that experienced politics betting analysts won't just stick a tenner on the Tories to win the next election and be done with it. Instead, they're looking at the wide range of markets bookmakers offer on politics.
- Majority betting - Will there be a majority at the 2024 election or will the UK have a coalition?
- Size of majority - What will the size of the winning party's majority be?
- Regional betting - Many punters prefer to bet on regional politics even during the election, such as most seats in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- Constituency betting - It's not a surprise that bookmakers usually offer odds on specific contestable constituencies during an election.
The above bet types all require unique strategies to tackle them convincingly. But the overarching strategy for any general election betting activity is to get in there before everyone else does. That's because in ante-post betting, time is to your advantage. Placing a bet now not only means you lock in a good price, but also provides you with the opportunity to cash out or bet against your wager when the odds shift.
This is important because the political betting odds are moving all the time... and over weeks and months, the change can be significant. Remember in 2017 when Theresa May was flying high in the polls and called a snap election? Over five weeks the odds dramatically swung away from the Tories - and they only just held on to power thanks to the DUP propping them up!
Bookmakers are always seeking new intuitive markets to provide to their customers, so be sure to look out for the various odds types heading into the next election. But for now, the best strategy is to get in early on the markets that are currently active.
Latest UK Election Polls and Predictions
Right now the UK election polling data reads as follows:
- Conservatives 40
- Labour 35%
- Lib Dems 8%
- Greens 6%
- SNP 5%
- reform 3%
- UKIP 2%
- Plaid 1%
These numbers have roughly stayed the same since the autumn of 2020 when the country was just coming out of its first coronavirus lockdown. Labour was very briefly neck-and-neck on 39% with the Conservatives over November 2020 but since then the Covid-19 vaccination drive has given Johnson's party a comfortable lead.
Johnson's deliverance of Brexit - for better or for worse - has also helped the Tories maintain a lead over Labour. But this could change in the coming years if the promises of the 2016 Brexit referendum aren't delivered. Voters appear to be willing to give Johnson time to address labour, fuel, energy, and food issues that have sparked in the second half of 2021 - but how long they give him remains to be seen.
One potential spike for the 2024 election could well be the Greens. Environmental policies are gaining more and more priority in global politics and a jump for the Green party would not be a surprise when the population head to the polls.
In Scotland, meanwhile, the SNP are polling at around 40% with neither the Tories nor Labour close to them. It means that the SNP will almost certainly secure the most Scottish seats at the next UK election, as they have done for the next part of two decades now.
UK Parliament Candidates Betting Odds
The two main candidates running to be prime minister in the 2024 UK election are likely to be the incumbent Boris Johnson and the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer.
Johnson took power in 2019 after successfully ousting Theresa May and securing the votes of the Tory party to rule the country. Since then, he has overseen the UK's response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 130,000 people, presided over a school exams fiasco and lost in a battle of school meals generosity to footballer Marcus Rashford.
But Johnson still has a fiercely loyal base and has padded his cabinet with equally staunch supporters. The latest UK election betting odds have Johnson at 1/2 to be the leader at the next election and 5/6 not to quit his post until after 2024.
Starmer, meanwhile, has seen his poll ratings flounder ever since he took over the Labour leadership in April 2020. The former lawyer is priced at 5/1 to be the next UK prime minister, which is actually less likely than the current chancellor Rishi Sunak (2/1). That shows just how far Labour are from winning the 2024 election, in the eyes of bookmakers at least.
Were Johnson not to run again at the next election then there would be a scramble of Tory political desperate to take up the post. Sunak would likely be joined by Liz Truss, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Priti Patel. These figures possess plenty of political know-how but would be a shift away from the populist style that Johnson has perfected. It is personality politics that arguably won him the job in the first place.
Next General Election UK Political Betting Markets
When it comes to UK election betting, you might be mistaken for thinking there's only one bet type: who will win the election. But as we've seen, there are scores of different markets available. Here are some to keep an eye out for, especially if you want to bet over the long term:
Next Conservative Leader - This is a perfect betting market for those gauging how long Boris Johnson will last as UK Prime Minister. Here, you can wager on the current, en vogue cabinet ministers and stick a small punt on some outsiders. As we saw with the 2021 cabinet reshuffle, Johnson rewards loyalty. So, if you see a minister speaking highly of the PM in regular interviews, then they might be soon in line for a better job.
Year of Next General Election - The UK government can call a snap election if two-thirds of the House of Commons agrees. That's how Johnson won the December 2019 election, which began a new parliamentary cycle. There is certainly no guarantee we won't have a snap election between now and 2024. After all, in a post-Covid world where Brexit dominates, the future of all politicians is likely to be less stable.
Brexit Party Vote Share - Hasn't Brexit been sorted out now? You'd think so, wouldn't you? But Brexiteers are discovering they're as unhappy with the UK's current arrangement with the EU as Remainers are. Having not quite got the Brexit they wanted, UKIP is pushing for a bigger break away from Europe. And if Johnson doesn't placate them or silence them, the Brexit Party could start receiving votes again.
Which Party will Win the Majority in the Next UK Election?
Right now, it looks as though the Conservatives are the party most likely to win a majority at the next UK election - although the UK election betting odds suggest that a hung parliament is even more likely. In this instance, parties can either try to rule as a minority (which rarely leads to success) or as a coalition.
The coalition government between 2010 and 2015 saw the Tories and Lib Dems work together to keep Labour out of office. It will be remembered for the introduction of austerity following the global financial crash in the late 2000s and was ended when David Cameron won a majority in 2015. He quit as PM a year later following defeat in the Brexit referendum.
When is the Next UK Election?
The next UK election is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 2 May 2024. The schedule was confirmed after the date of the previous snap election in 2019 was settled. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, UK elections must be held every five years at least. Because of the preference for a summer vote, the next election has been moved to May 2024, rather than December of that year.
Other UK General Election Tips:
- Tips for Betting on UK Politics: Labour Party Odds
- How Long will Boris Johson Last as UK Prime Minister?
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