Nobel Peace Prize Odds: Zelenskyy Favourite With Jacinda Ardern An Outsider

Date IconLast Updated: 6 Oct 2023
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Nobel Peace Prize Odds: Zelenskyy Favourite With Jacinda Ardern An Outsider
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Betting sites expect Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to win the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize as his country continues its counter-offensive against Russia’s invasion.

Alexei Navalny, perhaps Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, is the joint-second favourite to win the gong from his prison cell in Melekhovo. He faces decades behind bars for trumped-up charges against him.

Jacinda Ardern, who resigned as Prime Minister of New Zealand at the start of the year, has been given odds of 21.0 having been at the top end of the betting in recent years for her efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ukraine war entered its second year in 2023 and Nobel Peace Prize favourite Zelenskyy has spent much of the past 12 months courting heads of state across Europe in an effort to ramp up his country’s arsenal.

He has rallied support in Europe over the past few days following America’s decision in Congress not to raise its aid contributions to the embattled state.

Russian president Putin appears set on a long-drawn-out war in Ukraine - even though Russia is said to have lost a third of its military forces already.

Zelenskyy insists there will be no formal peace talks with Russia until the invading forces have withdrawn from all Ukrainian territory. 

And even though peace seems a long way off right now, the bookies reckon the 45-year-old is on course to win the prestigious prize.

Indeed, it appears as though the prize will again be dominated by those fighting Russian aggression.

2023 Nobel Peace Prize Odds

Volodymyr Zelenskyy1.3375%
Alexei Navalny8.012.5%
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya8.012.5%
World Health Organisation11.09.1%
Simon Kofe11.09.1%
Pope Francis11.09.1%
Ilham Tohti12.08.3%
Greta Thunberg13.07.7%
Agnes Chow13.07.7%
Jacinda Ardern21.04.8%

Nobel Peace Prize 2023 Betting

Last year Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski won the award, alongside the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.

It is highly likely that the 2023 Peace Prize will also go to a recipient involved in the humanitarian side of the Ukraine war. 

Indeed, Nobel have a knack of surprising the betting odds and selecting lesser-known organisations and public figures for the gong – meaning Zelenskyy isn’t guaranteed to win it in 2023, despite what the odds think.

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Latest Frontrunners For The 2023 Nobel Peace Prize

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy appears the certain candidate to win the Nobel Peace Prize, according to political betting.

His odds were around 7.0 at the start of the year, but have now come in to 1.33

Zelenskyy has faced up to Russian aggression while courting Europe and the USA for military and humanitarian aid support for Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president has insisted he has no desire to capture Russia territory, only to reclaim what Russia has annexed since 2014.

His growing status on the world stage makes him a viable candidate for the Peace Prize - although Nobel may choose to look elsewhere for a less obvious, but equally deserving, recipient.

Alexei Navalny

Vladimir Putin’s most vocal opponent in Russia, Alexei Navalny has survived a number of attempts on his life and is currently in a Russian jail for supposed trumped-up charges of embezzlement and contempt of court. 

However, this has not prevented his influence from spreading. Navalny is well known in the West and across Russia, and he remains a thorn in Putin’s side. 

At 8.0betting apps clearly think he has a shot at the Nobel Peace Prize, which would only heighten his notoriety at home and abroad.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Belarus remains the only formal ally of Russia in the invasion of Ukraine - and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has become a symbol of hope in the country by campaigning against despot president Alexander Lukashenko. 

Tsikhanouskaya stood against Lukashenko in the disputed 2020 Belarusian election and fled the country shortly afterwards. She is Lukashenko’s most vocal critic and now operates in neighbouring countries. 

NATO awarded Tsikhanouskaya the 2023 Women for Peace and Security prize this autumn so at 8.0 with new betting sites, she is also a contender for the Nobel gong.

World Health Organization

The WHO is always towards the top of the Nobel Peace Prize list, largely because there’s usually an outbreak of disease somewhere in the world. However, the WHO have never won the Peace gong. Could this be their year? 

Perhaps. Advancements in vaccine technology means the Covid-19 pandemic is now largely behind us, while the WHO has been vocal in its support for more medical resources in war-torn Ukraine. 

At 10/1 this appears to be a long shot, but few would argue the WHO doesn’t deserve to be considered.

Pope Francis

As leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis (11.0) often treads some tricky ground when entering into the public discourse. 

He was recently criticised for his praise of the Russian empire, but has also suggested that the Catholic Church could bless same-sex couples

Yet American Christian conservatives expressed their displeasure over his calls for greater gun controls. He just can’t win.

No Pope has ever been a Nobel laureate and it appears as though Pope Francis will not get the gong this year. 

Simon Kofe

Al Gore is the only person to win the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on climate change, but Simon Kofe could be the second. 

The Tuvaluan politician is one of the world’s leading activists in the fight against global warming. Sea level rises threaten to make Tuvalu uninhabitable.

Kofe resigned as the country’s foreign minister in the summer in order to focus on overhauling Tuvalu’s constitution. 

He is a great outside shout at 11.0 to win the award, although it’s likely the Peace Prize will go to a Ukraine-focused person or entity this year.

Ilham Tohti

The plight of the Uighur Muslims in China is only now being fully understood elsewhere in the world, and Ilham Tohti has done his part in revealing how this minority population is being treated by the government. 

Tohti is a lecturer and economist that fell on China’s radar around 15 years ago. He was jailed for life in 2014 on “separatism” charges. 

There are growing calls for his release nine years after he was first jailed. Tohti is 12.0 to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2023.

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Greta Thunberg

The world’s leading climate change activist, Greta Thunberg is a regular name on the list of possible Nobel Peace Prize winners. 

Her activism has triggered a new generation of youngsters to be concerned about global warming. So much so that a third of Swiss citizens are changing their lifestyle habits.

Thunberg branded the plan to host Cop 28 in the UAE this year as “completely ridiculous”. 

She has also been charged for disobeying a police order to leave a protest at an oil port in Malmo, having been fined 2,500 Swedish Krona (£180; $224) for a protest at the same port in June.

At 13.0, specials betting sites evidently think Thunberg has a chance of winning the prize here, but it’s an outside shot.

Agnes Chow

Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow is a pro-democracy advocate who has already served jail time for protesting against China’s growing influence in the territory. 

Chow has not been in the news much since her release in 2021 and Hong Kong is increasingly under the influence of Chinese rule.

However, awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize would likely fuel a fresh wave of support for independence in the territory and that's probably why Chow is 13.0 to win.

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand’s former prime minister is staying away from the election campaign trail this October. Ardern quit as PM in January, citing burnout. 

For now, she has joined Harvard University as a fellow and appears to be working on climate projects. Ardern was one of the few politicians thought to have got their response to the Covid-19 pandemic right. 

However, while she was a favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 and 2022 for her pandemic work, she has fallen down the bookmakers’ odds list now.

At odds of 21.0, it looks like Ardern will not get the gong this year.

How Nobel Peace Prize Works

The Nobel Peace Prize is arguably the most prestigious of the five Nobel prizes dished out every year. 

It launched in December 1901 on behalf of the estate of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, and has honoured some of the most recognised people on the planet.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee invites academic and relevant people to submit nominations for the Peace Prize, and keeps the process a secret. However, bookmakers can generally guess at who might be up for the gong.

For example, Malala Yousafzai rightly won the award in 2014 following her campaigning against Taliban suppression of young children and women in Pakistan. 

Al Gore won the prize in 2007 for his campaign to spread knowledge of climate change. 

The winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday, October 6 in Stockholm.

Other notable winners include:

  • Humanitarian Henry Dunant (1901)
  • US president Theodore Roosevelt (1906)
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (1917)
  • Pacifist Emily Greene Balch (1946)
  • Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1964)
  • UNICEF (1965)
  • Politician Henry Kissinger (1973)
  • Northern Irish peace activist Mairead Corrigan (1976)
  • Mother Teresa (1979)
  • Desmond Tutu (1984)
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (1990)
  • John Hume (1998)
  • Kofi Annan (2001)
  • Barack Obama (2009)
  • The World Food Programme (2020)