Find Value Betting the Russian Presidential Election 2024
Russian president election betting isn’t exactly a difficult task if you’re looking for a sure winner at the best political betting sites. Vladimir Putin has been the overwhelming favourite to win Russian elections ever since his surge to power in 1999. That’s because Russia is run effectively as a democracy in name only – Russians can vote for a number of candidates, but Putin will always win the election, regardless of his popularity.
The former KGB agent has been the don of Russian politics for the past two decades, and it is his leadership that has steered the country ever since. Picking a winner of the Russian Presidential Election 2024 betting markets is therefore straightforward: Putin will win any election he runs in.
But finding value betting on Russian politics is a different matter. Here, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about the Russian political system, and how to bet on Russian politics when the betting markets are so skewed towards one man.
Putin Betting Odds Unlikely to Fall
Let’s first take a look at Putin himself and his odds. Bookmakers in the lead-up to the 2024 Russian election will price the current president as the overwhelming favourite to win. In fact, so narrow will Putin’s odds be that he’s not really worth backing as you’ll barely turn a profit.
This was the case in both the 2012 and 2018 elections. While Putin managed just 64% and 77% of the votes respectively in these two elections, they showed a significant majority over any other candidate.
And the best bookies in the UK are aware of this. You’re unlikely to find odds any higher than 1/5 or even 1/10 on Putin winning when you bet on Russian election. That means a £10 bet returns just £11, i.e. a profit of just £1. Of course, bettors who wager thousands on the Russian election could make a few hundred pounds profit – but you need both a big budget and a flexible attitude to risk in order to wager that much.
Between now and the 2024 election, Putin’s odds are unlikely to shift. Unless health issues get in the way, he will be on the ballot, and he will win. But where can you get better value in your bets? Read on to find out.
How Russian Election Works
Let’s quickly look at how the Russian election works. Doing so will give us an idea of where to place our bets.
Russia’s elections at the national level are effectively a pretense, to show the world it’s doing things supposedly democratically. But no one can realistically challenge Putin. In Russian presidential elections, the population votes on who will lead the country for the next six years. Candidates must be:
- At least 35 years old
- Have been a resident of Russia for at least 25 years
- Have no foreign citizenship
- Have not already served two terms
This last stipulation may cause you to raise your eyebrows. After all, Putin has served two terms yet will run in 2024. We’ll explain how he can do this later in this guide.
In Russian presidential elections, first the candidates are nominated by their individual political parties, after which the actual presidential vote gets underway. It is a direct popular vote, which means that a candidate needs 50% to win the presidency. If no candidate wins in the first round, the two candidates with the most votes progress to a run-off. Here, the second round is held three weeks after the first and Russians get the opportunity to vote on the remaining candidates.
You might not be surprised to hear that usually there’s one big winner and the rest of the candidates struggle to individually pick up more than 10% of the vote.
What are Russia’s 2020 constitutional reforms?
So, why can Putin run for Russian presidency again? This is because of the 2020 constitutional reforms. The Russian constitution stipulates that no one person can hold office for more than two presidential terms – much like the United States. But in 2020, the government put forward a referendum on constitutional reform that, among other things, stipulated that Putin could run for two further six-year presidencies.
The Yes vote won with 78% of the ballots cast, which means Putin specifically can run again in 2024 and in 2030. The Moscow Times reported that as many as 22 million votes from this referendum could have been fraudulent, although this has been disputed by the government.
Still, when it comes to choosing to bet on Russian election, it’s clear that Putin has the winning formula for securing votes.
Putin Vote Share Odds
So, how can we find value in the next Russian president odds? The trick is not to look at this specific market, as none of Putin’s opponents will be anywhere close to challenging him.
Instead, the value is in side markets such as Putin’s vote share. Betting on Russian election vote share is a great way to expand your odds and still make reasonably safe wagers.
Effectively you’re betting on how heavy Putin’s victory will be. In 2018, Putin’s vote share was 77%, which was bang on what bookmakers expected. But the 64% vote share earned in 2012 was lower than the bookies thought – and that meant shrewd punters earned a healthier profit.
In 2024, Putin’s vote share is likely to float somewhere between 64% and 77%. Bookies are expected once again to pitch the market in 10% increments. Last time, you could get a price of 25/1 on a +90% vote share on Putin, which was always going to be too high. Yet, equally, he’s unlikely to be near the 50%-60% mark.
Russian Election Winning Margin Betting
The winning margin is another interesting political bet that many punters look towards. We’re used to betting on the winning margin in two-horse races such as the American election, but here it can be trickier – and therefore the volatile odds are open to being exploited.
When betting on Russian election winning margin, you’re wagering on the percentage difference between the victor (likely to be Putin) and the second-highest candidate. In 2016 the winning margin was 47.8m votes. In 2012 it was 33.3m. Putin expanded his winning margin last time out but may not do so again in 2024. Instead, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the winning margin in reduced.
This is likely because whichever party Alexei Navalny’s supporters gravitate towards will get a significant votes boost. Navalny is Putin’s most vocal opponent and has already survived a suspected poisoning. The anti-corruption activist is barred from running in 2024 due to a prison sentence on questionable charges.
There are enough opponents of Putin to knock his winning margin down a few million. And this will make for fascinating political betting once the next Russian president odds are released. Will Putin secure a margin over 30m this time? Perhaps. What is for sure, though, is that he will earn the >50% needed to stay in power.
Best Betting Tip for Russia Election
When it comes to Russian president election betting, then, the smart money is on the side markets like vote share and winning margin. Yes, punters could throw a straight-up Putin victory into an accumulator bet simply to bolster the odds ever so slightly – but betting directly on Putin won’t earn you much profit.
Instead, rolling the dice with the vote share could be the big winner here. It’s worth keeping an eye on the polls leading up to the election, as well as seeing how Russia’s political parties fare in the parliamentary vote. Putin runs as an independent, but his challengers are usually associated with a political party – and if a particularly vocal opposition party succeeds in the parliamentary elections, then that is an indication that Putin’s vote share could be harmed.
Not decimated. Just harmed.
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