Politics Betting Guide

Guide to betting on politics

Political betting is all about timing. Back the right candidate at the right time and you could walk away with a windfall from even a very small bet. Those who sided with Donald Trump to win the US election back in 2016 will tell you that – and understanding when the political odds are almost too good to be true can make a big difference to your profit potential.

These days you can bet on politics in the same way you wager on football, tennis or any other sport. Never has the political field been more dominated by individuals – Trump in America, Boris Johnson in the UK, France’s Marine Le Pen and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. However, we're beginning to see the end these faces and new blood is coming through the ranks.

Regardless of your politics, we have to accept it is these populist figures that have shaped the worldwide politics betting landscape in recent years. Bookies are less certain than ever before about the outcome of elections – and this is great news for punters!

In this guide, we’ll take you through how to bet on politics, what the best political bets are and why the latest election odds are priced the way they are. You’ll learn the basics of political betting, how to spot a great outside tip and when to time your bets to perfection.

How politics works

Political betting works in much the same way as outright markets in sports bets such as golf. There are few ‘one on one’ matches in politics, and instead, the odds effectively focus on which one of a number of candidates will win an election. Like golf, you can bet on a varied number of individual options.

Of course, the scope of political betting is practically endless. Punters can reliably wager on:

  • General elections
  • Presidential elections
  • Party leaders
  • Referendums

But there are then more detailed bet types within these core wagers, such as:

  • Vote share
  • Who will be in government
  • Next prime minister betting
  • When countries could vote to leave the EU
  • Will candidates win in the first round of voting
  • Gender of the next president

These smaller bets tend to spring up the closer we get to an election. So, for example, when heading into the 2024 US election there will likely be a raft of odds on everything from the presidential candidates and their VPs, right through to the colour tie that might be worn by one of the candidates during an inauguration.

Can I bet on elections?

It’s a simple enough question but many bookmakers don’t offer election betting odds. Here at Bet UK you can bet on many upcoming elections. This includes both the UK election and the US presidential election, which are both slated for 2024.

Elections betting can be fiercely competitive, especially when there is no guarantee of which party will win. The 2016 presidential election is a perfect example of when the polls and bookies were stunned by the result. Everyone expected Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump, but it was the 9/1 outsider who claimed victory.

Other surprise election results in recent times include the snap 2017 UK election when prime minister Theresa May lost her majority, the 2021 Chilean election when Gabriel Boric fended off populists to sweep to power, and Portugal’s 2022 socialist triumph.

To bet on politics, simply sign into your Bet UK profile or open an account today, and head over to the politics betting page of our sportsbook.

Guide to betting on UK Politics

If you’re looking to get started with political betting then the UK is an ideal place to begin. The UK holds elections every five years unless there is a snap election. The country votes for MPs to represent the 650 constituencies in Westminster.

It is these MPs who make up the numbers in the House of Commons, and the leader of whichever party has the most seats becomes the prime minister. However, to govern effectively a party must have more than 50% of the Commons. If they don’t, they’ll need to go into coalition – like the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats did between 2010 and 2015.

Betting on UK politics therefore focuses on the general election and how the chips fall once the country has voted. Pollsters will work their entire lives trying to predict election results and still not get it right.

Two of the core political betting UK markets are:

UK elections

The most popular bet here is to predict which party will win an election and be in government. Usually, it’s a straight shoot-out between the Conservatives and the Labour party.

Tip: If a party has a big poll lead at the start of the election campaign then it’s usually worth backing the underdog to claw back some of that advanate. The underdog’s odds will likely shrink, at which point you could bet against your original bet to make a sound profit. This is exactly what happened in 2017 when Labour surged as soon as the snap election was called.

Next prime minister

This is a more fluid betting market than the election betting, because the prime minister can change at any time. David Cameron quit in the wake of the Brexit reful in 2016, Theresa May was ousted by her backbench rebels in 2019, and Boris Johnson recently lost his job as Prime Minister!

Tip: Betting on the next prime minister requires a dedication to following UK politics. If a PM is set to be replaced before an election then it’s worth considering backing the candidates that don’t align themselves with their leader. For example, if a populist Tory is prime minister, it’s likely the next one would be more centrist if the incumbent is toppled.

Guide to betting on US politics

US politics betting ramps up towards election time but in fact the four-year cycle is peppered with changes to the odds and fluctuations in the market, thanks to the fascination we have with American politics.

For example, way back in the 2000s very few people had Barack Obama down as even a candidate for the 2008 election. His name only truly surfaced during the Democratic primaries in the year leading up to the vote – and even on election day he was not guaranteed to beat John McCain.

American politics usually boils down to two candidates. One from the Republicans, and one from the Democrats. And we can see this binary reflected in these American politics betting markets…

2024 US election

The 2024 US election will likely pit Donald Trump against either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. However, the uncertainty over which Democrat will face ex-president Trump is leading to fluctuations in the market.

Indeed, the likes of Pete Buttigieg, Michelle Obama and even Dwayne Johnson have seen their odds rise and fall in recent months. We still don’t know if Biden will run again, or if Harris will throw her hat in the ring. All this means is that the 2024 US election odds are a maelstrom of turbulence.

Tip: If you think an outsider like Pete Buttigieg could run in 2024 then it’s worth backing them early before their price crashes.

US midterms betting

Misterms betting is the time where politics betting experts focus on parties, rather than individuals. And it’s fair to say there has been a big swing in favour of the Republicans since Biden was elected in 2020.

All the polls indicate the Republicans will win majorities in both the House and Senate in 2022. For punters, this is a chance to wager on what looks like two dead-cert outcomes. It’s also possible to bet on individual states but it’s always worth reading around the political battles in each territory before placing a bet.

Tip: Throw a Republican House and Senate win into the same bet to enhance your profit potential.

Donald Trump

These days much of the market is cornered by Donald Trump. That’s because he attracts so much attention that punters are willing to stake a small wager on him winning elections, just in case he achieves it. This tactic made a lot of people profit in 2016 when Trump beat Clinton to the White House.

Tip: Trump’s odds for the 2024 election are low because it’s unlikely any other Republican will challenge him for the nomination. But his odds could greatly inflate come 2024, so it’s probably best holding off backing him just yet.

World politics

Our election betting odds aren’t restricted to only the UK and US. In fact, every year we drop more odds to preview whichever elections may be on the horizon. This includes the Brazilian election and the Swedish election, both of which could see big changes in government.

It is also possible to bet on referendums, such as IndyRef and whether another country will leave the EU. If there is a second Scottish independence referendum then be sure to check back at Bet UK for the latest odds and markets on the poll.

Politics FAQs

Want to know more about political betting? Check out these answers to our frequently asked questions…

Q. Can I bet on politics?

A. Yes! Bet UK offers extensive political betting markets from across the world of politics. This includes UK election betting, placing 2024 US election bet, and even backing the next British prime minister.

Q. How does political betting work?

A. Political betting works the same as sports betting. Generally, you will back either an individual or a party to succeed at an election, and if they do then you’ll win a payout. Golf is the sport most like politics betting because each individual is fighting for the same prize.

Q. When is the next UK election?

A. The next UK election is not scheduled until the summer of 2024. However, there is a possibility that a snap election may be called before then.

Q. Can I bet on Donald Trump?

A. Yes. You can bet on Donald Trump to win the next election and be US president once again. You can also bet against Trump by backing his rivals Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Ron DeSantis. Keep an eye on Bet UK for more Trump odds the closer we get to the 2024 US election.

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