political betting

How To Bet On Politics?

Political betting is part of the novelty and special bets sections offered by most major bookmakers. They typically include the major political events taking place in various countries of the world. The markets available depend on the location of the bookmaker. For example, Paddy Power is an Irish bookmaker so on top of the world major political events, it also has some political bets on events in Ireland that you will not find at other bookies.

Betting on political events is not much different than betting on football or other major sports. In fact, it has the same identical steps one must follow:

  • Navigate to your bookie’s politics category
  • Make your selection at its corresponding odds
  • Select your stake amount and place a bet

Political Bets Types And Examples

There are two types of major political events that you can bet on. Some are more popular than others, depending on circumstances and what’s at stake.

1.    Elections

Elections are by far the most popular political events and betting markets. The political elections take place at relatively regular time intervals and they tend to bring out the most people to the voting booths and into betting mode. Countries have different political structures and political cultures. As such, elections are broken down into different categories:

Who will be the next President?

In most countries, the President is the leader, the most powerful and most influential political person. Presidential elections take place at regular intervals, usually every four to five years depending on the country. 

Example  the US Presidential elections are by far the most popular with the bookmakers and even the global audience. Not surprisingly, as the US is one of the world’s largest countries and democracies.

US Presidential elections

The US general election process is also quite entertaining to follow. First, each political party has to nominate a candidate to run for President.

Then these candidates go on campaigning and having live debates until Election Day. The elections are highly anticipated by the media and the public and this interest reflects in the bookies as well. The last US Presidential Elections in 2016 broke the betting record in the non-sporting events markets for numerous bookmakers.

Who will be the next Prime Minister?

In some countries, the President has more of a decorative role while the actual power lies with the Prime Minister. Therefore, betting on the next Prime Minister is more enticing than betting on the next President.

Example – in the UK, the role of the prime minister as the head of the government is the most powerful political position. The Prime Minister is not directly elected by the public. Instead, this position is assumed by the leader of the winning political party in a general election. 

 next uk prime Minister

Most bookies will always have odds available on who will be the next Prime Minister in the UK. This is even though the sitting Prime Minister may have just been elected and is years away (at least on paper) from the next general election. That’s because gambling has a special place in the UK’s history and culture, where people love to gamble. The world’s biggest and best bookmakers are based in the UK. Therefore, it is no wonder that they would show a special interest in the political scene in the UK.

odds boost next prime minister

Odds boost at Skybet

Largest political party at the election 

Legislative elections take place every few years to select the party members of a country’s parliament. These are voted by the public and are important in defining the governing structure of a country or region. Sometimes, as is the case with the UK, the winning political party secures the Prime Minister position for the leader of the party.

European Parliament

Example – the European Parliament is the legislative body of the European Union. It has 28 member states (27 once, if, UK leaves) and 751 members. The European Parliament elections are one of the world’s largest democratic election processes in the world. Every five years, around 450 million European citizens have the opportunity to have a say in the way the EU is heading in the future. To note, the European Parliament is unique in the world, as it is the only legislative body whose decisions directly affect numerous sovereign countries.

Currently, Betfair offers odds on the next UK government:

Government after Next Election (First New Cabinet)

Conservatives Majority7/4
Labour Majority2/1
Lab/LD Coalition7/1
Lab/SNP Coalition10/1
Labour Minority10/1

When will the next Election be?

Elections are held every set number of years. However, there are some situations in which an election might take place before it was due. For example, a President may be impeached or the parliament dissolved and a ‘snap’ election can be called.

denmark politics

Example – this betting market is only available in those countries where election dates are not set in stone all the time. In Denmark, Parliamentary elections are held every four years. However, the Prime Minister has the option to call an early election at any time for various reasons.

Denmark has quite a history of having elections before their four-year term. In fact, for more than 40 years there was no Danish Parliament to sit for its full four-year term. While most of the early elections were called in the 1970s and 1980s, they can still happen at any time.

The most recent example would be when the Danish Prime Minister, Ander Fogh Rasmussen, called elections in 2007, ahead of its time of 2009. The reason invoked was that the parliament needed to focus on working on important issues, such as welfare reform, and could not afford to be distracted by a future election.

betpal dog mascot

While it is not always easy to predict, when you follow Danish politics closely you may get a sense that an early election will be called. You can also regularly check to see if this market becomes available on bookies, in case they read the political situation better.

Generally, an early election will be called when the sitting Parliament wants to cement its majority or loses it following a no-confidence vote. The betting lines will usually be in the form of “general election to be held before 2021, 2022 etc.”.

Who will be the next party leader? 

This is similar with betting on the next President or Prime Minister. Only in this market, you are betting on the candidates who will lead the major political parties in a country. 

Example – each country has its own political system, with its own political parties, with their own leaders, with their own election process. As such, betting on the next party leader can be available in countries across the world, depending on the circumstances and stakes at the time.

2.  Specials

Also known as prediction markets, bookmakers will often have betting markets available on various political issues. A couple of main examples:



It was definitely a huge surprise when Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the US in 2016. Since he took office, various issues came to light, from sex scandals to the Russian meddling in the election process. These controversies made some bookmakers create their own “Trump” category as part of their political betting markets. Some common betting lines are:

  • Will Trump be impeached in his first term?
  • What year will Trump be impeached?
  • Will Trump resign?
  • Will Trump visit Russia during his first term?



Another event that sent shock waves through the political world was the Brexit vote in 2016. The vote and its follow up have also earned a Brexit political betting category with currently common odds for:

  • Will Article 50 be revoked before the end of 2020?

Where Can I Bet On Politics?

There are a good few political betting websites you can use to try and make some profit from various events. You will usually find more options for political bets online than in physical betting shops.

● Political betting at Ladbrokes – UK’s biggest betting company, you will find a great selection of political bets on Ladbrokes. On top of the common lines on UK and US politics, Ladbrokes also offers betting markets on the upcoming Greek parliamentary and French presidential elections.

● Political betting Paddy Power – as an Irish bookmaker, here you will find an excellent selection of bets on Irish politics, on top of the other common ones.    

● Political betting at William Hill –  a wide range of political bets available, where you can even request odds for markets not listed. Also a healthy selection of special bets, such as “Will the US elect a female president at or before the 2028 election?            

● Political betting Betfred – good selection of political bets for individual countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Germany.                               

Political Betting Tips

  • Better value odds in the early stages – you will find higher odds earlier, particularly in the Next President/Next Prime Minister betting markets. For example, Trump had 25/1 odds when he first announced his campaign and they dropped to 5/1 on election night.
  • Know the candidates – look at the current trends within a political party for their candidate, or from the public towards a certain political party and its candidate.
  • Polls and research – opinion polls can give you an indication as to the political party or candidate likely to win an election. You should also pay attention to a country’s economic performance and the unemployment rate. Look at the popularity of political parties and compare to their leaders, especially in countries where the head of the largest party becomes the leader of the government.
  • Know the system – a Presidential win in the US may not be a loss in France. That’s because in the US, the Presidency depends on the Electoral College Vote and not the public vote. Basically, it’s more important where a candidate gets the votes, rather than just the amount of votes. As different countries have different electoral systems and political structures, it is best to understand these before betting.
  • Bet sensibly – opinion polls are a good way to get an insight into where the public’s preference lies and who is the favourite. However, it is not a hard-and-fast rule as the Brexit vote and Trump’s election have shown. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
  • Shop around – with numerous bookies offering political bets, take the time to search for the best odds on your selection.


You have a better opportunity to make a profit if you are interested in politics, prepared for unexpected events, able to analyse the situation and follow opinion polls. However, as with gambling in general, there is no way to guarantee you will win no matter the betting strategy.

Most of the times, bookies are correct in their predictions. Still, there is always room for surprises.

Browse around the bookmakers that offer political bets. Find the bookies that have betting markets available for your topic of interest at good odds. A nice welcome bonus offer is also helpful.