£20m on the French election and counting - The final run in

£20m on the French election and counting - The final run in

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Posted by Sam Cooke
There has been over £4m staked on the French election on Betfair in the past two days alone

At the time of writing Betfair Predicts has Emmanuel Macron as 88% likely to be named the next French President. Last year the 39 year old was matched at 43/1 on the exchange.

Macron and rival Le Pen have two weeks to convince the French public that they should lead the nation, and take over from the outgoing and distinctly unpopular Francois Hollande. French voter turnout tends to be high, and with Le Pen keen on a Frexit this election is perhaps the most important of recent times. A look towards the odds see Macron of En Marche! as the strong favourite, though Le Pen’s odds have fluctuated somewhat erratically over the past few weeks. This will likely continue after Le Pen announced she had left the National Front party on April 24th. 

We spoke to Betfair spokesperson Katie Baylis. 

Totally Gaming: How much noise in betting is this election generating?

Katie Baylis:  So far we’ve seen over £20 million traded on the Exchange across French Election markets. In the last week in the run up to the first round of voting we saw over £7 million traded and in the last couple of days alone over £4m, so it’s fair to say this Election is definitely generating betting noise.

While it’s obviously not as big as the US Election where we had a record £250 million traded across all markets, it’s still a decent political betting event, especially considering we didn’t even have a market for the last French Election because of lack of demand.

TG: Does the format of it play into the hands of bookmakers?

Baylis: Yes, in the sense that there are essentially two polling days and the run up to those days is where we see the most activity on the market so we get a double whammy.

But also this market in particular has seen lots of controversy along the way, meaning there have been several different favourites which is great for a betting heat.

TG: The odds would have us believe that it’s Macron’s race to lose...is it really?

Baylis: Macron is currently trading at around 2/15 odds-on favourite with Le Pen around 7/1, so two weeks until the deciding vote, it clearly looks as though Macron is well and truly in the driving seat.

If the latest polls are accurate, and they predicted the first round extremely accurately, then Le Pen is at a huge disadvantage and 2/15 could actually be underestimating Macron. However, the Brexit and Trump results are possibly still on punters’ minds which is preventing them taking the price lower and as those results showed, anything can happen when it comes to politics.

TG: Donald Trump, Brexit and….Marine Le Pen? Have the betting patterns on Le Pen been similar to either of these instances?

Baylis: The similarities lie in both Remain and Clinton going very short on the day of the Brexit referendum and the US Election respectively, both going even lower than Macron is at the moment and we know what happened there. The other similarity is that like Trump did, Le Pen is attracting more bets, despite both being the outsiders in the market. In fact, 36% of all bets were on Le Pen in the first round market compared to 33% for Marcon, while the day after the first round result, 57% of bets for the final result were on Le Pen.

TG: How much was staked on the other candidates.. Fillon, Melenchon and co.?

Baylis: On the next President Market Francois Fillon had around £3.3m staked on him, with Melenchon just under £550,000. We’ve taken the highest volume on Macron (currently around £6.6m) with Le Pen next (currently around £4.8m), which shows how Fillon had been one of the frontrunners and popular selections before scandal seemed to curtail his campaign.


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