Last year was a big one for political betting as the US presidential election broke records on Betfair to become the biggest event of all time.
But anyone hoping for a quiet year in 2021 could be disappointed.
There won’t be any single event on the scale of what we saw across the Atlantic in November but several elections are scheduled to take place. The outcomes cannot be taken for granted and therefore make for interesting betting events.
And those are just the ones we know about. Who knows what will happen that could trigger a government to call election? We’ve already seen one European government fall and we’re only a month into the year.
You can get 25.024/1 on a UK general election in 2021 and more than one well-connected commentator has predicted that Boris Johnson could go to the country this year.
“Another one?” as Brenda from Bristol said in 2017. Stranger things have happened in recent years, and we’ll monitor the events and odds, but for now here are a selection of elections that are set to take place.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte let his government fall after he failed to win the backing of coalition allies in a spat over benefits. Rutte had been PM since 2010 and had been leading the coalition government since the last Dutch election in 2017. A new election was already scheduled for two months time – 17 March – and polls have shown Rutte’s VVD party are likely to increase their seats total by around 10. That’s why they’re odds-on to win the most seats and he’s expected to win another term as PM.
Sadiq Khan is odds-on to win a second term as mayor of London on May 6. Polls have shown Khan enjoying a 20 point lead over his Conservative rival Shaun Bailey and the Tory has even fallen behind independent Brian Rose in the betting. Council elections will take place the same day. There will be elections in the Welsh Assembly, where Labour are odds-on to dominate, and in Scotland where the SNP are on course to win a majority that would give them the mandate to call for a referendum on Scottish independence.
The Norwegian general election is set for 13 September with all 169 seats up for grabs. Erna Solberg has been the country’s PM for eight years but the early Exchange odds indicate that the conservative’s reign could come to an end later this year. There’s a long way to go but Labour leader Jonas Gah Store is odds-on to emerge from the election as Norwegian premier. He’s been leader of the opposition since 2014 so, after seven years, it could be now or never for Store.
This much we know: after 16 years Angel Merkel is stepping down as German chancellor. She is the longest serving leader of the EU countries and the third longest-serving chancellor in German history. Who will succeed her when Germany holds its federal elections on 26 September? Merkel would like it to be her CDU part colleague Armin Laschet who this month won the contest to become the chair of the CDU. But it’s no foregone conclusion that he’ll be their candidate for chancellor and Markus Soder could be a better bet for chancellor at 2.245/4. Friedrich Merz, Norbert Roettgen and Jens Spahn shouldn’t be ruled out.
The election for New York Mayor takes place on 2 November but there’s already plenty of activity in the Exchange market, with Andrew Yang 2.26/5 the early favourite. The incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio is barred from running for a third term by term limits, so it’s all to play for this year. Yang was a candidate for president in 2020 but he has never held office and will come up against experienced politicians including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams 5.69/2 and Raymond McGuire 5.04/1. It’s a crowded field and the Democratic party primary on 22 June will be key as whoever wins that will almost certainly win the election in November.