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How to get started with political betting

Political betting has become increasingly popular in recent years, with markets about the next leader of a country now presented in the same fashion as markets about the next manager of a sporting team or the next winner of a competition.

As with sporting markets, there is plenty of value to be found for an astute punter with their finger on the pulse.

Here are a few things to consider before you dive into the world of political betting.

Learn what markets are available

Getting a lay of the land of political betting is the first step. Paddy Power offer plenty of political betting odds across a diverse set of markets, which gives aspiring punters an idea of what they can work with when betting on political events.

Outright markets on the big leadership elections are extensive; in mid-November 2020, the market on the US presidential election for 2024 featured odds on over 100 prospective candidates. Even four years in advance, there’s still the chance to back up your predictions with a bet.

As with sports, there are also special markets that tackle more niche events and specific questions. Brexit has been a significant saga for political bettors over the last few years, with punters able to bet either side of the ‘will they, won’t they’ question regarding the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Bettors can also make forecasts about who will be in charge of a country before a certain time, so there’s plenty of flexibility. Become familiar with the markets on offer, so you know exactly how best to turn your political knowledge into a bet.

Stay up to date with current affairs

As with betting on sports, a punter who does more research is going to be better placed to identify a value pick.

That doesn’t mean that an uninformed selection can’t pay off on occasion, like that time your mate Dave who doesn’t know a thing about soccer correctly picked a winning acca of matches exclusively from the Spanish third division.

Nevertheless, having a deeper understanding of the key players and the wider context is incredibly valuable, whether we’re talking sports or politics.

Keir Starmer

Keeping up to date with the news has obvious benefits for political bettors; there’s no point betting on the next leader of the Labour Party in the UK if you don’t know the name of the current leader.

Of course, research can go much further than this. To use the same example, it would be worthwhile to keep track of the opinions of the Labour politicians who go under the radar, as this might give you an insight that passes most people by.

Make the most of social media

Love it or loathe it, social media is now a powerful tool in modern society. While misinformation or controversial posts often dominate the headlines, platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be a rich resource of specialist information and public sentiment.

On Twitter, make sure you follow those respected accounts with a proven track record of being the first to deliver veritable information.

Don’t let your social media feed become an echo chamber, whatever your political leaning. While it can be unedifying sometimes to choose to read views that you fundamentally disagree with, having a broad appreciation of issues all the way across the political spectrum puts you in a stronger place to make your bets.

This can stop you from being blindsided by a surprise election result, with the outcomes of the EU referendum and the US presidential election in 2016 both taking plenty of experts by surprise who hadn’t scrutinized public detail in sufficient detail.

By learning about the markets, getting up to speed with the news, and maximizing your social media feeds, you’ll be able to place political bets with greater confidence.

As with betting on sports, it’s all about the hunt for value. If your research indicates that the chances of a person coming to power are being underrated, then it is easier than ever to find a relevant market and place your bet.

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