Betting markets beat pollsters in Euro elections.

Are the betting markets more accurate guides to election results than pollsters? In this instance, yes they were.


The Ladbrokes figure is based on our last percentage lines for each party, which you could have bet at either 5/6 over or under. The pollsters are their respective last published poll and the figures are just for Lab, Con, LD & UKIP. The higher the bar, the more inaccurate they were.

To be fair to pollsters, some of the final polls were a few days before the vote. Also, I’m sure had you actually asked a pollster for a “prediction” they would mostly have got closer as they would have been able to factor in some of the vote going to all of the un-prompted itty-bitty parties on the ballot (Pirates, Christians, Lib Dems, etc.).

I was particularly pleased that our line on An Independence From Europe’s vote share got so close. We had it at 1.5%, they got 1.49%. The only party who actually out-performed the betting market prediction were the Tories.


Matthew Shaddick

Matthew Shaddick has been Head of Poliical Betting at Ladbrokes since 2008. He's a writer and odds-maker with particular expertise in UK and US elections. Also known to dabble in music, literary and other out of the way betting markets. Sometimes issues tips on horse racing and football, which are best ignored.



On a similar subject, its interesting that the bookies current line on Lib Dem seats is so far removed from the pollsters. Electoral Calculus have the Lib Dems at around 17 seats yet the bookies under//over line is around 35. How do you explain it?


Most people, including us, think the Lib Dems will outperform the UNS predictions, as their vote will hold up better in areas where they are competitive and collapse in most other places. The fact that they won the Eastleigh byelection gives some support to that theory.


Granted they held Eastleight but a) the swing against them was huge and b) things have got worse for them in the polls since last February. Lets put it another way – do you think that if the Lib Dems get 9% of the National vote, they will manage to win ~35 seats? I just cant see it.

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