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Britain’s Got Talent – voting behaviour in TV talent shows.

| 07.06.2014

Not strictly politics, but it does involve voting. Tonight is the final of Britain’s Got Talent; a British TV talent show. These events are surprisingly big betting heats. I imagine Ladbrokes will take at least five times as much money on this than on last week’s Newark by-election


There is only one useful piece of betting advice I can give about this; you should bet on the acts who perform last or at least near the end of the show. It’s vaguely analogous to the tendency of candidates near the top of a voting ballot to do better than those lower down, except much stronger. We don’t know the order of the acts yet but, as soon as it becomes known, the odds on those at the bottom of the draw will contract. All similar contests e.g. Eurovision, The X Factor, have shown similar patterns. The acts fresher in the public’s mind get many more votes than they otherwise would have. If you are drawn first, you might as well stay in the dressing room.

I have no opinion on the relative merits of the contenders, but I’ll show the breakdown of the money taken so far with Ladbrokes.


The only act who are significantly shorter than when they debuted are Collabro, who you could have got at 7/1 after their initial performance in the heats.

Result Update: The winners, Collabro performed 9th of the 11 acts. Second placed Lucy Kay was the last on.










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.