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Recent Brexit betting moves have seen only one-way traffic

| 20.05.2016

The EU Referendum betting markets have taken a very substantial swing toward Remain over the last few days with the odds on the UK staying collapsing from 1/3 to 1/5.

That implies that the chances of Brexit are now at a new low of just 21 per cent compared to the giddy heights of 40 per cent at the end of 2015.

On balance, the polls have probably been better for Remain recently, but there’s still a lot of variance, with some surveys still showing Leave ahead.

However the betting public can only see one result: Over 90 per cent of all the cash put down at Ladbrokes over the last month has been for a Remain victory.

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Ever since the President of the United States touched down in the UK last month to get involved, the bookies have seen a wave of cash for Remain, despite the fact that subsequent polls seemed to show little or no Obama Effect.

Here at Ladbrokes, we’re not sure yet whether this will become the biggest political event of all time, although recent days’ trading suggests it might get past the record breaking Scottish IndyRef of 2014.

History tells us that most of the bets placed will be in the last couple of weeks before polling day and maybe we’ll see some more committed Leave supporters force their odds down in the closing stages.

Either way, we are certainly going to see tens of millions of pounds staked across the UK betting industry by June 23.

How well have betting markets done in predicting other recent election results?

Not badly, and arguably quite a bit better than some other methods of forecasting. The odds got the 2014 Scottish Referendum right, with NO being a clear favourite even as polls seemed to be moving towards YES at the end.

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The betting wasn’t much better than anything else at picking up the Tory majority at the General Election last year, but did a pretty good job of forecasting that the Conservatives would be the largest party.

The polls were more or less static for the entire campaign, but the betting moved strongly in favour of the Tories the closer we got to polling day.

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On the Referendum, I’ve gone for a bet on Remain winning with between 55 per cent and 60 per cent of the vote, but if the odds for Leave get any bigger that might become the value bet.

Good Luck!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



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.