So Donald Trump is to be the next President of the United States, as the world of politics threw up yet another great betting upset, following on from the UK lead of Jeremy Corbyn and the EU Referendum.
Just as was the case with Brexit, the polls showed themselves to be hopelessly out of kilter with the feelings of the electorate and the betting market proved an unreliable marker, as Trump triumphed despite never having been the favourite to win the race to the White House prior to Tuesday’s vote.
Indeed, when he first announced his intention to stand for the GOP nomination, the businessman and reality TV star was made a 250/1 chance by Stan James to make it all the way to the Oval Office. By contrast, Hillary Clinton was never bigger than the 16/1 offered by Paddy Power in the aftermath of the 2012 election.
It has been fascinating to track the price movements over the past 12 months – with scandal never far from either candidate’s campaign. Having been available at odds of 12/1 this time last year, Trump’s price was cut on an almost weekly basis as polls showed his support growing and with shrewd punters sensing an upset. The Brexit vote in June prompted further bets on the Donald, with Ladbrokes offering a best price of 3/1, while his chances were almost certainly galvanised by Clinton’s “basket of deplorabes” remark in early September – after which Trump was as short as 6/4.
Of course, Trump has insulted all and sundry – Mexicans, muslims, army veterans, the disabled – but while each fresh controversy caused his odds to briefly drift, his core support never wavered and his price would generally come back to around 2/1. However, the leaked video footage (Pussygate?) last month appeared to be the final straw and his odds lengthened to 11/2 with Betfair, with Hillary available at just 1/6.
While questions about Clinton’s use (or alleged misuse) of a private email server refused to go away, she was the odds-on favourite right up until the early hours of Wednesday morning. On Sunday an NBC poll gave her a five-point lead in her bid to become the first female President and on election eve Trump backers were still able to take odds of 5/1. The story won’t end here of course, and it seems unlikely that Trump will cease to cause controversy – Paddy Power are offering a price of 10/1 that he will be impeached by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, European right-wingers have been swift to congratulate Trump on his victory and Marine Le Pen has been backed to win next year’s French Presidential election. The Front National leader was a 6/1 chance on Monday, but is now a best price of 7/2 with Betfred. After a year of shocks, and with the right-wing genie set free from the bottle across the western hemisphere, it would be no great surprise.
At least it would not be in keeping with the likes of Trump, Brexit or indeed Leicester City. Coral have calculated that a £5 bet on that treble would have landed you £15m.