A look back to EURef: Even at 3.10am, five hours after counting began, REMAIN was still a 51% chance on Betfair

October 1st, 2016


The extraordinary moves on the biggest night of political betting ever

Even though it is now more than three months away I am still getting asked question and being invited to give talks on what happened on the betting markets on that memorable night for political punters – the EU referendum results. The above has been prepared for a session in Brussels that I am taking part in later in the month.

Michael Dent of Liberty Tech, is now providing what is an extraordinary resource (£) on his Betdata.io site – historical Betfair odds down to 10 minute segments on past big political and other events. The chart above has been created from the night of June 23/24 2016.

I found it fascinating to see the dramatic changes on that night. Remember when TV results programmes opened at 10pm with news that Nigel Farage had “conceded” defeat and, of course that YouGov poll carried out on the day that had a REMAIN 4% lead. Then as Newcastle and Sunderland were followed by other results showing that REMAIN was doing nothing like as well as expected the price started to move out and LEAVE became favourite for the very first time.

Then it was all reverse when the first London numbers started coming in with marked REMAIN leads. This led to the market totally turning round and at 0310 REMAIN was the odds on favourite.

Looking at my Betfair history I got on LEAVE, my first referendum bet, at 0054, at 2/1.

Mike Smithson