In the absence of evidence Dutch election punters were far too ready to bet on the hard right PVV

March 17th, 2017

The Betfair betting trend chart

The final period polling

Is this something we should now factor in?

On Tuesday morning in his PB review of the betting on the Dutch election Alastair Meeks wrote this:

“..should the PVV be odds-on favourites? In my view clearly they shouldn’t. The polls might be wrong or there might be a last minute swing but there is no reason why either of those considerations should necessarily benefit the PVV rather than another party.

From all this it follows that the Betfair markets look wrong. The VVD, who are after all in the lead in all the recent polls should be favourites and probably shorter than the 2.66 which at the time of writing they were last matched at. The PVV should definitely be longer than the 1.81 which at the time of writing they were last matched at. In fact, those odds look roughly the wrong way round. Bet accordingly…”

I hope that quite a number of people who follow the site took the above tip and made some money. I certainly did.

Alastair Meeks’ analysis was spot on and the betting was totally out of line with the polling. Just looking at the table above and it was very clear that the VVD were going to do it except in the case of a massive polling fail. Betting odds longer than evens were a total steal.

Yet why did punters react as the way they did? Maybe we have been conditioned by Brexit and Trump to assume that the hard right will do better then the numbers suggest?

We saw a fair bit of this and the early phase of the Stoke Central by election campaign. The UKIP leader was odds on favourite with the traditional bookies for much of the campaign and the was the case on Betfair for a period as well.

It was only the response to Nuttall’s Hillsborough remarks and the other factors associated with his CV that eventually saw the market swing against him.

Whatever the possibility that the hard right is being overstated by punters is certainly a factor we should take notice off in the coming months when we have both the French and German elections – both of which have very active betting markets.

Mike Smithson