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The French election looks set to be biggest non-UK/US political betting event ever

March 19th, 2017

With five weeks to go Macron remains strong odds-on favourite

Exactly 5 weeks on from today, on April 23rd, voters in France will participate in the round one of the presidential election and betting interest has been enormous. Currently on the Betfair exchange alone £7.5m of wagers have been matched and looks set to be bettered in size terms only by BREXIT and Trump.

Given that the French don’t allow punters to access British online bookmakers while in France then it’s safe to assume that little of the betting interest has come from people who will actually vote. I’m now being contacted by French media to explain why there is such interest in the UK.

All the signs from the polling are that the hard right candidate, Marine le Pen, will win that first round. But that will not be enough and it looks as though she will struggle in the second round on May 7th when the two at the top of round one slug it out.

Polling, because of the system is a bit complex. People are asked for their first round voting preferences and then presented with a range of alternatives for the second round. So it is important not to be misled by reports of the first round preferences.

Things look good at the moment for the 39 year old independent now running for En Marche, Emmanuel Macron. He has a 20%+ second round poll margin over Le Pen but a narrower one over the Republican, Fillon, still in the race in spite of Penelopegate.

Le Pen’s main chance comes if Macron fails to make the final two.

Mike Smithson