Why Bet on UK Politics?
Political events aren’t as frequent as fixtures, but that’s no reason to sleep on the world of political betting. In principle, political and sports betting are very similar, the most significant differences being in the volume and variety of available markets. Between the most common markets, Westminster is a great choice for casting your eyes over the odds and sticking a wager on any one of countless outcomes.
The Political Landscape is More Volatile than Ever
Known as one of the world’s most stable democracies, the UK’s political system has long been dominated by its two major parties and marginal election victories have been reasonably rare. The past decade has shown a reversal of these longstanding facts and, from the coalition government of 2010 to the landslide Conservative victory in 2019, there’s been no end of twists and turns in the House of Commons and beyond.
One thing that’s clear at present is that the nailed on winners of yesteryear are far less certain. This breed of uncertainty and exciting betting markets are a match made in heaven, and there’s rarely been a more exciting time to try your hand at picking a winner from the pack.
What Separates the Best UK Politics Betting Sites?
New players are blessed with a huge array of introductory offers and welcome bonuses to choose from, and every operator has its own style. Free bets, matched deposits, no deposit bonuses, and risk-free bets are all common bonuses for comparison between operators.
However, it’s also important to read the fine print to make sure the offer is right for you before settling on a new site. For example, risk-free bets often return a lost wager via a token or non-withdrawable funds in the player’s wallet, so players essentially get a free second chance rather than a cash refund.
Most welcome bonuses are attached to wagering requirements too, meaning new players must stake a certain amount with the site before they can withdraw their winnings. Make sure you’re clear on the terms and conditions before settling on your preferred offer.
Along with all the elements taken into account for our exhaustive operator reviews, the best political betting sites offer the most variety for your betslip. Most major sites will offer politics alongside their sportsbooks, but some are definitely more adventurous than others when it comes to the odds offered.
While General Election outcomes, odds on the next leaders of political parties, and when the current Prime Minister will stand down form the bulk of your typical options, the complexity of politics means there’s often a fresh option for a bet that reflects current affairs.
Welcome bonuses and enticing market options are just the beginning, as sites are keen for new players to keep playing with them. These promotional offers can include:
- Accumulator insurance, offering part refunds if a player’s acca is just shy of winning
- Free bets for players who cross a wagering threshold each week
- Better odds over non-members for accumulators
- Price boosts
- Allowing players to requests odds on bets that aren’t already available
The top operators offer fast withdrawals, along with a wide range of options for withdrawing and depositing cash.
Debit cards and e-wallets are the most common payment options offered. Operators offering the likes of PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are often the most secure, enabling players to withdraw and deposit money without entering their bank details. E-wallets are also generally the fastest way to get your winnings processed and returned, and some operators offer instant withdrawals on your winnings.
As of April 2020, credit cards have been banned from use in the UK’s gambling industry.
PayPal is one of the most widely accepted e-wallet options in the online gambling industry. It's fast, secure, reliable, and comes loaded with anti-fraud measures to keep your funds safe.
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is another hugely popular e-wallet option that makes deposits and withdrawals quick and painless.
Pre-paid cards are a fantastic way to manage your spending, and Paysafecard's online portal makes it easy to keep track of your cards.
Neteller has over 24 million customers worldwide, and with its Net+ prepaid cards you can access your wallet's funds on any site that accepts Mastercard.
Which Markets and Bets are Available?
Across the UK’s political spectrum, the key markets are:
- UK Politics
- Scottish Politics
- Welsh Politics
- Northern Irish Politics
Brexit has been a popular market in recent years, although it has wound down considerably since the UK’s initial exit from the EU in 2020. Eyes are now turned to the upcoming Welsh Assembly elections, odds on when Scotland will launch a second independence referendum, the result of such a referendum, and the outcome of the next Scottish parliamentary election.
You can even stick a wager on whether the next cabinet appointment will be a man or woman, as well as where they were educated.
Intrepid political betters are sure to find a varying selection across operators despite the relative infrequency of major political events, and the depth of each site’s political markets is a key draw for new and returning players.
New Operators Often Have Great Offers
The biggest operators generally offer the best welcome bonuses and promos, but new sites regularly enter the fray with their own enticing offers. New operators and sites are increasingly offering bonuses without wagering requirements (the minimum wager value that must be played before making withdrawals) and other player-positive incentives.
Keep Tabs on Your Betslip Wherever You Are
Every member of our comparison lists offers bets through mobile-optimised web pages and dedicated smartphone apps. Players can enjoy the ease of access and enhanced visual presentation of mobile-dedicated platforms across every operator we share with you, as well as mobile payment options and streamlined betting experiences.
Legal Status of Political Betting
Political betting in the UK is perfectly legal, and you can be sure that every operator reviewed and listed here meets the stringent requirements of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC is considered one of the finest gambling regulation bodies in the world, and its work ensures that licensed operators run fair bets and games, protect customer transactions with encryption protocols, and uphold other strict regulatory requirements.
If you’re ever in doubt about a UK operator’s licence, you can look operators up in UKGC’s public register of licensed operators.
Recent Odds and Results
The past few years have been very busy for UK politics. “Another one!?” Brenda from Bristol famously exclaimed when the Conservatives called the 2017 General Election a year after the EU referendum, itself following a year on from the 2015 General Election.
Two years later, the UK saw yet another early election called. With so much democratic process being exercised in so little time, the political better’s dreams couldn’t have been closer to realisation in recent years.
Let’s take a look at some of the historic odds on these events, along with how each vote turned out.
2015 General Election
Three weeks before the election, the Independent listed the best value odds on which party would win an overall majority as follows:
- Conservative: 7/1
- Labour: 40/1
- UKIP: 500/1
- Liberal Democrats: 1,000/1
- No overall majority: 1/8
After five years in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives won their first parliamentary majority since 1992.
2016 Brexit Referendum
Considered the most pivotal public vote in a generation, the EU Referendum campaign was fought between two sides: Leave and Remain. The polls, bookies, and media were all confident that the British public would vote to remain and, famously, they got it wrong.
Here’s a selection of odds from a few of the UK’s leading operators as bookies closed their doors to bets on the referendum:
Even on the eve of the vote, it’s clear that operator confidence in Remain was unshakeable. The results came in with a victory for Leave, which garnered 51.9% of the vote to Remain’s 48.1%, meaning anyone daring to bet against Remain stood to win a healthy payout.
2017 General Election
The Conservative’s majority from 2015 wasn’t big enough to smoothly pass the party’s Brexit legislation in the House of Commons, and so Theresa May called the 2017 General Election to capitalise on what was perceived as weakness in the Labour Party’s election chances to thereby build a larger majority.
The bookies were confident that the Conservatives were on track to brush Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour aside, as indicated by Betfair’s odds offering when the election was called:
Betfair offered the following odds for the election’s outcome:
- Conservative majority: 2/13
- Labour majority: 19/1
- No overall majority: 6/1
Once again, polls and operators were wrong about the outcome. Labour performed considerably better than expected, and the Conservatives came to lose their majority by dropping from 330 seats to 317, narrowly missing the 326 required.
2019 General Election
With the clock ticking for a withdrawal agreement from the EU to be passed in the House of Commons, and no majority to force it through, MPs approved another early General Election in late 2019. Now led by Boris Johnson, bookmakers were confident that his popularity would be the catalyst for a Conservative majority.
In the closing stages of the election campaign, Betfair shared the following odds:
- Conservative majority: 13/25
- Labour majority: 31/1
- No overall majority: 11/5
This time, the bookies were on the money. The Conservatives won by a significant margin to send their majority up to 365, dwarfing Labour’s 202 and delivering the Conservative’s biggest share of the Commons since 1987.
Sign Up and Bet on Politics
Whether you’re an ardent political follower or a casual observer with a good gut for election outcomes, there are plenty of political avenues to explore for your next wager. Check out our extensive reviews of the UK’s very best operators, pick out the welcome bonus and market variety that suit you best, then sign up and cast your first bet!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. It’s always best to check that an operator hasn’t set specific restrictions on how bonuses are used, but generally speaking, a betting bonus will be eligible for political markets as well as sports.
Politics is a volatile sphere and, combined with bookies’ competitive streaks, odds on political outcomes shift around on a daily basis. To be sure you’re getting the best odds on your preferred wager, be sure to check the latest odds offered that day, shop around for the best deal, and place your bets!
They are indeed. You have less scope for regular accas in politics than sports, simply because fixtures are much more regular than political moves, but there are definitely options out there for you. Betting on multiple candidates to win their seat during a general election, racking up the smaller victories that a candidate or party will need in order to win outright, and more are options for political accas.
Politics is a legal betting option in the UK, and all licensed operators come with the assurances of the UK Gambling Commission that bets will be fair, transactions will be secure, and that players are protected from bad practice. All of the operators reviewed and ranked on Compare.bet are fully licensed, and if you’re ever unsure you can look up an operator’s licence status on UKGC’s public register.