LONDON — Punters have staked at least £30 million on next Thursday’s general election, according to figures form BonusCodeBets.co.uk.
The betting website works closely with bookmakers and has collected figures from William Hill, Ladbrokes, Bet365.com, Coral, BetFred, and Betway on political betting.
BonusCodeBets.co.uk claims that the £30 million wagered on the election is a record for an election. The Telegraph reported that £25 million was staked on the 2015 election, with gamblers more successful at predicting the outcome than pollsters.
The highest bet so far on the 2017 election is a £20,000 wager on Theresa May to remain Prime Minister. It was placed last week with a bookmaker in London.
May remains the favourite to return to Downing Street despite the Tory Party losing ground to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in recent opinion polls.
An Ipsos Mori poll on Friday gave the Conservative Party a lead of just five points over Labour, down from a 20 point lead when the election was called. But BonusCodeBets.co.uk said Friday that the odds of May winning are 2/9, compared to 7/2 for Corbyn.
Academics have argued that financial and betting markets can provide a more accurate forecast of results than opinion polls.
Alexander Kostin of Betting Expert said in an emailed statement: “Over the last couple of years, we’ve experienced a significant increase in people getting involved in political betting.
“We’ve also spotted an interesting trend amongst our gamblers, which is that Corbyn is becoming a favourite amongst those that voted ‘Remain’ in the Brexit referendum last year. In fact, nearly half of people who betted against a Brexit outcome are now backing Corbyn.”
Recent political betting has shown that, as with any forecast, it is far from certain. Markets priced the likelihood of the UK remaining in the EU at 85% on the day of the Brexit referendum.