Portillo’s quote from the spread firms for his vote in the final ballot of all Conservative party members was nearly 50 per cent. However, in the event he never made it to the deciding round after Tory MPs voted against him—he failed to make it as one of the final two candidates and his make-up was zero. American politics similarly provides interest for the spread betting firms. The main options are bets on the percentage votes of the Democratic and Republican candidates and the number of states the parties manage to win.
The two can provide divergent results since victory in the main states of Florida, California and Texas are worth considerably more because of their larger populations than many of the smaller states. Intimate knowledge of the politics of the United States may be something that not many of us can claim, but at least it is unlikely that the market-makers have it either. As always with America, everything seems to be boiled down to statistics and it will come as no surprise to know that the breadth of polls and surveys and predictions in the run-up to the presidential election is huge.
American elections, however, have what may be the best predictor model known to man. In The Gamblers’ Bible, author Margaret Cronin Fisk reveals a model that she claims ‘would have correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1932.