After seeing off 17 candidates representing various wings of the Republican party and none, Donald Trump’s shocking quest to be next President of the United States rolls on.
Trump attracted a 33/1 quote to win the Republican nomination upon announcing his candidacy in June 2015, and had been as big as 200/1 to win the 2016 Presidential Election three years previously, when books began forming again following Barack Obama’s second victory.
The 70-year-old is the 13/5 outsider to beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in November, with the former First Lady still clear in front at 7/25, but a Trump victory would merely be the latest in an increasingly long line of political betting shocks, with the five below standing out:
George Galloway sweeps to Bradford West by-election success, March 2012
The Respect Party candidate really was 200/1 at the outset of this by-election, suggesting the bookies neither knew Galloway or the constituency nearly well enough.
With truly remarkable campaign lines like ‘I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have…God knows who is a Muslim. And he knows who is not’, the crazed Scot battered Labour’s Imran Hussain by over 10,000 votes.
Labour had held the seat since 1974 and clearly had no idea what hit them.
Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership, September 2015
The right wing of the Labour party were so confident of keeping the left at bay after losing the 2010 General Election that leadership favourite David Miliband lent votes to opponent Diane Abbott, to ensure the Hackney MP got on the ballot and broadened the debate.
Miliband’s brother Ed won and changed the party rules allowing for an influx of new members, who joined in their droves after ‘moderate’ Labour MPs again gave up their votes, this time to ensure Jeremy Corbyn’s name went forward for leader, after the dismal 2015 General Election loss.
Super-shrewd punters got on the veteran socialist at 100/1 before nominations closed.
Britain votes to leave the European Union, June 2016
The odds of Britain voting to leave the European Union never dropped below 6/4 ahead of the polls opening on June 23rd, and that was a week before, with the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and a perceived swing back towards the status quo seeing Brexit drift all the way out to 8/1 on the day.
Polls were close throughout, but bar one 11th-hour Leave.EU effort that called the 52-48 result bang on, the reverse in favour of Remain, if not by a point or two more, was the perceived wisdom.
Many still can’t quite believe it happened.
David Cameron’s shock majority, May 2015
Punters, pollsters and layers alike struggled to get a grip on last year’s vote, with the collapse of the Liberal Democrats, the partial rise of Ukip, and the SNP bossing Scotland all muddying the waters.
Ten days out, the betting suggested Ed Miliband would just about get over the line, with incumbent PM David Cameron priced as the outsider at 5/4 to keep his job, and a Conservative majority government still available at 10/1 a week later.
Hold on to it he did, for a little while.
President George W. Bush claims a second term, November 2004
‘Bush 43’ trailed his Democratic rival John Kerry in the polls during the summer, with the current US Secretary of State favourite at 10/13 over July’s convention season.
Kerry dived to 1/4 on the day of the election, with Bush available at the reverse odds shortly before edging the contest by the smallest victory margin of any incumbent president in history.