Betting on the French election and Bookmaker odds

Sarkozy vs Hollande

France is getting ready to vote in the first round of their Presidential election, and all the money has gone on one man - Francois Hollande. The unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy appears to be on the way out…

But here’s the problem - everyone had money on Lionel Jospin when Chirac was re-elected for a second term, except me. I had money on a Chirac - Le Pen run-off. However, this time, I think the Socialist candidate has enough of the left-wing vote to squeeze through in order to face Sarkozy in a second round two weeks later which he is bound to win handsomely. So 1/8 on Hollande is probably about right.

The problem 12 years ago was that the left wing had split its vote to such an extent that, despite having a sizeable chunk of the vote, it was across several candidates, most of whom were saying the same thing. However, that’s French politics for you - the French are known to be obstinate voters who vote with their heart in the first round and their head in the second. That’s why it’s quite possible that laying Francois Hollande on Betfair is an option. He’s 1/50 to reach the second round - if a Jospin-type situation happened, layers would be in the money. As I say, not as likely as it was 12 years ago, and even Segolene Royale reached the second round. And she was rubbish.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Jean-Luc Melenchon reached third place in the first-round poll, though. Everyone seems to believe it will be Marine Le Pen, but 5/4 against the left-wing rabble-rouser is tempting. He’s been attracting votes from all over the place and has been up to around 15% in the polls. As rebel voters go to the polls with their heart on their sleeves, he could benefit.

For those looking for the best value bet, then, the split on the left could benefit Nicolas Sarkozy - as it did Chirac back in 2000. Therefore, Paddy Power are offering 11/4 against Sarkozy winning the first round, as many polls have him doing, but Hollande winning overall. This is extraordinarily generous given that the polls have been predicting this for weeks.

published: 19th April 2012 by Free Bet Bookmaker

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