Sunday April 23rd is the first day of the French presidential election. Betting markets are expecting a different race than the polls.

Today the French go to the polls for the the first round of the French presidential election.  According to data compiled by Bloomberg this week, polls show that the four front-runners were in a near tie.

But what do the betting markets say?

According to the betting website Paddy Power, bettors are thinking that race isn’t as close as the polls might indicate.

To finish in the final 2

Bettors think that the race won’t be particularly close, giving Le Pen an 86% chance of moving on, and Macron an 82% chance of heading to the second round. However, Fillon is given a 36% chance and Melanchon a 20% chance – which are certainly significant enough to watch.

(Remember, the numbers don’t add up to 100% because the betting website takes a cut of betting, which is built into the odds on offer. Bookies gotta eat, too.)

First round vote winner

Le Pen is expected to cruise to the most votes. Gamblers think there is a 64% chance that she’ll earn the most votes, while markets say Macron has a 37% chance to be the top vote-getter.

Le Pen 1st round vote percentage

The betting market says Le Pen is most likely to get 20 to 30% of the vote. If anything, this number is a good litmus test for how savvy political bettors are.

Next French president

The big question, who will be the next French president? As noted, Macron and Le Pen are expected to move onto the final 2, with markets giving Macron a 60% chance of winning France’s top office. If Macron and Le Pen move on, the expectation is that the non-Le Pen/Macron voters would consolidate around Macron.

It has been a strange two years for global politics, and the betting markets have been caught on the wrong foot several times in the recent past. See: Brexit and the U.S. presidential election.

Will the markets be right this time, or will bettors lose the signal among the noise?

Photo: European Parliament, Flickr Commons