Two more points to make about Sunday’s presidential election. First, about the betting odds.
This afternoon I decided to construct my own estimates using some simple numbers. I took Macron to have a 90% chance of making the runoff and Le Pen 75%. Then I split the other two slightly in Fillon’s favor: 20%, with the remaining 15% for Mélenchon. And for each runoff scenario I assumed that there was an 80% probability it would follow the (very clear) verdict of the opinion polls – Macron to win every case, Le Pen to lose every case, and Mélenchon to beat Fillon.
Further, I assumed that these are all independent events. Of course they’re not, but since we have no real idea which way the dependences run, there’s not much else we can do. From there I just multiplied through, and got the following probabilities:
- Macron 72.0%
- Le Pen 14.2%
- Fillon 7.7%
- Mélenchon 6.1%
For a rough calculation, they look OK to me. But the betting market is very different; here are the implied probabilities from Sportsbet’s odds (which have shifted slightly since this morning towards Le Pen and against both Macron and Fillon):
- Macron 52.6%
- Le Pen 23.9%
- Fillon 16.3%
- Mélenchon 5.3%
- all others 2.0%
That’s a very big difference. It looks to me as if punters have been led astray by the media’s obsessive focus on Le Pen. But hey, wisdom of crowds and all that – maybe they know something I don’t.
Still, I thought it reasonable to wager a decent amount on Macron, with a small hedging bet on Mélenchon. If you choose to follow my lead, please bet responsibly.
The second thing is a follow-up to my post from last Monday, where I drew attention to Adam Creighton’s endorsement of Le Pen at the Australian as an instance of the dilemma faced by the right in countries like Australia, and wondered how many would follow suit.
Well, the Institute of Public Affairs put out its weekly email yesterday, and it includes two links on the French election. One is to this summary from the Telegraph, which is quite sensible and impartial.
But the other one, which they headline with, is to this story from the Canadian Globe and Mail. The IPA says this about it:
Serge Galam – a French theoretical physicist who correctly predicted Brexit and Trump (the French Dilbert?) – has produced a mathematical model showing that Marine Le Pen could easily become the next French President.
That’s a reasonable summary of what the article says; neither it nor the article itself is an endorsement of Le Pen. Still, it’s a remarkably blasé remark about the possible election of a fascist president in a major European power.
No support for, or reference to, the economic reform plans of Macron, or even of Fillon, the “French Thatcher.” That all seems secondary to glee at the possibility of a repeat of Donald Trump.