Politics Latest Odds: Independence 50/50 as polls predicts SNP majority

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon's SNP look set to win a comfortable majority in May

Get the latest odds on Scottish independence, Joe Biden's inauguration, Donald Trump's impeachment and the next German chancellor as Max Liu discusses this week's politics betting news...

"This week the US Congress voted to make Trump the first president to be impeached twice. The case now moves to the Senate where its 1/3 that a majority will not vote to convict him."

Scotland is a 50/50 chance to vote for independence next time there is a referendum after a comprehensive poll put the SNP on course to win a comfortable majority in this year's Scottish Parliament elections.

The elections, which are scheduled for 6 May, are expected to be pivotal for Scotland. The SNP is standing on the promise of a second referendum on independence following Brexit and a surge in support for leaving the UK.

The poll forecasts that the SNP will win 72 seats, an increase of nine that would comfortably give them the 65 or more needed for a majority. Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon would use such an outcome as a mandate to call for a referendum.

Scotland voted 62% to Remain in the European Union in 2016 and Sturgeon has consistently argued that the country was being taken out of the EU against its will. Since last summer, polls have shown a majority in favour of independence.

But Boris Johnson has said that there should be no referendum for 40 years. That's one reason why no referendum before 2025 is 1.910/11 on the Exchange while a 2022 referendum - the year Sturgeon could aim for - is 4.77/2.

If Johnson rejects a formal call for a referendum, the SNP could pursue the matter through the courts.

Gordon Brown to make sensational return in Scotland?

The poll says Labour are heading for their worst result ever in Scotland. They're projected to win 19 seats - a far cry from the 56 they won in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999.

This week Richard Leonard resigned as leader of Scottish Labour. The timing was hardly ideal, coming four months before such a crucial election, but there was a widespread sense the party had gone backwards under his leadership, as it finished fifth in the 2019 European elections in Scotland and fourth in the general election the same year.

Some commentators have tipped ex-UK prime minister Gordon Brown to make a sensational return to frontline politics as Labour's leader in Scotland. Brown has been a staunch opponent of independence and his intervention arguably swung the outcome of the last referendum when Scots voted 55 to 45 to stay in the union.

Today's Sunday Times reports that allies of Labour leader Keir Starmer have sounded out Brown about the possibility.

It's a nice story but surely that's all it is. One obvious problem, for example, is that the role is only open to MSPs and MPs and Brown is currently neither. Anas Sarwar, who lost the leadership election to Leonard four years ago, is touted as the most likely successor.

Biden 4/1 to visit Ireland first

Joe Biden's inauguration as American's 46th president will take place on Wednesday and speculation has already begun about which country he will visit first on official business.

Johnson would love for it to be the UK 6/1, as Britain tries to exploit its special relationship with the US post-Brexit, but Ireland, where Biden has ancestral roots, is the 4/1 favourite.

Joe Biden US flag behind 1280.jpg

The Sportsbook's range of inauguration markets also gives you the chance to bet on the colour of Biden's tie (blue is 10/11), as well as on the exact words he will use during his inaugural address.

Of more significance is the new market on Trump's second impeachment. This week the US Congress voted to make Trump the first president to be impeached twice. The case now moves to the Senate where it's 1/3 that a majority will not vote to convict him.

Is Armin Laschet Germany's next chancellor?

This year will also see the end of an era in German politics when Angela Merkel steps down after 16 years as chancellor. Armin Laschet is 2.186/5 to be next chancellor after this week winning the contest to become the chair of the Christian Democratic Union.

Laschet is in a strong position to be the party's candidate for chancellor at September's German federal election. He would be a centre-right continuity candidate for the job, although the CDU could still nominate another politician and Markus Söder 2.47/5, the popular leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, looks the most likely alternative.

Merkel is the third longest-serving chancellor in history.

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