Marine Le Pen salute

LONDON — Marine Le Pen’s odds of becoming the next French president are drifting quickly but she is being backed heavily in a manner which “mimics Trump,” according to bookmakers.

The final run-off between the far-right Le Pen and centrist Emmanual Macron takes place on Sunday May 7, with Macron expected to beat Le Pen with a margin of around 60-40.

Australian bookmaker SportsBet reports that Le Pen is trading at odds of 7 on Friday, meaning that if you bet £1 you would return £7 in winnings, including your stake.

At the beginning of the week, she was trading at 5.5, indicating that Macron benefitted from the pair’s TV debate on Wednesday.

UK betting platform Oddschecker reports that Le Pen has accounted for a massive 68% of bets on the “next President” market following the first round of voting on April 23. That percentage is considerably higher than the proportion backing either US President Donald Trump or the Leave vote in the UK’s Brexit referendum last year.

Just over 59% of bets placed via Oddschecker two weeks prior to the US election were on a Trump win, compared to the 35% placed on Hilary Clinton.

In the two weeks before the EU Referendum, only 44% of bets placed on the market were on Britain to leave the European Union. Le Pen’s heavy backing indicates that punters think her longer odds represent a good price following the populist victories of both Trump and Leave.

Le Pen surge ‘mimics Trump’

UK betting exchange Betfair reported on Wednesday that £23 million in bets had now been placed on its “next President” market, with Le Pen trading at 8, but noted a late surge which “mimics Trump.” 80% of all bets placed on Wednesday were in favour of Le Pen.

Betfair spokesman Naomi Totten said: “Macron is the heavy favourite and continues to attract the big money, with bets of up to £85,000 backing him to go the distance. However, the number of smaller individual bets coming in for Le Pen is a similar profile to that of Donald Trump in the final days prior to the US election.

She added: “This pattern of Exchange betting also mimics the activity we’ve seen on our Betfair Sportsbook market; if Le Pen can shift the game by Sunday we could easily be facing a seven-figure pay at the current rate of trading.”

It should be noted that betting on politics in banned in France, meaning that any money being placed on the election is coming from outside the country.

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