Unibet’s Ed Nicholson on Brexit betting fluctuations

The EU Referendum is tomorrow and whilst Remain remains the strong favourite across bookmakers, the odds have fluctuated somewhat wildly since the Leave and Remain campaigns began their work to convince the voting public that their opinion is the right one.

Ed Nicholson, Unibet
Ed Nicholson, Unibet

There have been some sizable bets placed on the event on both sides, and William Hill stated that it expected the referendum would see £20m in betting turnover.

Unibet’s Ed Nicholson has done some extensive investigation of his own.

He said: “Betting is a brilliant barometer of public opinion; people can have their thoughts – they’re two a penny – it’s when people place a penny or two on those thoughts that it becomes a real belief. And most Unibet customers believe GB will remain in the EU.”


Nicholson added: “It’s interesting though, because on a global level 60% of numerical bets have been on Leave. However, judging by the turnover it’s quite the opposite scenario with 65% being on Remain which concludes that the stakes being placed on the Leave market are much smaller as they are reflecting the odds of course.”

Commenting on the geographical breakdown in the Remain and Leave camps, it appears that it’s in southern England that people are backing Leave whilst the majority of Londoners have their money on Remain.

Nicholson stated: “From within the UK we’re seeing that the southern England is backing Leave although 80% of Londoners are putting their money on Remain. northern England is very undecided and there’s been concerns of housing prices, travelling within the EU and imported consumer goods dependant on the outcome.”

Scotland and Wales meanwhile are both heavily in favour of Remain whilst Northern Ireland is seemingly more divided. This is due to the historic religious split; catholics tend to be leaning towards Remain whilst protestants are more in favour of a Leave vote.

The media has played its usual role in this campaign, and with excessive social media engagement too it appears that its power has been more palpable than usual. Nicholson noted: “When the Sun went with their ‘Be-Leave in Britain’ front page the leave betting hit the lowest ever price 2.20 and the remain price hit its biggest price of 1.67 (4/6).”

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