As we turn the final corner of 2020 into December, the world of politics slows somewhat, and attentions shift towards the Christmas season. With it comes a plethora of novel markets from the bookmaking world to add a little excitement to those cold, dark nights!

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Closing out 2020 on a High?

Never ones to rest on their political laurels Paddy Power have introduced an interesting new market linked to the monthly YouGov approval rating of Boris Johnson. With ‘well’, when Boris was anything but, having peaked at 66% during April 2020, the line for December sits at a lowly 36.5%. Having only achieved 34% for November, there may be some value in the ‘36% or Lower’ at odds 5/6 as more lockdowns and Brexit could possibly limit the Christmas cheer at No.10. Closing out 2020 on a high for Boris could certainly be a struggle.

Boris Johnson approval rating monthly tracker (1 year) –

If middle aged men with scraggy hair trying to step their way through trouble is your thing, then you may also be interested in BBC’s 2020 instalment of Strictly Come Dancing. Funny man Bill Bailey heads the market at 4/5 (55%) with William Hill. Bailey may well have you laughing all the way to the bank in a few weeks if you were lucky enough to spot his dancing prowess early doors; Paddy Power & Betfair introduced him to the market at a now incredible 50/1 (2%)

BBC are also responsible for one of the annual sporting award showpieces in the shape of the Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY). Given the impact 2020 has had on the sporting calendar top quality sporting achievements are thin on the ground and this market has cut up considerably as a result. At the start of the year it would have been a short price that the winner may well emerge from Euro 2020 or the Olympics in Japan. Fast forward almost 12 months and Formula 1 championship winner Lewis Hamilton is a prohibitive favourite at 1/6 (86%) with William Hill. Hamilton was second favourite behind England and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford up until last week, with his child food poverty initiative catching the imagination of many. However, the BBC have been steadfast in their commitment to the sporting achievement aspect of the award and announced this past week that Rashford was to receive a special award on the night; almost certainly ruling him out for the main award. The nomination shortlist lands in the next couple of days, so expect plenty of additional markets to peruse over the coming weeks.

With SPOTY not announced until late December, I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! might be a more appealing short-term investment. Taking place a little closer to home this year, Ant and Dec find themselves with a group of celebrities in the wilds of Wales. The winner will be known on Friday night (Dec 4th) and according to the current market the likely victors are Giovanna Fletcher, 6/4 (40%) at William Hill, and Jordan North, 6/4 at Paddy Power. Early favourite with William Hill was Shane Richie who is now friendless in the market and all the way out to 12/1 (8%). Not used to being behind too many people, Mo Farah could potentially be some value at 12/1 too. Historically he has done very well in TV polls and continues to dine out on his London 2012 exploits.

This Political Joe believes in variety being the spice of life, and where better to find a little light political relief than in the wonderful world of awards and TV specials! Who knows, we might be even able to close 2020 on a high.

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