An options-pricing approach to forecasting the French presidential election

John Fry*, Thomas Hastings, Jane Binner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Downloads (Pure)


A subjective probability argument suggests vote-share estimates from polling companies can be interpreted as market prices. The corresponding election constitutes the price at a known future date. This makes an options-pricing approach particularly attractive. In this setting, vote-share estimates, the probability of winning the popular vote and the second-round qualification probability all have a convenient representation in terms of binary options prices. In this article, we develop options-pricing, vote-transfer, and Monte Carlo methods to forecast the French presidential election. The approach fits well with the proportional and regimented two-stage nature of the French election but applies more broadly. Unusually for a French system characterised by uncertainty and constant flux the incumbent President Macron appears in a dominant position throughout the 2017 and 2022 elections albeit with no chance of an outright win in the first round.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Early online date08 Apr 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 08 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • finance
  • Forecasting
  • options pricing
  • OR in societal problem analysis
  • politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'An options-pricing approach to forecasting the French presidential election'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this