Friday, 30 April 2010

A better model-the advanced swingometer?

I guess many of you have found your way to the US polling site with the more sophisticated seat allocator. This website has a good track record and got almost all the states in the US presidential election right. It is well worth looking at. They explain their model:

'Our model is considerably more aggressive than almost any other in forecasting Conservative and Liberal Democrat pickups from Labour. However the science of UK electoral forecasting is not terribly advanced. The standard method, the called the uniform swing (the idea that the vote shifts by the same margin everywhere in the country), has failed badly in past elections like 1997 in which there was a dramatic shift in voting intentions from one party to another, and may face additional strains in a three-way race like this one. That's not to say that we've necessarily gotten everything right. Perhaps we'll even be quite wrong. But there also ought to be no particular benefit of the doubt given to uniform swing, whose only apparent virtue appears to be in its simplicity. Indeed, if you look at where people are putting their money, the betting markets are a lot closer to our model than to uniform swing in predicting a shift of seats away from Labour. In fact, the markets are even more aggressive than our model about anticipating a shift from Labour to Conservatives, although we see somewhat better things in store for Liberal Democrats.'

The prediction is is going with post last nights debate is 538 above, the site explains:
In conjunction with Renard Sexton and Daniel Berman, I have made several further improvements to our UK General Election forecasting model. However, it still bodes quite bad news for the Labour party; we now show them holding on to only about 200 seats in the House of Commons, versus roughly 300 for the Conseratives and 120 for the Liberal Democrats.

I'm not statistician but I was struck by the Angus Reid poll last night that showed Clegg hoovering up the undecided who appear to be Labour switchers!

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