Predicting the 2010 General Election
Posted by Matt Walker on September 29, 2009
Some wise sage once observed that economists spend half their time predicting the future, and the remaining time explaining why their previous predictions were wrong. Predicting economic and political outcomes is fraught with danger, and should always be done cautiously.
But with this caveat in place, let’s predict the result of the next UK general election! The first thing you’ll need to do is open a couple of websites:
UK Polling Report will give you the result of the latest opinion polls, which assess public opinion using various sized samples of people, often in the region of 1,000. You can enter some of this data into Electoral Calculus to get a roughish prediction of the next election. Just click on ‘Make your prediction’ in the left hand menu.
So here’s three questions for my AS group that I’d like answering for next Monday:
1) According to the News of the World poll of 24th September, how many seats would the three main parties win?
2) Using this poll again, what would the result be if 2% of Conservative voters switched to Labour?
3) What would the seat distribution be if the election result was as follows: Con 37%, Lab 37%, LD 20%
4) What would the seat distribution be if the election result was as follows: Con 37%, Lab 26%, LD 26%.
5) Can you identify what is strange about these 4 sets of results, and explain why this is happening?