Predict the election result and win beer! (Or a drink of your choice) (Possibly)

I said Carswell, not Criswell!
I said Carswell, not Criswell!
We are now just 58 days away from the 2015 General Election, which you might have heard about through the odd fleeting mention of it on the news, in the media or even on this blog. What you might also be aware of is that I’m currently a Masters student in the Department of Government at the University of Essex and the academics there are also aware of this upcoming event. (It’s usually known as a ‘large scale sampling of voter intention data’)

The department is having a competition to predict the outcome of the election, for which the winner will receive £200. Entries are limited to students within the department, but we’re not limited to the methods we use to generate our predictions, so I thought I should take advantage of this blog’s readership (and my Facebook friends too) to see what sort of prediction would come from the wisdom of (small and possibly skewed) crowds.

So here’s my idea. You give me your predictions, I put them through a complex process of weighting and discarding obvious outliers and submit my prediction. Should it win, I will use some of the winnings to pay for drinks at a pub-based gathering of you all (date and location TBC should I win). As a special bonus, the person in the comments who gets the closest to the final result will receive the traditional prize of British political blogging, dating back to before the 2005 General Election: Matthew Turner’s CD of Simply Red’s Stars.

I have to get my prediction in before 10pm on Thursday 12th March (eight weeks before polling closes) but you can keep predicting here long after that if you so wish. So, the two questions in the prediction are:

1) Predict the Great Britain (i.e. excluding Northern Ireland) percentage share of the vote for the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP. (1 penalty point awarded for each 0.2% the prediction is out per party)
2) Predict the number of seats won at the election by the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and SNP. (1 penalty point awarded for each seat the prediction is away from the result)

The winner is the person with the fewest points. I think that makes it all quite clear, but please ask if it’s not. So go ahead and predict, and just maybe the post-election drinks will be (partly) on me.

6 thoughts on “Predict the election result and win beer! (Or a drink of your choice) (Possibly)”

  1. Mine:

    Lab – 280
    Tory – 270
    SNP – 38
    LD – 35
    Norn Irn same as now
    Plaid – 4
    Independent – 3
    UKIP – 1
    Green – 1

    I’ve no idea about vote share for most parties, but I’m guessing Lib Dems will be 14%, UKIP 15%, and Greens won’t break 5%.

  2. These were the numbers in my first game of “Election 2015” (a prototype board game still being developed by a friend of mine).
    Labour: 240 (270) [290] -20
    Conservative: 267 (287) [278] +9
    Lib Dems: 55 (26) [24] +2
    UKIP: 34 (10) [0] +10
    Green: 7 (2) [0] -2
    PC: 0 (0) [0] 0
    SNP: 37 (37) [37] 0
    DUP: 9
    SF: 4
    SDLP: 3
    (The first column is the raw game result, which is then adjusted by removing seats from minor parties (except the SNP/Irish) and giving them to the 2 big ones, giving the second column: third column is the
    result predicted using the percentages from the game (of which records have not survived) fed into universal swing. Number on the right is the difference between adjusted result and US result.

    It should be said my friend was the Conservatives in this one and that when we swapped sides he won as Labour as well, so he’s evidently better at the game
    than me! Don’t have results for the second game except that LDs scored 31 MPs on the adjusted result and that would have been a Lib-Lab coalition majority (Or Labour could have gone with the SNP).

  3. Con 285
    Lab 276
    SNP 36
    LD 28
    DUP 10
    SF 5
    PC 4
    SDLP 2
    GRN 1
    UKIP 1
    UU 1
    Spkr 1

    And boy oh boy, a fixed term parliament built like that would be fun in the Chinese sense of the word. The ultimate nightmare coalition of CON+UKIP+DUP wouldn’t happen alone, but add LD to that unholy mix and the magic number of 324 would be reached, and assuming the Shinners continue their practice of not taking up their seats that would be just enough in mathematical terms.

    Alternatively that outcome could be like Belgium, which IIRC didn’t do too badly without a working government for months, but those who know my politics know I’m a born pessimist….

    BTW Andrew/Jennie – who are the three independents that you think will be elected? I assume one is Bercow in his capacity as Speaker.

  4. There’s no way the Lib Dems would join a coalition with the DUP and UKIP. Not going to happen.
    As for independent MPs, I’m assuming Galloway keeps his seat, and one “other” — some weird result somewhere like the national health party or the Cornish independence people or something getting a seat. I’ve not got a specific one in mind.

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