Playing on the swings

4/29/2010 03:03:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich /

We here at Voy Por Ustedes have been examining the polls today - or more to the point, how those poll numbers translate into actual seats in the House of Commons. The swingometers used by the various news dudes are misleading as they use a Uniform National Swing percentage to translate the poll numbers into seats and the volatile the polls the more inaccurate the seat predictors become.

In the most extreme case this can produce illogical results. For example, let's say no one at all votes for Labour - there are instances if you play around with the swingometers where Labour can still keep up to about 10 seats depending how those lost votes are distributed amongst the other parties even if they received 0% of the votes.

Young Nate Silver - founder of the Baseball Prospectus site and the subsequent site which predicted with incredible accuracy the results of the US electoral colleges in the last Presidential debate - has set about producing a more robust method of translating opinion polls into seats.

The polls are usually pretty accurate, so if we can figure out a better way of translating them into seats we could have ourselves a very accurate picture of how the House of Commons might look on May 7th and more importantly we can place wagers with more confidence in the election markets.

Here's how young Nate sees it according to his newly developed swingometer:

These percentages are very close to those we here at Voy Por Ustedes had predicted just last week in our post USA here I come but crucially the seat distribution is very different.

Under the uniform national swing calculator, Labour's eventual seats total is greatly over-estimated and the support for the Tories under-estimated. Using young Nate's system the Conservatives are only 26 seats short of a majority.

This is intriguing as we still have one leadership debate to go which will be shown tonight on the BBC. With Gordon Brown's paranoid delusions causing him to berate a pensioner yesterday, the ratings for tonight's debate - which is on the Economy and fantastically, Immigration - should shoot up.

Even an ape ought to be able to slam dunk Gordon Brown on his handling of our economy, so if Cameron can some how raise his game to the level of an ape's, he might be able to bridge that 26 seat gap and win an over-all majority and more importantly win us some money, betting on the over-all majority markets.

One more thing before I eat my sammich - the magic number to win that majority is not 326 seats. In real terms it's actually between 322-324. Sinn Féin should have between 2-5 seats in the House of Commons, but as they have not taken the Oath of allegiance, they remain empty. Not a significant difference, but since this election is so close it may be enough people.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment