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Expert predictions of the 2015 General Election

Expert predictions of the 2015 General Election
Expert predictions of the 2015 General Election
The 2015 general election promises to be perhaps the most interesting – and potentially most complicated – in a generation. In a data-rich world, an increasing volume of media coverage of the election horse race focuses on the reporting and interpretation of political data – the polls, constituency polling by Lord Ashcroft and others, geodata on constituency demographics, survey data on attitudes towards policies and politics (such as being collected by the British Election Study), and an increasing number of forecasts that are being updated weekly by psephologists. Many other citizen social scientists are playing along at home as each new set of polls arrives. On behalf of the Political Studies Association, we carried out an expert survey of journalists, academics and pollsters concerning their predictions of the outcome of the May 2015 general election. The idea of the “wisdom of crowds” was popularized by James Surowiecki’s book of the same name published just over a decade ago, but can be traced at least as far back as Francis Galton’s famous experiment at a county fair in Plymouth, as detailed in Nature in 1907, in which competitors paid 6d each to enter a competition to guess the weight of an ox – with the average “voter” guessing the weight of the ox almost perfectly (to the nearest kilogram), as the errors of individual guesses cancelled out.
Political Studies Association
Hanretty, Chris
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Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Hanretty, Chris
736a3bc4-e689-497e-9912-52a4cee35099
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7

Hanretty, Chris and Jennings, Will (2015) Expert predictions of the 2015 General Election London, GB. Political Studies Association 7pp.

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

Abstract

The 2015 general election promises to be perhaps the most interesting – and potentially most complicated – in a generation. In a data-rich world, an increasing volume of media coverage of the election horse race focuses on the reporting and interpretation of political data – the polls, constituency polling by Lord Ashcroft and others, geodata on constituency demographics, survey data on attitudes towards policies and politics (such as being collected by the British Election Study), and an increasing number of forecasts that are being updated weekly by psephologists. Many other citizen social scientists are playing along at home as each new set of polls arrives. On behalf of the Political Studies Association, we carried out an expert survey of journalists, academics and pollsters concerning their predictions of the outcome of the May 2015 general election. The idea of the “wisdom of crowds” was popularized by James Surowiecki’s book of the same name published just over a decade ago, but can be traced at least as far back as Francis Galton’s famous experiment at a county fair in Plymouth, as detailed in Nature in 1907, in which competitors paid 6d each to enter a competition to guess the weight of an ox – with the average “voter” guessing the weight of the ox almost perfectly (to the nearest kilogram), as the errors of individual guesses cancelled out.

Text
PSA GE Election Predictions Report.pdf - Version of Record
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More information

Published date: 25 February 2015
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382000
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382000
PURE UUID: 4e8b045b-bfd4-4b62-8e50-012c4ec07885
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2015 11:51
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 03:53

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Contributors

Author: Chris Hanretty
Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD

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