Electoral Calculus

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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Theophilus » May 22nd, 2017, 7:18 pm

Sprocket wrote:Electoral Calculus isn't the Delphic oracle. We shall see.


No, but it does at least try to make unbiased predictions based on data and mathematical models. The two links you provided were not only heavily biased (one of them at least) but weren't even making predictions of outcome, merely saying where the Greens were concentrating (or should be concentrating) their efforts.
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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Theophilus » May 31st, 2017, 10:18 pm

After the tightening in the polls, Electoral Calculus has the projected Tory majority down to just 88. Still a sizeable majority, but much reduced from the 150+ projection when the election was called.
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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Sprocket » May 31st, 2017, 10:56 pm

Calculus is the medical name for gallstones, and your electoral calculus seems about as much fun. If the Tories get a majority at all, it'll be in single figures, and a hung parliament looks increasingly likely.
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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Theophilus » June 1st, 2017, 12:04 am

Seriously, Sprocket, a piece of advice for your own state of mental well-being: stop getting your news from ridiculously partisan news sources (squakbox, canary and other Momentum echo-chambers) or at least use them only as part of a balanced diet (hint: the Guardian and the Independent are not unbiased either). This way, at the very least, you will not be disappointed when reality comes crashing into your echo-chamber. You may even be pleasantly surprised at how well Corbyn did despite his lack of competence and, frankly, terrifying shadow-cabinet.
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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Sprocket » June 1st, 2017, 4:31 am

From the E.C. page:
YouGov predicts Conservatives short a majority

In an eye-catching Times story on 31 May, YouGov revealed a new model which predicts the Conservatives will only get 310 seats, leaving them short of a majority.

Not only is this prediction notably different from the predictions from Electoral Calculus and others, but the methodology used is very different from normal polls. Traditional polls simply aim to calculate the fraction of the overall population which supports each of the major parties. And they do this with the standard market research techniques of asking questions and adding up how many people gave each answer.

YouGov have tried something much more ambitious and modern. Using what they describe as multilevel regression and post-stratification analysis (which is reminiscent of the machine learning techniques of the big tech companies), they are trying to model how each individual voter in the country thinks. They need a big poll to do this (with a sample size of 50,000) plus regression against census demographics and British Election Study data.

This approach looks similar to that used by Electoral Calculus to calculate EU Referendum voting at the locality and ward level, as well as the other political measures as described in our Thirty Extreme Places in Britain article.

So Electoral Calculus salutes YouGov for their modern approach of combining polls and models to get richer and more insightful predictions. We will know next week whether their approach has got it exactly right this time. If it's right, then they will be justly celebrated. But even if it isn't, it is still the right thing to do and the method can be refined in future years to be more accurate. One day, maybe all polling will be like this.

Nonetheless, and for the record, the Electoral Calculus prediction is still that the Conservatives will get a sizeable majority.

I don't think YouGov are particularly biased to the left.
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Re: Electoral Calculus

Postby Theophilus » June 1st, 2017, 8:49 am

Sprocket wrote:
Nonetheless, and for the record, the Electoral Calculus prediction is still that the Conservatives will get a sizeable majority.


Good to see you're now engaging with other sites, rather than only looking at the odd poll through the prism of your partisan sites.

Sprocket wrote:I don't think YouGov are particularly biased to the left.


Whatever the reason, they consistently overstate support for Labour and understate Conservative support. They've changed their methodology now, as the EC site states; whether this is the key to finally overcoming YouGov's previous problems remains to be seen.
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