Punters beat pollsters?

28/11/2011

iPredict says its predictions market was a more accurate indication of election results than polls:

The Chief Executive of iPredict, Matt Burgess, has declared the performance of Victoria University’s online predictions market in forecasting the election result to have been “absolutely outstanding” and said refinements would be made to assure even greater accurate in 2014. Mr Burgess was commenting on iPredict’s initial post-election analysis which shows iPredict’s trading prices were closer to the final result than 41 of the 51 traditional opinion polls published in the eight months before election day.

The analysis also shows that, in the month before the election, iPredict forecast each of the National, Labour and Green party votes to within 1.5% of the final result.  During that time, the average iPredict forecast of National’s party vote was 47.10% (0.89% less than won by National on Saturday), Labour 28.60% (1.47% more than the actual result) and 11.1% for the Greens (just 0.48% more than its 10.62% result).

Even more significantly, over the three months before election day, iPredict forecast National’s party vote to within an amazing 0.01% of its actual result, while overestimating Labour’s vote by just 1.67% and underestimating the Greens by just 0.42%.

This is a lot more credible than Horizon which is trying to spin its way out of the huge gap between its polling and the election results.

The accuracy of polls is one question, whether they not only reflect what peole are doing but lead them to do it is another.

An Otago University study shows:

 . . . that people often take the ‘popular vote’ and go with the party that’s  already seen as a success.

Michelle Nicol carried out the research and says the ‘bandwagon effect’  would have had a negative impact on ACT.

Had polls led to more confidence that John Banks would win Epsom Act might have got mroe votes but when his success was in doubt people were concerned that their votes would be wasted on a party that was unlikely to get any seats.

 


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