After 3 general elections with severe polling errors, the UK opinion pollsters redeemed themselves in the 2019 UK General Election with their most accurate performance since 1955. I base this statement on data provided by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. The challenge now for the industry is to maintain this level of performance for the next election which may be easier said than done given that 5 out of the last 8 elections have experienced a major polling error.
At 2200 on Thursday 12th December 2019, the BBC/ITV/Sky Exit Poll was revealed to the nation and pointed to a large majority for the Conservatives. Unlike 2017, I was able to turn to my wife and say “it looks like I will be right this time!” By the end of the night, Gavin Freeguard from the Institute of Government was tweeting that not only was I the most accurate election forecaster of 2019, I was more accurate than the Exit Poll.
My forecast for the 2019 UK General Election this Thursday is that the Conservatives will win a majority of 72 seats. The margin of error in this forecast is very wide though due to the fact that 5 of of the last 7 general elections have seen a major polling error. If there is a repeat of the GE2017 underestimate of Labour, then there will be another hung Parliament.
England will take on South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final this weekend and I am predicting a win for England by 1 to 6 points. In other words, it will be close and exciting!
After 43 matches with 37 correctly predicted, the stage is set for an epic final between England & South Africa to settle the 2019 Rugby World Cup (Men’s). Ahead of making a prediction for that match, I have examined my model in depth and in this post I explore whether or not the model needs to be adjusted.
It’s the quarter finals tomorrow and it’s time for me to predict the outcomes using World Rugby’s rankings. Although I got 33 out of 37 matches right in the pool stages, the 4 errors are enough to change my prediction of who will win.
Augustin Pichot, vice-president of World Rugby, may not like its ranking system but ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup (Men’s), I have been able to use rankings to correctly predict 80% of international matches since 2017. For the world cup that starts this week, I used a dynamic ranking model to predict all matches and it shows that 4 countries cannot be separated for the trophy so we are in for some very exciting matches!
The city of Bath is among a number of cities in the UK tasked with reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions. NOx pollution is thought to contribute to poor health and the government has required clean air plans from the relevant local authorities to be in place before 2021. I had no idea that this would result in my statistical expertise being needed to answer a political row over the BathBreathes2021 plans to charge cars driving into Bath and you can read my report to see what my answer was!
Here is my forecast for the election that was not supposed to be happening in the UK. The Brexit Party is well on course to be the largest party and could even set the record for the best ever vote share by a party in the d’Hondt era of EU elections in the UK. At the same time, the Liberal Democrats have the possibility of beating both the Conservatives and Labour parties in a UK-wide election for the first time since 1906.
In a week’s time, Americans will go to the polls for what is known as the mid-term elections. Inevitably, the results will lead to much speculation on what it means for Donald Trump’s chances of re-election in 2020. However, I will be surprised if many commentators will look to history as a guide to 2020 and so I will fill in this gap with the help of fun 10 question quiz about US presidents.