With 10 games to go, the 2018 EPL is now entering its final quarter and supporters of all teams are starting to wonder where their team will finish in the league. As a Newcastle United supporter, my team is stuck right in the middle of one of the tightest relegation battles in living memory. At the other end of the table, my wife’s team Spurs are almost certainly out of the running for the title but Champions League qualification is definitely in their sights. To set expectations, I have used a statistical method known as Poisson modelling to predict the final league table come May 13th and I will update this post after every round of games between now and then so please bookmark this page.
Ahead of the 2017 general election, I predicted that the opinion polls would be wrong again and that the Conservatives lead over Labour would be underestimated by 2.6%. I based this on data provided by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. In the event, I was right that the polls would be wrong but instead of an error favouring the Conservatives, the polls recorded the largest ever underestimate of the Labour vote. As a result, election forecasters were blindsided yet again and the result was a hung parliament which few saw coming.
My official prediction using my Final Election Model is that the Conservatives will make a net gain of 45 seats resulting in a working majority of 105 seats.
My forecast uses data from my latest UK Opinion Poll Tracker and it is worth reading that post in conjunction with this post. At the bottom of this post is a spreadsheet containing my prediction for each seat. I am basing all figures in this forecast on the assumption that Conservatives will have a 9.5% lead over Labour on June 8th. I arrive at that figure by taking the current CON-LAB lead of 7% in the latest polls and adding an expected 2.5% underestimate in the Conservative lead over Labour based on my analysis of historical polling errors. A knock-on effect of this assumption is that I expect turnout to be 2pts higher at 68%.
Unlike the 2015 general election when the polls were essentially static (& wrong) throughout the election, the 2017 general election has seen some of the most extraordinary volatility in the polls that I can remember. If you are a Conservative supporter, the narrowing lead over Labour must be leading to anxiety and changed underwear. If you are a Labour supporter, you are probably starting to dream “can we? will we?!” It doesn’t help that your state of mind will depend on which poll you are reading and your memories of the pollsters’ failure in 2015 so how can you make sense of what is going on. I will show you how in 5 steps and to heighten the drama, I will leave the punchline to the end!
For the last 6 weeks, I have been making forecasts of the number of seats that each party will get in the 2017 General Election. If you have been following my forecasts, you will know that I have developed a variety of prediction models which all predict something different. With 10 days to go, I decided it was high time to settle on a single Final Model which is described in this post.
This post was first published on 29th April 2017 and predicted a narrow Conservative Hold. I updated this post on 21st May 2017 to take into account latest data.
Welcome to the first of my constituency forecasts for the 2017 General Election. I’ve chosen to start with the seat of Bath currently held by the Conservatives for two reasons. First, it is where I live so I have a personal interest! Second, it is the bell-weather seat for the Liberal Democrats when it comes to the success of the anti-Brexit strategy. Fail to take Bath and they can kiss goodbye to any chance of making the election a success.
MY FORECAST – Lib Dem GAIN but still very marginal
As I have explained, I track the regional breakdowns to produce this chart. Every now and again, a full on poll takes place to explore a region in more detail and this allows me to check how good chart R1 is.
“I think the people in this country have had enough of experts”
Michael Gove, Sky News, 3rd June 2016
This was one of the most memorable quotes during the EU referendum in 2016 and came in response to a question as to why the forecasts of a whole list of organisations such as the IMF should be ignored. It prompted a flurry of rebuttals and articles supporting or damning him and the debate has not gone away.
Like so many quotes, it has already become distorted. I strongly recommend you listen to the full question and answer because here is his quote in its entirety.
When I read this full quote I realised I am in complete agreement with Michael Gove.
Ireland’s win over England brought the 2017 6 Nations to a close. England were crowned champions but were not able to top it with back to back grand slams. Over the last few weeks, I have been using the World Rugby Rankings to predict the outcome of the matches and now it is time to see how they performed.
The results are in and it is now time to review my predictions of the Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central by-elections. How well did my by-election model do and what lessons can be learnt? Let’s look at the numbers first.