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Nate Silver UK General Election Forecast 2015 as Wrong as 2010?

ElectionOracle / UK General Election May 04, 2015 - 03:47 AM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

ElectionOracle

Last weeks BBC Panorama programme featured Nate Silver who apparently is famous for forecasting the outcome of the 2012 US election, so with much press hype is expected to accurately forecast results for the May 7th UK General election. The BBC Panorama programme after near 30 minutes of mind numbingly boring footage of basically a caravan driving around the UK, finally has Nate Silver state his forecast conclusion that put the Conservatives on 283 seats, Labour 270, SNP 48, Lib Dems 24 and UKIP on just 1 seat.


Then he states the obvious that no major party even with the Lib Dem support could form a majority: “If these numbers held steady, you’d have the Tories as the largest party but Labour plus the SNP are more. Even then they are not a majority. The betting markets seem to think there would be more paths for Miliband in that case, but it’s an incredibly messy outcome. There is still enormous uncertainty about who forms a government after 7 May.”

Subsequently the mainstream press has literally gone bananas on Nate Silvers UK election forecast as if he were Moses himself, who just like Ed Milliband on Sunday has descended from the Election Mountain with a prophetic stone tablet.

This despite the fact that Nate Silver's grand finally forecast is of not much difference to what virtually every other pollster has been forecasting for several months now as illustrated by the below table. Which is not so surprising since the pollsters, including Nate Silver all base their forecasts on virtually the same opinion polls so all that Nate Silver stated was for a mundane middle of the road outcome of what most others have already been stating for several months! Which means if he gets it right then so will virtually every other pollster and that ahead of Nate Silver, which certainly is not worth the amount of coverage that it has induced.

Market Oracle May2015 .com Electoralcalculus .co.uk ElectionForecast .co.uk The Guardian
 

28th Feb

26th Apr 26th Apr 27th Apr 27th Apr
Conservative 296 272 279 286 274
Labour 262 271 282 267 270
SNP 35 55 47 48 54
Lib Dem 30 26 18 24 27
UKIP 5 3 1 1 3
Others 22 22 22 22 22

 

And it gets worse, for if the Nate Silver obsessed mainstream press had bothered to do their research then they would soon discover that Nate Silver got the 2010 UK General Election very badly wrong, not by just a handful of seats but that he literally forecast that the Lib Dems would get DOUBLE the seats they eventually did i.e. 113 forecast against 57 actual, as his expectations for the Lib-Dem surge never materialised and conversely the Labour Collapse to 198 never happened instead Labour won 258 seats and thus denied the Conservatives an outright majority.

Therefore the whole Nate Silver UK election forecast mainstream press diatribe is pure hype over substance for it reveals nothing new to what the public were not already aware of. The key problem for forecasters such as Nat Silver is that it is no good just googling about Britain or hop on to a plane for a few days visit to understand Britain, which is why he does not understand UKIP nor SNP nor what is happening in the constituencies because he does NOT KNOW BRITAIN! This illustrates just how STUPID the broadcast media (BBC) and the mainstream press are. They might as well have flown to China and asked a village farmer what the UK election result would be, who I am sure after googling for a few minutes would come out with a very similar forecast to Nate Silver's near average of pollster forecasts.

In terms of what I actually see as the most probable outcome for the general election primaily based on economic and market analysis rather than opinion polls, I refer to my in-depth analysis of 28th Feb that was most recently iterated in the following video which is far more informative than the BBC's waste of licence fee payers money Panorama programme.

UK General Election May 2015 Forecast Conclusion

My forecast conclusion is for the Conservatives to win 296 seats at the May 7th general election, Labour 2nd on 262 seats, with the full seats per political party breakdown as follows:

Therefore the most probable outcome is for a continuation of the ConDem Coalition government on 326 seats (296+30) where any shortfall would likely find support from the DUP's 8 seats.

The alternative is for a truly messy Lab-Lib SNP supported chaotic government on 327 seats (262+30+35) which in my opinion would be a truly disastrous outcome for Britain, nearly as bad as if Scotland had voted for independence last September.

Another possibility is that should the Conservatives do better than forecast i.e. secure over 300 seats but still fail to win an overall majority, then they may chose to go it alone with the plan to work towards winning a May 2016 general election.

The bottom line is that the opinion polls do not reflect how people will actually vote on May 7th when they are faced with a stark choice of steady as she goes ConDem government or take a huge gamble on Ed Milliband's Labour party. So in my opinion several millions of voters will chose to play it safe with ConDem which thus is the most probable outcome.

Also available a youtube video version of my forecast:

The bottom line is that a continuation of the Coalition government is the most probable outcome which means an combined total of at least 323 seats. Therefore come May 8th virtually all pollsters (including Nate Silver) will have egg on their faces as the mainstream media will have flushed untold millions down the drain on commissioning opinion polls that turned out to be WRONG just as the polls were wrong in the run up to the Scottish referendum that was never a 50/50 proposition which at the time I concluded was mainly so as to allow pollsters to sell opinion polls and the mainstream press to sell copy and so it is the case with today's election campaign.

UK Saved From I.S. Threat But Scottish Independence Nightmare is Not Over!

There is another reason as well for why the polls were so close and that is one of SALES, the polling industry SELLING a tight election so that the gullible mainstream press would buy their polling services. Therefore painting a picture of a tight race by manipulating the data will have turned out to be a huge money spinner for the polling agencies.

My article concluded in the most probable forecast for the outcome of the result would be for at least show a 10% gap between NO and YES, and definitely not reflective of the mass hysteria.

Therefore the most probable outcome is inline with the polling ranges of before the YES campaigns intimidation and fear phase began to play a prominent role in the frenzy of campaigning of September that rather than a 50/50 tight race is more probably going to result in at least a 55% NO vote victory, and I would not be surprised if the NO vote even breaks above 60%!

Ensure you are subscribed to my always free newsletter for continuing in-depth analysis and concluding trend forecasts.

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2015 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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