How our election forecast model at the Polling Observatory works

Written by Robert Ford, Will Jennings, Mark Pickup & Christopher Wlezien on . Posted in Politics

The Polling Observatory forecasting model has been a long time in the making, and builds on our effort in 2010, where we fared relatively successfully both in absolute terms and compared to other forecasters. (Our forecast before the start of the official campaign proved even more successful.) Forecasting like this is inherently limited, as there will always be some factors which can impact elections but are difficult to quantify or model effectively.

How exceptional a rugby player was Brian O’Driscoll?

Written by David Duffy & Pete Lunn on . Posted in Sports

Brian O’Driscoll enjoys legendary status among Irish sports fans. The public perception of O’Driscoll is one of a truly exceptional player who stood apart from his peers in the era of professional rugby. Yet many rugby fans outside Ireland, while recognising that he was a great player, perhaps thought Ireland fans were inclined to exaggerate about his brilliance, especially later in his career.

A long-range forecast for the UK general election

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Politics

What do you get if you ask a Labour Party pollster and a Conservative Party advisor to predict the outcome of the 2015 UK general election? Two very different answers, of course. And so it was that during a debate at the Market Research Society annual conference this week, James Morris (a former speechwriter for Labour leader Ed Miliband) predicted a Labour victory, while Andrew Cooper (a former director of strategy for the Conservatives) predicted that Tory leader David Cameron would remain prime minister 'in some sort of messy coalition'.

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