Tag Archives: nate silver

Review: Nate Silver at the Edinburgh Book Festival

Nate SilverNate Silver grabbed the headlines  last year when he correctly predicted the outcome of the US presidential election in all 50 states when other commentators were expecting a dead heat. Since then, he has sold his fivethirtyeight blog to ESPN and will continue to edit it, expanding it to become, he hopes, the “go to point for data driven journalists.” It will also give him the chance to  do political punditry for ABC News.

He came to the Edinburgh Book Festival earlier this week to talk about his book The …

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Opinion polls yadda yadda. OR “Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?”

Two new polls last night: the daily YouGov tracker and the first post-local elections poll from Survation. The spread is interesting:

    Labour: 35% (Survation 39% (YouGov)
    Conservatives: 24% (S), 31% (YG)
    Lib Dems: 11% (S), 10% (YG)
    Ukip: 22% (S), 14% (YG)

As Anthony Wells points out, Survation asks whether people will vote Ukip (most other firms just ask about the main three parties and ‘Others’) so usually gets the highest Ukip poll numbers. This latest survey is in line with the bounce other firms have shown and which the perceived winner of an election often records.

Unsurprisingly, it’s Survation’s poll which has attracted most interest because it shows a gap if just 2% between the Tories and Ukip. Cue cries of ‘Tory meltdown!, ‘Cameron in crisis!’ and every other journalistic cliche.

At the risk of precipitating on the parade of those who love nothing better than to indulge in over-excited hyper-speculation, can I make the following point. Or rather can I ask the following question: Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 24 Comments

Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Kings, queens and the political chess match – Sue Cameron ponders what the invitation to HM The Queen to attend cabinet this week could portend: ‘Charles III might point to that precedent and say he would like to follow it. Moreover, he would like to attend more regularly and speak at it …

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Why there isn’t a British Nate Silver

A skim-read of Wednesday morning’s headlines might have left folk confused as to who had been declared the victor of the US presidential election: Barack Obama or Nate Silver.

For those who don’t know Nate Silver, he’s the analytical guru behind the FiveThirtyEight blog (named after the number of electoral college votes), now housed at the New York Times, which scrutinises and filters opinion polls. He first rose to prominence four years ago after predicting the winner in 49 of the 50 US states during the Obama-McCain presidential contest, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

One last polling prediction (and it shows Lib Dems with over 100 MPs)

Just two hours until the exit polls have their say, but if you can’t wait for that … Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com site has run through pretty much every poll result permutation to come up with a range of projections as to how the House of Commons will look on 7th May.

Here’s their official final projection, which shows the Lib Dems in second place by the slimmest of margins (but of course with half the number of Labour MPs) – and the Tories likely to end up running …

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Pollwatch Day 21 #GE2010 – Lib Dems in second place, at 28-31%, in today’s polls

Four polls published tonight, as follows:

    ICM in the Guardian … CON 33%(-2), LAB 28%(+2), LIB DEM 30%(-1)
    Opinium in the Express … CON 34%(+2), LAB 25%(-1), LIB DEM 28%(-1)
    ComRes for ITV/Independent … CON 32%(-2), LAB 28%(nc), LIB DEM 31%(+2)
    YouGov in the Sun … CON 33%(-1), LAB 28%(nc), LIB DEM 29%(-1)

All movement is within the margin of error, and the degree of stability in the polls is striking: the Tories are at 32-34%, Lib Dems at 28-31% and Labour at 25-28%. Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report ‘poll of polls’ shows the Lib Dems edging up:

    CON 33%, LAB 27%, LIB DEM 30%

It …

Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged and | 5 Comments



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  • User AvatarSal Brinton 24th Apr - 1:49pm
    Nick's speech was very important, and how encouraging that City Fathers has been set up, and had such a great launch with Nick. When we...
  • User AvatarJennie 24th Apr - 1:42pm
    Still waiting to get hold of a copy here, so I'm not going to comment on the substantive points raised in this piece, but I...
  • User AvatarRaddiy 24th Apr - 1:29pm
    1200 people were at the Sage Gateshead last night to listen to Nigel Farage, all paid £2 for the privilege, half were members and half...
  • User AvatarStephen Tall 24th Apr - 1:26pm
    @ AndrewR I think surveys should try and give an accurate sense of public opinion, just as I think LDV surveys should give an accurate...
  • User AvatarDean.W. 24th Apr - 1:04pm
    @AndrewR - Headline to this thread - but,sorry Nick,more think he (Farage) performed better,differs significantly from "majority of LD, activists think Farage beat Clegg" how?I...
  • User AvatarAndrewR 24th Apr - 12:44pm
    "it’s a shame professional pollsters follow the money of the media’s lust for forced choice questions" Oh come on. In all the surveys you do...