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The PB 2013 Prediction Competition Results

January 5th, 2014

How PBers got 2013 right and wrong

Compared to the busy 2012, 2013 was a fairly quiet year, and not a great one for betting, as Our Genial Host has pointed out. There were just three UK by-elections, but of more significance was UKIP’s strong showing in the May locals. Abroad, Israel, Italy, Iran, Australia, and Germany were probably the most noteworthy elections. 2014 however looks set to be much livelier, with the Euros in May and the Scottish independence referendum in September, while the world’s four biggest democracies (India, the US, Indonesia, and Brazil) all go to the polls.

So, how did you fare in the 2013 results? Congratulations to the 2012 runner-up No Offence Alan who finished 29 points ahead of MWH with James Lowe in third place in the competition – the full table with all players is available here, as well as an Excel spreadsheet showing the detailed breakdown of results.

The first section looked at key posts as at Christmas 2013, and the first two questions both had a 98% success rate, for Cameron as PM, and Clegg as Deputy PM. Balls as Shadow Chancellor scored 86% of correct answers while only 80% correctly predicted Maria Miller to remain at Culture.

The second part covered international elections, which proved to be a very mixed bag. 93% got Merkel in Germany, only 44% correctly picked Abbott in Australia (despite Labor’s internal troubles) – and nobody at all went for Enrico Letta to be Italy’s next PM, following the deadlocked election in February.

    Seat predictions for the May local elections were next, covering the county council elections. Often a tricky section, only the Lib Dem result was close to the average prediction, with a loss of 124 seats against the predicted average of 126. The Conservative and Labour seat movements in the locals of -335 and +291 were further away, with average predictions of -266 and +370. UKIP meanwhile proved much harder to predict, and their gains were massively underestimated, with actual gains of 139 seats against an average prediction of 32.

As ever, the final section looked at the year’s opinion polls from the Guardian’s ICM series. Predictions covered the highs and lows for the four parties, plus the large and small Labour leads. Labour held a lead in every monthly poll apart from a dead heat in July, with their highest lead being 12 in February. In the battle for third place, the Lib Dems were ahead in every month except May, when UKIP were 7 points ahead, and June which was tied.

Party ranges in the year were Lab 41-34, Con 36-28, LD 15-11 and UKIP 18-6. Players collected 50 points if they were spot on, losing 10 points for each percentage point out, down to zero. With an average of 35.6 points collected, best predicted was the Lib Dem high of 15%, while by contrast the UKIP high of 18% was the worst predicted with an average of just 15.0 points.

Many thanks to everyone who took part, and the 2014 competition should be out soon.

    Finally, if you would like to take part, the 2014 season is now underway at The Election Game – the Leaders & Finance game is available here. The games are free to enter, entries for Leaders/Finance close 5pm GMT Sunday 12th Jan, and the Election Game can also be followed here on Twitter (@electiongame).

I’d like to wish all of PB’s punters, posters, and lurkers all the very best for 2014, and thanks to Mike, TSE, and the rest of the PB team for all their hard work on the site.

Double Carpet