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What are the Odds? Using Constituency-level Betting Markets to Forecast Seat Shares in the 2010 UK General Elections / Matthew Wall; Maria Laura Sudulich; Kevin Cunningham

Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, Volume: 22, Issue: 1, Pages: 3 - 26

Swansea University Author: Wall, Matthew

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Abstract

This article investigates methodologies for translating data from constituency betting markets in each of the UK's 650 constituencies into national-level predictions of parties' seat shares for the 2010 House of Commons election. It argues that information from betting markets is highly di...

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Published in: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties
ISSN: 1745-7289 1745-7297
Published: 2012
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa13631
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Abstract: This article investigates methodologies for translating data from constituency betting markets in each of the UK's 650 constituencies into national-level predictions of parties' seat shares for the 2010 House of Commons election. It argues that information from betting markets is highly disaggregated (offering candidate-level predictions), adjustable throughout the campaign, and free to access – meaning that such data should be a useful resource for electoral forecasters. However, constituency-market gambling data from the site Betfair.com proved to be a relatively poor basis for predicting party seat shares, and there is also evidence suggesting that the data were systematically biased in several ways. Nonetheless, we argue that future research in this area should compensate for these biases to harness the potential of constituency prediction markets for electoral forecasting.
Keywords: Betting Markets; Election Forecasting; UK 2010 Election
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 3
End Page: 26