Slugger NI Election prediction competition!

One for the political anoraks: Stratagem are running an NI Election Prediction Competition in which you have to say which party will win each individual seat. In the spirit of complementarity rather than competition, we’ve got a few extra questions for you (below).

NB: You will need to read the update as a few entrants haven’t fully understood part of this competition.

Specifically, we want you to predict the turnout and percentages of overall votes cast in NI for each of the major parties. Then, you have to tell us which seat each of the major parties will have the most positive performance relative to 2005. Where there have been boundary changes, the performance will be related to the nearest relevant seat. Ask for clarification in the comments (below) if you have any questions.

How do we score it?

We’ve not finally decided yet – hey! We’re all Web 2.0 here – we don’t impose our judgements! We crowdsource your wisdom instead. We’re sickeningly smug that way. Here’s our initial bid though:

  1. Percentages: If you predict that the DUP will get 20% and they get 25%, you will get a score of -5 for coming in five points below the right answer. If you guess that they will get 27% and they get 25%, you will get -2 for being two points above the right answer. You lose a point for every % point you are away from the correct answer either way.
  2. Best performances: You have to guess which seat the main parties will enjoy the best / least worst swing since 2005**. In the case of the TUV, it’s just about guessing their best constituency %  but if you think that a party will make no improvements, then pick the seat where they will suffer the least damage. You will get …. 5 points … for every correct answer.

Is this scoring system fair? Let us know in the comments. We think it’s a good opening bid, but there’s no rush in deciding, after all, the scoring system won’t affect your predictions. So go for it, and let us have any questions or suggestions on the scores in the comment thread (below). Good luck!

(NB: one qualification on our enthusiasm for crowdsourcing: We’ll look at comments on the points system but the final decision will be ours. This madness can only be taken so far…)

**Update: Just for clarification, it is the best % swing in relation to the 2005 % that the party scored in that particular constituency we are looking for. It’s the seat where the their vote went up by the largest number of percentage points (or declined by the least number of points). It’s quite possible in this scenario that the party you pick to have it’s best performance in a particular seat isn’t going to be the overall winner of that seat. Stratagem’s competition fulfils that role. If you want to re-do your entry, follow the guidance I’ve given to Drumlin’s Rock in the comments.