Prediction competition – results #ge11: And the winner is….

… one of only four of the 79 entries that ticked the no-publicity box. A free £150 bet with Betfair is in the post to the lucky insightful winner. Update: It seems that the winner – The Dissenter – ticked the ‘no publicity’ box by mistake.

The actual result was:

FG – 76. Lab – 37. FF – 20. SF 14. Others (not including speaker) 18.

Anon (for it is s/he) made the following prediction on the 7th Feb:

Seats: FG – 68. Lab – 37. FF – 27. SF – 14. Others (not including speaker) 19.

Not bad for an early prediction, eh? Entries were awarded with a point for every %-point variance from the actual result and Anon got a total of 16.

There are honourable menches for Mark McGregor (22), ‘Martin’ (22) and Donal Lyons (24) who took the runners-up slots. Modesty forbids me from saying who else came joint fourth.

We actually gave you two bites at this: one in the early part of February and it was these entrants that we offered the prize to. Later on, a few days before the actual poll, I wrote a post here with an outline of the late polling and bookies predictions and asked you for a second stab at it (without the offer of the prize though). Unsurprisingly, the predictions were a lot sharper and there were four joint winners – each of whom were only six points off the correct answer. They were (a different) Anon, Nicholas Whyte (surprise surprise!), Pat Holland and Mark Bailey. Barry Orr from Betfair scored a respectable ten points with his prediction the day before the poll.

Thanks to all 79 valid entrants (I deleted about half-a-dozen because the results didn’t add up to 165) and well done to the winners and runners-up.

Finally, apologies for the delay on this – by the time Galway East had finally fully declared, I was away from my PC – today’s the first day I’ve been back.

Update: Thanks to spreadsheet genius Jayne Hilditch who worked out the points system for me. Much obliged Jayne!

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  • Sorry – one thing that occurred to me after posting this: I think that the most common predictive failure was an overestimate of FF’s final number of seats. Earlier entries *averaged* a prediction of 35 for FF and we’d had over fifty predictions in before someone under-estimated FF’s seat-count.

    Just speaking for myself, I figured that there’d be the equivalent of the ‘guilty tory’ that was noticed in 1990s opinion polls – people who quietly voted (sometimes ‘tribally’) who didn’t like to fess-up to pollsters about their dirty secret.

  • Mack

    Paul, I wouldn’t write off that ‘guilty Tory’ effect. Their vote was high enough to deliver 30 seats or so, if they’d made better selections, the effect only seemed to apply to first preferences. To get the 30 seats they’d have needed transfers too..

  • Correction: It seems that The Dissenter ticked the ‘no publicity’ box by mistake and is in no way shy about people knowing who was closest to the money!