Two big changes in the forecast

Okay, so I messed up.

Basically, I made some mistakes with the code behind my election forecast that adjusted for pollsters’ performance. Thanks to Nigel for the email pointing out my mistake.

So, today there are effectively two updates to the forecast. One is a fundimental change the model I’m using to predict the outcome of the election, and the other is a new data point, yesterday’s Colmar Brunton poll.

The overall result is Greens lose a huge amount of support, and National, Labour and NZ First all gain. To the point where NZ First would eclipse the Greens as the third largest party in Parliament.

On my new numbers the only new Green MPs would be Chloe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman, while Denise Roche and David Clendon would lose their seats.

Marama Fox would lose her seat – the Māori Party would be reduced to a single MP.

Labour would be almost 17 points behind National, but that would be a decent improvement on their crushing defeat under David Cunliffe.

Their new list MPs would be Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Jan Tanetti, Willow-Jean Prime, Kiri Allan, Willie Jackson, Jo Luxton and Liz Craig. Their caucus would be 48.6% female – less than the required 50%.

Apologies for the change in my model, if anyone is interested I can rerun previous predictions with my new performance numbers.

Little movement in the polls

I’ve updated my election forecast with the release of the only NZ opinion poll so far in May. In short, there has been very little movement. Since my forecast was last updated, National and the Greens have both lost a seat while Labour and NZ First have both gained one. That doesn’t really change the fact that either Bill English or Andrew Little would need to do some form of deal with Winston Peters to form the next Government. Fun times.

Also, this is the first time I’ve updated my model since the Labour Party released their party list for 2017 – the first party to do so. Based on retaining all their current electorate seats and with a total of 35 MPs, Willie Jackson would be an MP and Jo Luxton and Liz Craig would narrowly miss out. They would have 16 female MPs for a 45% gender balance, less than the party constitution requires, and a whopping 11 Māori MPs – at 31% representation Māori represenation would be twice as strong as in the NZ population. Here’s what it would look like:

List Ranking Candidate Electorate
1 Andrew Little List MP
2 Jacinda Ardern Mt Albert
3 Grant Robertson Wellington Central
4 Phil Twyford Te Atatu
5 Megan Woods Wigram
6 Chris Hipkins Rimutaka
7 Carmel Sepuloni Kelston
8 David Clark Dunedin North
9 David Parker List MP
10 Stuart Nash Napier
11 Priyanca Radhakrishnan List MP
12 Raymond Huo List MP
13 Iain Lees-Galloway Palmerston North
14 Jan Tanetti List MP
15 Su’a William Sio Mangere
16 Willow-Jean Prime List MP
17 Damien O’Connor West Coast-Tasman
18 Jenny Salesa Manukau East
19 Kris Faafoi Mana
20 Kiri Allan List MP
21 Willie Jackson List MP
22 Clare Curran Dunedin South
23 Ruth Dyson Port Hills
24 Poto Williams Christchurch East
25 Louisa Wall Manurewa
26 Michael Wood Mt Roskill
27 Ginny Andersen Hutt South
29 Deborah Russell New Lynn
33 Paul Eagle Rongotai
N/A Kelvin Davis Te Tai Tokerau
N/A Nanaia Mahuta Hauraki-Waikato
N/A Rino Tirikatene Te Tai Tonga
N/A Adrian Rurawhe Te Tai Hauauru
N/A Peeni Henare Tamaki Makaurau
N/A Meka Whaitiri Ikaroa-Rawhiti

 

 

Labour caucus calculator updated

After a tantrum from a candidate, Labour have finally released their 2017 Party List.

I’ve updated my Labour caucus calculator, see the link at the top of this page to check out who would be in and out. Note that the default result setting is what Labour got at the last election, you might want to adjust that to be either my current forecast (34 MPs) or whatever poll you choose to believe.

For what it’s worth, I think it’s a very good list. Will have more thoughts in the days to come.

Finally, some movement in the polling

I’ve updated my polling forecast with the latest data from the only NZ public poll released in April so far (seriously, we’re less than 150 days out from a general election and there has only been one poll this month).

We’re finally starting to see some movement in the forecast, although it is still fairly minor. While NZ First are moving up in their party vote, it’s not yet enough to net them another List MP.

The Greens however have just nudged high enough to grab another List MP, at the expense of National.

This won’t have a significant impact. To form Government on the numbers predicted before this poll was released, Bill English would have had to rely on support from NZ First, that does not change).

Can we just have some more polls, please?

UK Labour lift their digital game

At the last British general election the Conservatives spent £1.2m on Facebook advertising, while the Labour Party only spent £16k [source]. It still astounds me just how little focus Labour put into paid digital advertising, but then you look at the results.

It looks like, despite all their other problems, Labour may have learnt from their mistake.

The Guardian reports that they have built a custom tool called Promote which integrates with their voter database and Facebook Ads.

While it’s short on details, it sounds like they’re trying to make it as easy for a local campaign to target Facebook Ads as it would be for them to cut a list for a phone bank or door knock.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the party will actually redirect more of their central resources into digital advertising, but this investment in infrastructure is a very good sign.

 

NZ politicians on Facebook

I know it’s a cliché, but in the 2017 NZ general election, social media is going to be more important than ever. Political parties are able to communicate with fewer voters than ever before through traditional means, and the vast majority of the country actively uses social networks.

Any serious candidate or party needs to have a digital communications strategy.

For a little over a year now I’ve been collecting public information on a variety of politicians and their parties via Facebook’s Open Graph API. I’ve got scripts that are constantly running, recording what politicians are posting online, and how many people are liking them.

And now, you can see the data for yourself.

The data is automatically updated every day. It shows how many people like each page, how many people have liked it in the last week, a metric that Facebook uses called Talking About, which basically shows how many people are engaging with the page, and how many posts they’ve done on Facebook.

Please let me know if I’ve missed any public Facebook pages off this, and I’ll add them asap. Note that it takes a week for the new likes metric to be updated, so that’s why it shows zero for some.

 

Labour, Greens and Māori edge up

The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has been released, I’ve updated my model accordingly.

The updated predicted outcome is exactly the same, in that each party would still get the same number of seats as they did before this poll was released. However, some movement has been observed.

Labour is now up 0.5 per centage points, so they must be very close to getting a 35th seat. Also, both the Greens and Māori Party are also observing an increasing trend in support with both of them increasing 0.4 percentage points and also being close to pickup an additonal seat.

I think this result shows the value in a model like this – significant new movement will still be observed, but will only end up showing in the results if it eventually forms part of a trend. In essence, we’re doing what we can to nullify “rogue polls”.

2017 Election Forecast released

There are few things that annoy me more than how blogs and Twitter light up after the release of a single political poll.

Pundits will make the huge inferences from statistically insignificant changes, or attribute meaning to an event that occurred after polling finished.

Today I’m proud to release something I’ve been working on for a while, a forecast model for the 2017 New Zealand General Election. It is a mathematical model for analysing polling and determining what Parliament would look like if an election were held today.

Check it out here or via the permalink at the menu on the top of this page.

It takes all available public polling, adjusts for historical data (for instance, known bias’ that individual pollsters have), produces a weighted average based on recency and sample size.

It then produces an estimate of each party’s seat count in the Parliament.

No doubt people will have a ton of questions, hopefully the following will answer them. If you have any further questions, or ideas or suggestions, please either leave them on here, or email me directly on patrick.leyland@gmail.com

Lastly, my thanks to the many people on both sides of the Tasman (you know who you are) who have helped me with the coding, maths, and design. Hopefully you’ll find it useful!

Details

Continue reading “2017 Election Forecast released”

National MP Calculator

I have to admit I’ve been a bit surprised with the response to my Labour MP calculator – it seems to be a hit, even though at the moment it’s only working with a modified version of the current caucus rankings.

I’ve now plugged the National Party’s caucus rankings and selected candidates into the back end, and have the first version of my National MP calculator working…

Calculate potential National MPs

There a bug with the gender calculations for the Nats, so I’ve removed it for the time being. They don’t have a constitutional gender requirement so it will create far fewer headaches for them, but I’ll include it as soon as I can get it working as a point of comparison.

Also, the Nats haven’t finished many of their selections, and have been very sporadic about issuing releases when candidates are selected. If you know of any National candidates that have been endorsed but are missing from my list, please let me know.

Enjoy!

Labour MP calculator – NEW AND IMPROVED!

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the first version of the Labour MP calculator I released on the weekend – I’m glad that so many people found it interesting.

I’ve re-engineered it to use a different framework, and it is now capable of producing lists for both Labour and National and showing exactly who would be elected.

Take a look at version two here.

At the moment the List it is simulating is the current Labour caucus rankings – but as soon as the actual list is released I’ll get that up, and I’ll continue to add electorate candidates as they’re selected.

Likewise, I’m working on a version for National which will have their list as soon as it’s released.

One thing jumped out at me while putting this together – just how hard it will be for the Labour Party to meet it’s constitutionally mandated gender balance. At this stage, with so many safe electorates going to men, virtually all of the winnable list slots will have to go to women. There are still two “marginal” seats still to be selected, New Lynn and Auckland Central, which will almost certainly have to go to women if the party is to meet it’s new 50/50 rule.

As always, if you’ve got any feedback please pass it along either via a comment here or via email (patrick.leyland@gmail.com)