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Simon Jackman calls the result

November 19th, 2007

There was a lot of speculation about the role of blogs and the Intertubes more generally would have in this election, mostly focusing on the political commentary role of blogs like this one. As it’s turned out, the campaign has been so soporific that neither blogs nor conventional media have had an awful lot to say about it. The stars of the show have been psephological blogs such as Pollbludger, Possum’s Pollytics, Mumble and Bryan Palmer. Showing the borderless nature of the blogosphere, one of the best such sites comes from the other side of the Pacific. Simon Jackman at Stanford has prepared a comprehensive pooled analysis of the polls which is well worth reading.

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  1. Bruce
    November 19th, 2007 at 15:01 | #1

    On Simon Jackman’s analysis, I can’t immediately see the model he’s using (which troubles me), so it’s hard to comment, but I’ll say a couple of things.

    1) His results are similar if a bit lower on ALP 2PP than other projections made by me, on Possum Comitatus and elsewhere (eg. Geoff Lambert).

    2) The lower 2PP he projects is due to the bump in the slide from March 2007, this creates a more rapid decline in ALP 2PP as we approach the election – about 1% per month rather than 0.5% a month I have estimated. (Based on Newspoll and ACN only I’ve predicted a 2PP of 54.8% with a margin of error of 1%.)

    3) I can’t see any statistical justification for the hump in Jackman’s analysis as opposed to a simple linear trend.

    4) He summarises the 3 agency average betting predictions in 2 ways: ALP favoured to win (79 seats) and sum of probabilities to win (ALP 80.7 seats). The correct way to do this is the 2nd of these. In this case it makes little difference, but when I did this with Centrebet about 2 weeks ago I found a 10 seat difference in the two estimates. A basic flaw in this this approach is that you implicitly assume the 5% betting agency premium is allocated in proportion to the implied probability of winning. This overpredicts the number of seats to be won by independents – with Centrebet I found independents were estimated to win nearly 5 seats!

  2. November 19th, 2007 at 15:49 | #2

    In the US presidential race the Internet seems to be changing the rules about fund raising. Ron Paul (libertarian republican) on November 5th raised US$4.3 million dollars in a single day (setting a record) via the power of grass roots Internet supporters. His anti-war congressional voting record and his anti-war campaign message along with his plans to withdraw US soldiers from around the world, abolish federal income tax, the CIA and the US federal reserve, seems to have struck a chord that is attracting small government republicans, left leaning peaceniks and traditional libertarians.

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/11/06/post_184.html

    The free press that he got following the record setting fund raiser saw his recognition factor amoungst Americans bounce upward and support in the polls has started to build (he is ahead of McCain in some of the recent ones).

    On the social networks (eg Facebook, MySpace, YouTube) he leads all the presidential candidates across all the parties.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul#Internet_popularity

    I think the Internet is reshaping the political landscape. However the end result is still unfolding. For the moment at least Ron Paul seems to be riding one of those waves that occasional sweep across this this relatively new medium.

  3. November 19th, 2007 at 19:10 | #3

    Two Words: Howard Dean.

  4. Dylwah
    November 19th, 2007 at 20:24 | #4

    Proff q, the contrast between the intertubes and the MSM has been a little offputting, some times the comments thread on Pollbludger has the feel of a mopping up exercise, as tho the result is a done deal and we are waiting only for the postals for the final figure. yet every day i am assured, by those who i have never trusted, that it is going to be close and i know noone in Melbourne who is prepared to call it.

    Bruce, have you been providing Poss with those lovely shaded graphs showin the 2pp with moe, if so love your work.

    Terje (say tay-a), I didn’t make it past the second para of that first link, refering to Guy Fawkes as a symbol of rebellion, really, i still see it as an attempt by the Vatican to reassert its power over those upstart poms.

    also, you present RP in a favorable light here, ” small government republicans, left leaning peaceniks and traditional libertarians.” nothing too offensive about that group, but how about the support that RP is getting from Stormfront and other Neo Nazis.
    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/calendar.php?do=getinfo&day=2007-12-1&e=408&c=1

    ciao

  5. Dylwah
    November 19th, 2007 at 20:27 | #5

    wasn’t there a post recently here about thinking before you pressed the buttton, sorry Bruce i was thinking of George.

  6. Ian Gould
    November 19th, 2007 at 20:41 | #6

    Dylwah, I nearly posted something similar about Ron Paul but politicians can;t help it if nutbars endorse them.

    After all, Bob (?) Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church is a Democrat.

  7. November 19th, 2007 at 22:11 | #7

    Alpaca / Dylwah,

    Ron Paul is my prefered candidate for US president. However I don’t intend debating here the merits of Ron Paul for president. I merely wished to point out that he is being driven by success on the Internet and not within the mainstream media. He has become an Internet phenomena in the USA. In presidential candidate terms he is THE Internet phenomena outstripping all competitors in this medium by nearly every measure.

    From the two earlier links:-

    Paul claims the most YouTube views of all presidential candidates, over 4.4 million, and the most subscriptions of all candidates, having surpassed Barack Obama on May 20, 2007. Paul’s YouTube channel is among the Top 40 most subscribed of all time, achieving 36,000 subscribers in October 2007.

    Note that they are saying he is in the top 40 of all YouTube channels. He is competing against rock stars and celebrities and still he is up there in the ratings game. The other presidential contenders are nowhere near this popular on youtube.

    … Paulites set a record yesterday by hauling in more than $4.2 million in 24 hours. That’s the most money raised online by a candidate in a single day.

    Howard Dean is not in the same league. Although clearly his campaign was in it’s time a ground breaker.

    For a really visual look at YouTube subscriber numbers take a look at the following:-

    http://www.techpresident.com/scrape_plot/youtube

    Regards,
    Terje.

  8. Sam
    November 19th, 2007 at 22:11 | #8

    Sorry Terje, but how does this relate to the topic? Or is it just a not so subtle plug for your LDP’s equivalent in the US??

  9. November 19th, 2007 at 23:11 | #9

    The model is a local linear trend model, with all the dynamics coming via the trend term. See any econometrics text with the words “state space” in the title: e.g., Harvey, Durbin and Koopman, etc. There is a paper that goes with this, but they take longer to write than blog posts.

  10. November 19th, 2007 at 23:19 | #10

    Sam,

    In the US context I think we are beginning to see a cross over from the old media having the balance of power in terms of shaping opinion to the Internet taking over. Of course it is early days and it is speculative, however there are signs and Ron Paul is a particular case in point. I do think that the old media still dominates in the USA and I think it definitely still dominates here. However I am very much inclined towards the view that the Internet is going to reshape politics over the coming years in quite fundamental ways.

    Knowledge and ideas that shape politics and society will no longer be held in repositories and interpreted by a few and then broadcast to a largely passive population. Instead knowledge and ideas are becoming more contestable and more easily scrutinised. Wikipedia is a good case in point where the role and notion of expert is not based on position or credential but rather by contribution and by merit. Not that you can’t have both credentials and merit, or have a position and contribute, however they are distinct concepts.

    I expect that the Internet will change politics in fundamental ways. It will change the process by which we select and evaluate ideas. It will change the way we select and evaluate candidates to implement those ideas. Reputation is going to become a bigger feature because it is going to be easier to check. And in Ron Pauls case reputation over 20 years in Congress is a huge feature of his campaign. And the Internet phenomena itself and in particular the social networks it fosters will create new references for old ideas. Of course many ideas and many candidates will survive this transition just as many movie actors went from the silent era into talkies. However many ideas will decline and many candidates will have to find other careers.

    I do think that the role of the Internet and the rise of libertarianism are interconnected in several fundamental ways. And I don’t apologise for sharing that outlook. However ultimately mine is just one opinion.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  11. November 20th, 2007 at 10:20 | #11

    An email from a senior policy advisor in Washington DC, who has a particular passion for Australia:

    Want my Federal election prediction from half a world away? Just for fun.

    · Labor. It won’t be close.

    · The new power kids on the block: the Greens, fueled by climate change issues.

    · The Liberals and the Nationals will slice and dice each other in the aftermath. The Liberals will weaken, furthered by internal divisions; the Nationals will revive (although not immediately) beyond expectations.

    · State-level politics will change some in the wake of the upheaval; I’d expect Labor to face more and stronger challenges in some states.

  12. gerard
    November 20th, 2007 at 11:19 | #12

    If Ron Paul and his followers are such libertarians, why are they still anti-choice?

    P.S. Terje: to your knowledge, does Ron Paul support the legalization of inecst like the LDP does?

  13. gerard
    November 20th, 2007 at 11:20 | #13

    I misspelt the word because my post was being bloked.

  14. November 20th, 2007 at 16:23 | #14

    Gerard,

    The LDP does not advocate the legalisation of inecst. At least one media outlet printed the correction:-

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/federal-election-2007-news/venerable-bede-proves-no-man-is-an-ireland/2007/11/07/1194329318938.html

    Regards,
    Terje.

  15. gerard
    November 21st, 2007 at 12:16 | #15

    “He [Bede Ireland] remains a good candidate and the best choice for Tasmanians.”

    I would expect any candidate who came out saying that inc*st should be legal to be disndorsed immediately. Instead, a ringing endorsement for the “loose cannon”!

    No offense but don’t expect anyone to take your nutjob party seriously.

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