Polls and punters, yet again

I just read this piece on The Drum, taking the line that it’s better to rely on the betting markets, which have Labor and the government level-pegging, than on the polls, which have had Labor well ahead for a long time. Elections are only held every few years, so they don’t provide much data on which to test the relative performance of the two. But, if markets give better estimates than polls, we should expect to see movements in the poll results follow those in the market rather than vice versa (in econometrics, this is called Granger causality). Digging around, I located a study finding that, if anything, movements in polls Granger cause movements in betting markets.

Since a compelling observation beats an econometric analysis for most people, let’s look at the 18 months or so since I last posted on this topic. Labor started out with a small lead in the polls and stayed consistently in front, with the lead varying over time. Meanwhile, the betting markets favored the government until very recently, before moving to even money. It seems clear in this case, that the markets are following the polls and not vice versa.

52 thoughts on “Polls and punters, yet again

  1. So, in order to express the concepts I previously bundled under the problematic and now banned word, I will use new terms: “Farcist” and “farcism”.

    Heh heh. Perfection.

  2. In the UK Labour leadership contest the “machine” has taken to telling members they won’t be allowed to vote. It is all part of the establishment freaking out over the possibility of a Corbyn win.

    The hashtag #LabourPurge has been trending.

    The film-maker Ken Loach has been told he can’t vote (he once left Labour to join “Left Unity”).

    One tweet from a Labour member said she received the email and when she rang she was told it was because she had “retweeted something from ken loach at some point”.

    In the Independent, comedian Mark Steel says: “It’s a standard thing that clearly goes out to everyone. It says there are two reasons [for rejection]. One is that you don’t support the ideals and values of the Labour party. Or you are a member of a rival organisation”.

    “Rival organisation” is understandable, but this is obviously aimed at ‘lefties’. Weird.

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