In the aftermath of the US presidential election, polling guru Nate Silver has been enjoying widespread plaudits having called the outcome in each of the fifty states correctly. However, it’s worth remembering that with the 2010 General Election in the UK, Silver didn’t do quite so well.
In the run up to election day, Silver anticipated heavy losses for Labour, and big gains for the Liberal Democrats. One of his predictions had Nick Clegg’s party with 101 seats — a gain of 39. Of course, what actually happened was that the yellow party lost five seats, in an anticlimactic comedown from “Cleggmania”.
And whilst Labour suffered a bruising defeat, their final total of 258 seats wasn’t quite as bad as Nate Silver had indicated. His doom-mongering calculations had Labour on 214. So there are 44 red MPs feeling very grateful that he wasn’t right.
On his FiveThirtyEight blog, Silver wrote:
“its very hard to see how [Labour] could thread the needle in such a way that the outcome wouldn’t be devastating to them.”
Scrapbook wonders whether “Mystic Nate” can do better in 2015.