Archive for October, 2007


Filtered Polling Data: HUNG PARLIAMENT

October 31, 2007

Inputting the latest ComRes and ICM polls into Sample Miser gives a projection of Conservatives 40.52%, Labour 34.23% and the Lib Dems 16.81%. This translates into a hung parliament with the Conservatives the largest party with 303 seats, Labour second with 284 seats and the Lib Democrats with 30 seats. I’m still sceptical about these polls but it looks like the Lib Dem leadership contest has caused a movement away from Labour to the Lib Dems. However, I’m pretty sure that Labour will have re-established a lead by the end of the year.


Betting Journal: Arbitrage

October 30, 2007

I bought 14 contracts on the Democrats to win the 2008 election, 14 more contracts on a 3rd party victory and 14 on a Republican Congress in 2008. Although I’ll produce a longer article tomorrow, I believe that if the GOP wins they will almost certainly recapture the House. Although this is not a pure arbitrage opportunity, the unpopularity of the Democratic leadership in Congress means that I predict that it is 90-95% likely to succeed, making it a good destination for the bulk of my payroll.

For the record I suggest that you buy equal numbers of the following contracts; Democrat victory (63-63.1), Independent victory (1.5-1.6), Republican control of House of Representatives (11-20).


Why Mitt Romney will not win the Iowa caucus

October 30, 2007


Four reasons to bet against the former governor of Massachusetts

As I mentioned two days ago, I have bet against Romney winning the Iowa Caucus. I have done this for the following four reasons.

1. Romney’s supporters are less likely to vote

The decision to move the Iowa caucus to January 3rd (or earlier if New Hampshire holds its primary in December) will mean that those whose commitment to voting is weak will be much less likely to spent an evening caucusing than before. Looking at the crosstabs on the latest Rasmussen poIl, and taking only those certain to participate in the caucus, Romney’s lead shrinks to only 2 points above Huckabee (24 to 22), which is well within the margin for error.

2. Romney’s poor national polling figures will have an impact

Despite the large amount of money that he has spent on the contest, Romney is still performing badly in national polls. According to the weekly Rasmussen tracking poll he is joint fourth with Huckabee, who has run a shoestring campaign. More importantly, he is 6 points behind Thompson, his other rival for the right of the party. The national trend lines from are only slightly better, with Romney in fourth place, 4.2 points behind Thompson. Of course, national figures don’t directly translate into success in specific states. However, it would be impossible to completely ignore Romney’s weakness in this area and it definitely will have an impact on the voters in Iowa, especially if he falls behind Huckabee.

3. Things can only get better for Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson has currently been running a poor campaign, paying little attention to Iowa (and New Hampshire) and producing an underwhelming performance in the Michigan debate. However, as he gets into his stride, as his improved performance in Florida suggests that he will recapture some of the support that he lost earlier this month. He also recognised that he needs to begin actively campaigning in the primary states more often. This should chip away at Romney’s support.

4. Romney’s support has peaked.

Although this goes against the trend-lines, which show Romney’s support trending upwards, I believed that Romney’s support can only go down. As of early October, Romney has had the airwaves in Iowa all to himself, since no other Republican has run a single television advert in the state. Since this is obviously going to change, it will be interesting to see whether Romney ratings will start to fall when Thompson begins putting commercials on television.


Filtered Polling Data: LAB Majority 12

October 29, 2007

Inputting the latest MORI poll and putting the updated data through Samplemiser gives the following predicted voting shares: Conservatives 40.85 Labour 38.45 Lib Dems 11.16. Martin Baxter has changed the methodology on his predictive website so this actully predicts a slighly worse outcome for Labour, despite the fact that the voting shares are more favourable for them. Specifically, Baxter’s new model predicts 331 seats for Labour, 283 for the Conservatives and 9 for the Lib Dems (putting the previous figures into Baxter’s site gives Labour 323 seats, Conservatives 289 and Lib Dems 11).


Betting on McCain

October 29, 2007

Bought 10 contracts of McCain in New Hampshire. I’ve got $169.06 in cash in my intrade account.


Betting Journal: Betting against Romney

October 28, 2007

Sold short 7 contracts of Mitt Romney in Iowa. Also bought 10 contracts of Thompson in New Hampshire and 10 contacts of Huckabee in NH.


What does Stephan Colbert’s 13% tell us about 2008?

October 27, 2007

How the suprising level of support for the comedian could indicate the potency of an independant bid.


One of the more amusing stories of this election campaign was the decision of the comedian Stephan Colbert to announce a ‘bid’ for the Presidency, stating that he would run in both the Democrat and Republican primaries in South Carolina. Even more amusing was the fact that several polling organisations took him seriously enough, or had enough time on their hands, to run several polls with him as one of the stated choices. The most interesting of these polls was a poll by Rasmussed that showed he would get 13% of the vote in a national head-to-head with Giuliani and Clinton. Although I am hardly going to say that he has a serious chance, I believe that the poll reflected more than the disengagement of the young from politics.

Indeed, if you look at the crosstabs you can see that although 28% voters in the 18-29 age bracket support Colbert he still gets the support of 19% of those aged 30-39 and 10% of those aged 40-49. Although his support generally comes from those who describe themselves as liberal he hurts Giuliani the most. Although I am not for a moment suggesting that Colbert is a serious candidate, I strongly believe that this shows the potential for a more serious third party candidate to make a stab at some serious support. It also shows that the centre of the Republican party is not firmly committed to Giuliani. Both of these things should be pondered by Giuliani’s main rival for the Republican centre, Senator John McCain. This suggest that there is some value in the 1.4-1.5 on a third party victory in 2008.