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Twitter helps predict hung parliament

27 March 2015

tab on computer showing Twitter URL

Researchers from Cardiff and Manchester have used Twitter to predict election result.

A group of researchers from Cardiff and Manchester Universities have used Twitter to predict a hung parliament on 7 May.

Burnap, Sloan, and Williams from Cardiff, along with Gibson and Southern from Manchester University, make up one of twelve groups of leading academics who are showcasing their findings today at a major LSE conference (see table below).

The Cardiff / Manchester group is the only one to have used Twitter to predict the election result. All 12 groups agree no single party will win the 326 seats required for an overall majority.

The Cardiff / Manchester team forecasts the Conservatives will poll 286 votes, Labour 306, the Liberal Democrats 21 and UKIP 5, with the SNP on 9, Plaid Cymru on 3, and the Greens on 1.

Dr Pete Burnap, who leads the COSMOS web observatory platform at Cardiff University, said:

 "This is one of the first ventures by the UK political academic community into using Twitter to forecast Elections.

"Predictions have been published with varying levels of accuracy elsewhere in the world, but have received some criticism due to methodological issues.

"We are currently producing long-range forecasts, and will study whether accuracy improves/decreases in the lead-up and after the result emerges."  

 

Con

Lab

LD

UKIP

SNP

PC

Grn

Oth

Stegmaier and Williams

233

312

28

 

55

  

4

Prosser

241

276

48

    

67

Ford, Jennings, Pickup and Wlezien (Polling Observatory)

265

285

24

3

49

  

6

Clarke, Stewart and Whiteley

271

281

36

    

44

Rallings, Thrasher and Borisyuk

275

281

20

2

   

54

Hanretty, Lauderdale and Vivyan (electionforecast.co.uk)

284

279

26

1

38

2

1

1

Burnap, Gibson, Sloan, Southern and Williams

286

306

21

5

9

3

1

1

Lewis-Beck, Nadeau and Belanger

286

274

10

    

62

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