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UK Election 2010: Betting on the Outcome

jarboe-greg
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One of the differences between UK Election 2010 and American politics is betting on the outcome. In the UK, the Telegraph's UK General Election 2010 Opinion Poll Tracker includes a Betfair overall majority forecast. In the US, you don't see that kind of feature.

Avinash Kaushik and Greg Jarboe

Image by SESConferenceSeries via Flickr

So, the poll tracker shows:


  • The share of vote, with Conservatives getting 35 percent, Liberal Democrats 28 percent, and Labour 28 percent;

  • A seat forecast, predicting that Conservatives will win 325 seats in Parliament, Labour 212, LibDems 86, and other parties 27;

  • Betfair predicts, which puts the odds on a hung parliament at 53.1 percent, a Conservative victory at 45 percent, a Labour victory at 1.8 percent, and any other outcome at 0.6 percent.

What do I think? I've already bet a pizza that the folks at FiveThirtyEight have the right model. Yesterday, they projected Conservatives would get 34.2 percent of the vote, Liberal Democrats 27.5 percent, and Labour 26.3 percent. This would result in 308 seats in Parliament for Conservatives, 198 for Labour, and 113 for LibDems.

What do you think? Well, if you vote in the UK, then you can take matters into your own hands. But if you are a marketer who is trying to learn lessons from UK Election 2010, then here's the net net:

As Avinash Kaushik says in Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity, "For far too long our online efforts have accurately been classified as faith-based initiatives. And why not? That's exactly how we made decisions for our offline efforts, and when we moved online, we duplicated those practices. But online, in the glorious beautiful world of the Web, we do not have to rely on faith."

Back in February, I interviewed Kaushik after his keynote speech at SES London 2010. Here's what he said:


Google analytics Avinash Kaushik on making use of your data at SES London 2010

So, as we get ready to discover the outcome of UK Election 2010, it's worth thinking about solving the "why" puzzle by leveraging qualitative data as well as the question of "how many" people liked a party's Facebook page, followed its Twitter feed, or viewed its YouTube videos.

Connecting these dots isn't easy. But that's the right problem to solve.

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