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Forecasting on British election night 1997

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Abstract:

An account is given of methods used to predict the outcome of the 1997 general election from early declared results, for use by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in its election night television and radio coverage. Particular features of the 1997 election include extensive changes to constituency boundaries, simultaneous local elections in many districts and strong tactical voting. A new technique is developed, designed to eliminate systematic sources of bias such as differential refusal, for incorporating prior information from the BBC's exit poll. The sequence of forecasts generated on election night is displayed, with commentary.

Keywords: British general election; Ecological regression; Generalized ridge regression; Prediction; Pseudodata augmentation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Kent, Canterbury, UK 2: Nuffield College, Oxford, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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