Rochester and Strood – Assessing Predictions

Here’s a table to show how we compared with the major polling firms. The final column shows the absolute difference on the percentage forecasts – the smaller, the better the forecast.

Forecast Conservatives UKIP Labour Abs Diff
Actual Result 34.81 42.1 16.76
Survation 33 48 16 8.47
Forecast UK 31.9 47.2 15.9 8.87
Ashcroft Polling 31 47 16 9.47
ComRes 30 43 21 9.95

We beat Ashcroft Polling and ComRes, but were pipped to the post by Survation. Interestingly, Survation were the best at predicting the Scottish Referendum.

As a contrast, see how we did at forecasting the Euros in the spring of this year (on our author’s own site). For that election (with far more polls) we did a much better job at cutting through all the data and seeing what was happening. The lesson is clear – the more regular polling that happens, the easier it is to see what is happening.

We will be amending our UK 2015 methodology to improve the Welsh forecasting and issuing a new forecast next week.

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