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University of Stirling


Leading economist develops election opinion poll alternative


Professor of Economics David Bell has developed a tracker based on bookmakers odds - shown to be more accurate than opinion polls – to predict the outcomes of elections.

Currently tracking the EU Referendum, the predictor shows a 33 percent chance of the UK leaving Europe, a drop of 6 percent since a high of 39 percent in November 2015.  This is in contrast to the opinion polls which show the Remain and Leave campaigns to be neck and neck.

Professor Bell said: “The tracker is a tried and tested model. I used it for the 2014 Scottish Referendum and was confident that the outcome would be a small majority vote to remain in the UK, based on tracking betting odds.

"Opinion polls have become discredited since failing to predict the winner of last year's UK general election. The problem with them is that they use different sampling methods whereas betting data is collecting more frequently and consistently, giving a truer picture of people’s voting intentions.”

Hosted on media channel The Conversation, the predictor - which shows the peaks and troughs of BREXIT betting from May 2015 -  will be updated regularly in the run up to the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016.