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With a few days until the election, everybody is trying to pick a winner. Will Labour pull through and form a government with the Greens, or will both major parties be forced into an uncomfortable alliance with Winston First? Things will likely become clearer after 7 pm on Saturday night, but until then, you have iPredict.
Launched two months before the 2008 election for research purposes, iPredict is New Zealand’s only prediction market and is wholly owned by Victoria University. With over 8000 traders, iPredict is operated by students of the University with the purpose of forecasting social, economic and political events.
In 2008 and 2011, iPredict led the field for election-outcome predictions with success rates of 79 per cent and 82.4 per cent respectively when compared to traditional political polling. Unlike traditional polling, iPredict traders are required to put their money where their mouth is, which works to increase the accuracy of iPredict predictions. As for attempts at manipulation, that too works in iPredict’s favour, with research showing that manipulation attempts only increase market accuracy. For more information about iPredict, check out this column from May, here.
New Zealanders will soon decide who should lead the country for the next three years, but what will that government look like? Despite the prospect of a right-wash all but over, the formation of the next government is pretty uncertain. In order to give some certainty to the readers of Salient over the outcome of the next election, let’s take some time to discuss a selection of iPredict’s predictions for Election Day and beyond.
Contrary to a number of traditional political polls, iPredict shows that it is unlikely John Key’s National Party will win a majority in Parliament at the election. The National Party is expected to hold 56 seats (40 electorates and 45 per cent party vote) in the next New Zealand Parliament to David Cunliffe and Labour’s 33 seats (26 electorates and 26.5 per cent party vote). It is predicted the Green Party will win 16 seats in the next Parliament with 12.8 per cent of the party vote, with NZ First gaining 7 seats with 5.5 per cent of the party vote. Election newcomer, Internet Mana, will be the fifth largest parliamentary political party after the election according to iPredict with the party expected to win 4 seats with 3.3 per cent of the party vote on top of Hone Harawira’s electorate of Te Tai Tokerau. Internet Mana will be joined in Parliament by ACT on 2 seats (1 electorate and 1.9 per cent party vote), the Māori Party (1 electorate and 0.7 per cent party vote) and United Future (1 electorate and 0.6 per cent party vote) on 1 seat each. The biggest loser on iPredict this election is the Conservative Party who narrowly miss out on seats in the next Parliament with 4.9 per cent of the party vote, 0.1 per cent short of the 5 per cent threshold for MMP. If the Conservative Party were to reach the 5 per cent threshold, this would have a considerable impact on the formation of the next Parliament.
On current iPredict predictions, neither major political party would be able to form a government post-election without the support of NZ First. In addition to National’s 56 seats and the 4 seats of their current parliamentary partners (ACT, United Future, and the Māori Party), the National Party would be one seat short of the 61 seats required to hold a majority in Parliament. In order to govern, Labour would need to gain the support of the Greens, Internet Mana, NZ First, and the Māori Party to reach the required 61 seats.
While National appears to be the favourite to form a government following this Saturday’s election, Labour and the Greens continue on with an outside chance. Anything could happen over the next few days, and several factors, including the electoral turnout to the weather on election day, could affect the election result. For up-to-date election probabilities or to find out more about iPredict, visit ipredict.co.nz, or if you have any questions, tweet @iPredictNZ.