A Trinity College Dublin (TCD) graduate has developed a model which provides detailed statistics on the chances of every candidate in the upcoming general election. Irish Elections Stats is a system which uses information from previous elections, opinion polls and candidate information, to rank the probability of a candidate’s election chances.
The model was created by David Higgins, who studied Management Science and Information Systems Studies (MSISS) in TCD. His system produces probabilities through the model by running a simulation of 1,000 elections, which then creates a probability score for each candidate, measured across the number of times they win a seat in the simulation.
As this is the first time the model has been made public, Higgins is warning that its accuracy is still subject to change, given its complexity and first time use for a general election. The influence of two party candidates running in the same constituency is listed as being one of the bigger factors which could affect the probability ratings. As of going to print, its most recent data was from February 8th.
For some constituencies, such as Dún Laoghaire, the model predicts a tight race for the final seat among several candidates. In contrast, the Wicklow/East Carlow constituency has six frontrunners competing for five seats, followed by a huge drop-off.
Students can check out the predictions for their own constituencies on www.irishelectionstats.com.
- Cian Carton, News Editor
This article originally appeared in Volume 29, Issue 8. Published February 16th 2016.