In addition to competing GDP “Nowcasts” between the Atlanta Fed and the New York Fed, at least three financial sites offer a “Brexit Tracker” using that name.
Let’s dive in with a look at the three models, all based on polls.
Financial Times Brexit Tracker
Source: FT Brexit Poll Tracker
Economist Brexit Tracker
Source: Economist’s “Brexit” Poll-Tracker
April 21 appears to be an outlier, with a sudden surge in undecideds, all breaking towards remain, followed by a reversal to previous trends.
Unlike the other sites, the Economist allows breakouts by age. I think age may determine the outcome, so let’s look further.
Economist Brexit Tracker Young
Economist Brexit Tracker Old
Bloomberg Brexit Tracker
Source: Bloomberg Brexit Tracker
I cannot read the numbers. The chart above reads “It’s too close to call, with still-undecided voters likely to determine the outcome.”
A second chart shows Brexit Odds only 22%.
The data isn’t Bloomberg’s compilation, but rather analysis by Matt Singh of NumberCruncherPolitics.UK.
Number Cruncher Politics
On May 11, Matt Singh gave an EU Referendum Update stating “It’s Not Neck-and-Neck“.
Last week’s midterm elections managed to take the focus away from the EU referendum, but only temporarily. There hasn’t been a great deal of referendum polling over that period, so the NCP model remains little changed, showing a 77.7% chance of Britain voting to Remain.
In today’s Times, Danny Finkelstein discusses online versus phone polling, with reference to the NCP/Populus joint work, plus anecdotes about the SDP and washing powder. Since James Kanagasooriam and I did the analysis, a few things have happened. The gap between the modes has narrowed further. We’ve also had the devolved elections in which, as I noted yesterday, 10 of the 12 online polls in the final two weeks overestimated support for UKIP, and none underestimated it.
If you say that the race is neck-and-neck, you implicitly assume that online is right and phone is wrong. There’s nothing wrong with taking that view, but it’s not one that most people realise they’re taking.
The problem for those of us trying to do objective analysis is that phone polls haven’t been coming around all that often, and the ones we do get, tend to be at roughly the same time of the month.
Matt Singh Brexit Probability
I too distrust online polls believing them to be less accurate. The problem I have with Singh’s 22.3% Brexit odds is there have not been enough recent telephone polls.
Both the Economist’s and Financial Times’ Brext tracker show undecideds breaking more towards Brexit than Stay as the percentage of undecideds declines.
It is this trend that is important, in my opinion.
And since the Financial Times breaks out online and telephone polls separately, let’s take a stab at plotting the trend in telephone polls.
I don’t have the data so I am just eyeballing trends here.
Look at the undecideds. For some reason the number of online undecided voters is way higher than the number of phone undecideds, especially since March 1.
Yet, as the overall trend towards a lower number of undecideds picks up, so does support for Brexit.
I would expect these polls to be of “likely” voters. But “likely” and “certain” are two different things.
Are UKIP voters more likely to turn out to vote than other classes? One would expect so, and by an overwhelming margin.
In reference to May 2016 elections, Singh note that in “10 of the 12 online polls in the final two weeks overestimated support for UKIP, and none underestimated it.”
Were the polls wrong or was the “likelihood of voting wrong“. If you think your vote does not matter, you are less inclined to vote.
Attitudes come into play. So does age.
I sense Singh is falling into Nate Silver’s trap of over-reliance on methodology that is simply wrong.
- “Stay” is still ahead in telephone polls, but there have not been enough recent telephone polls.
- There is a huge discrepancy in the number of online undecided voters and telephone undecided voters.
- Trends suggest undecideds are breaking towards Brexit.
- Will the young turn out to vote?
- Are the old more likely to vote than the young?
- On average are “Brexit” supporters more passionate (and thus more likely to vote) than “Stay” supporters.
In the May election, online polls showed a bias towards UKIP.
However, it may be a big mistake to presume the same bias is in Brexit polls.
UKIP votes are more likely to vote now than in the May general election in which UKIP candidates may not have much of a chance.
Four Things Will Decide the Election
- Trends in undecided voters. Will the current break towards Brexit pick up, or stall?
- Will more older voters than younger voters show up?
- Do the online polls overstate UKIP? Is this the same as the May 2016 general election?
- Any number of things the EU says or does between now and June 23 could tip this thing. EU surprises are more likely to benefit “Brexit” rather than “Stay”.
- Piss Poor Analysis by Financial Times, Nate Silver, Others, on Trump’s Chances of Winning
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“Stay” is not a 77.7% chance. Given current trends and various unknowns, it’s far too early to have that much confidence.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Stay, Leave, Undecided… the biggest category is missing – voting fraud. As much as anyone would love to see the Brits finally leave, the elite will strive for their choice and let nothing get in the way. I will be the most surprised of all if it happens… and the most delighted.
I agree. The elite will adjust the vote to remain by a squeaker. Popular vote never got in the way of those in charge, even in America. We are given the illusion of the vote, not the actual decision.
Remember when electronic voting was reviled? Now there’s nothing said about it. I wonder how many more Sanders is really winning by.
RE: “voting fraud”
Greg, my very first instantaneous thought on reading the article start.
Cameron should resign and leave the UK BEFORE the vote.
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
They have a funny way of using that stiff upper lip as a kickstand.
Theirs but to do and die.
Diogenes of Sinope said:
Yes, but hasn’t the time come that they won’t get fooled again?
Mike (not that Mike) said:
Nice movement from Pink Floyd to The Who. Worth a “like.”
Those who want to stay in EU should vote to leave, no one will try to stop them, and they can experience life on the continent for themselves. To vote for EU to remain in UK , and let’s be frank, that is what is being voted on, is to burden the rest of the nation with a foreign illegitimate power that is a non entity in terms of assumption of responsibility.
EU is a void around which politicians love to play, they know where to direct you if they do not want to see you again. It is very easy, they point you to some agreement in a vault in Brussels or Strasbourg and wish you luck.
Or does anyone actually believe that the UK wields any more influence in EU than to show it cannot fit in, and beg for exemptions. Poor show really, and not ever likely to be a better one without first selling out every last vestige of sovereignty, at which point the show will no longer be ‘British’ at all, but will draw a large final round of applause for the ex-British to feel uplifted by.
I exagerate? No, EU is a pit run by assassins.
Royal subjects prefer the security of servitude over independent self reliance and opportunity. Britain follows Venezuela’s socialist lead.
I often wonder if we need two political systems, a more socialistic one for the young, a more free-market one for those who want to graduate to it.
Kibbutz and The City .
A young man’s adventures through London’s vegetable patches leads to a surprise meeting at Islington market that shapes his destiny as a stall holder. Riveting .
We only have one party… republicans and democrats are just politicians at the trough of the elite… Hillary, Bush, Pelosi, Boxer, Kasich, Cruz, Rubio, ect. Trump and Sanders are not in the club, neither are you and me. We are the tax cattle.
Money talks, bullshit walks.
In gambling the many must lose in order
that the few may win.
George Bernard Shaw
The only man who makes money following the races
is one who does it with a broom and shovel.
I didn’t see any indication of how the political elite and the multi-national financial corporations polled.
My money’s on them, regardless of what the people want.
Well – The elite did not want Trump
Will someone knock him off?
2 different parts of the world. 2 completely different issues.
Brexit is an up or down “yes” or “no” vote that will have immediate and widespread ramifications – both social and financial. For that reason I don’t think it would be allowed to pass even with majority support on the street.
I like Trump. I intend to vote for him. But we have no idea whether Trump will honor his word should he move into the White House. The elite know that a President Trump would have limited powers. My guess is that a President Trump would bend to such an extent that we would only see a vague resemblance to what we see today. What you see is not necessarily what you get. Let’s learn from history.
The Brexit stakes are much higher than the Trump stakes.
Brexit and Trump are not really compatible concepts.
“Four Things Will Decide the Election”
Actually one thing will decide the election; social mood. Statistical tools for trend projection are flatly wrong since social mood moves in a fractal pattern (for example snowflake and fern). Use Elliott waves or bandpass filters on the FTSE since stock markets are the most responsive to changes in mood and these tools can be used for fractals.
A sharp move lower, at least as strong as the one in January, has already started. It could find short term support right around the time the BREXIT vote takes place. I say “could” because often the short term cycle gets crushed when it goes against the larger cycles’ trend.
Those things I mentioned are all subcategories of social mood – So yes, you are correct
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in here.
The Network of Global Corporate Control
BREXIT THE MOVIE – FULL FILM
Eileen Findlay said:
Winston, thank you so much for this link. I had not seen it before, superb stuff, so many parallels to what is going on right now in the US. As a Scot with dual nationality (but proudly and most of all an AMERICAN for the past 45years!) I remember some of the early industry/economic information in the film, regarding the UK/EU, but had not seen an entire anti-EU Referendum film that so succinctly argues against the Remaining lot. I am trying to convince some of my Scottish/English friends and family to vote LEAVE in June. Ironically, it’s a tough sell…something the film points out: ‘cheap holidays and cheap cellphone calls’, seems to be more important than being ruled by bureaucrats, or having a voice in your countries political future. Unfortunately, the UK has gone too far down the road to Nanny Hood (sic) to take the country back. Socialism and the ‘something for nothing’ crowd are endemic in Scotland/England/ Northern Ireland/Wales. I visit Scotland every year to see family and end up really depressed at what I hear and experience with the antics of the Scottish Nationalist Party, whose current mantra is that they are in the REMAIN crowd. Ironic that our President should pontificate on the UK REMAINING in the EU, but would never dream of suggesting such a thing for the US. Something about our Constitution!!! I can’t wait for November, 2016!