Warum gibt es etwas und nicht nichts? (Why is there something rather than nothing?) - Leibniz

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Predicting the 2010 General Election Result

A new invention has allowed us to access newsfeed from the near future. One of our early scoops is that the next General Election in 2010 will be the first to allow the electorate to vote on-line from their homes (those without computers will still be allowed to vote by post). Another is the surprising (to some) result, and we have pleasure in copying you in on some of the follow-up.

We must warn you that the technology is still in its infancy, and so there may be glitches in the transcription. For example, the article below appears to have been affected by some kind of crossed line with BBC News from 2009. We'll keep you updated from time to time on the progress of our researches and technical developments.

Brown Poll trick 'confuses' voters
Gordon Brown: 'It was just a trick' from Gordon Brown - How to Win the Election', courtesy of Channel 4.

Many voters and critics have been left confused by Prime Minister Gordon Brown's explanation of how he appeared to predict Thursday's General Election results.

Some 4.6m viewers saw him claim to have asked 24 people to guess the successful candidates for the 646 commons seats and use an average of the total for each to predict the result.
But some mathematicians have dismissed his explanation as "complete nonsense".
And on blogging site Twitter one fan said he was "still confused", while another called it a "massive letdown".

IT trickery

On Brown's own Twitter account, he said: "Well there you go. I trust all is clear now."
He also added that his blog, which has been set up for people to comment on his tricks, has received 5 million hits.
However, it is currently not working.
Thursday's show on Channel 4 attracted 2.7 million people - beating the actual Election 2010 programme on BBC One, which 2.4 million tuned in for.
Brown successfully produced the correct numbers during The Live Event programme, at the same time the actual results were announced on the BBC's coverage.
He then promised viewers they would discover the secret of the trick on Friday's Channel Four News.
During How To Win The Election - which attracted a peak of 4.6 million viewers - he revealed that he had worked out the election numbers by asking a group of 24 people to guess them.
Once he had their answers Brown said he added the numbers up for each candidate and divided them by 24.
However, Alex Newton, a professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford, has dismissed Brown's explanation.
"Mathematically it is complete rubbish. It is a bluff on his part," he said.
And Roger Penwiper, professor of psephology at the University of Cambridge added: "There is a difference between guessing between the weight of an ox and guessing election candidates, which is un-guessable.
"That is just a clear wind-up and complete nonsense. There is absolutely no way he did that."
Other theories, that have been suggested in the newspapers, claim Brown used IT hacking trickery or a wall of postal votes to help him complete the stunt.
Michael Pundit of The Times newspaper rated the show five out of five, saying Brown has turned from "most irritating man on television to the most intriguing".
However, he added: "It was, of course, still one hell of a trick — far too good for him to give away."
Twitter critics of the explanation show include dCameron1966, who said: "I'm still confused about what way he did it to be honest."
T-Benn called the 59-year-old a "massive letdown" and AnthonyCLB said: "Is it just me or was Gordon Brown's explanation last night very disappointing?"
But some voters enjoyed Brown's stunt.
Peterm&elson posted on his Twitter page that the show had been "very interesting & entertaining".
Kjongil added: "Gordon Brown is pretty cool... I can see why people are so skeptical [sic] about him, but I think he's on to something here."

2 comments:

James Higham said...

Come again?

Sackerson said...

Just you wait for internet voting.