Winners Of The Election Predictions Contest

András Tóth-Czifra, our heroic winner.

András Tóth-Czifra, our heroic winner.

Before the 2012 Russian Presidential elections, 23 particularly courageous (or foolhardy?) netizens and Russia watchers participated in a contest on this blog to predict its results for the chance of eternal glory and a free S/O T-Shirt.

The winner is the person with the least aggregate error, i.e. the sum of the absolute discrepancies between his or hers prediction and the official tally for each of the candidates, as well as the percentage of spoiled ballots. With 99%+ of the votes counted, it is now safe to announce the winners.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for… András Tóth-Czifra!

 Contestant Aggregate Error (%)
Andras Toth-Czifra 7.94
Mark Sleboda 9.84
PK 10.30
Juha Savolainen 10.54
Hunter 11.82
Moscow Exile 12.34
Mark Chapman 13.02
Gladstone 13.24
AK (i.e., me) 13.84
Andy Young 13.90
Tony 14.36
donyess 14.68
FyRuPolitics 15.23
Andor 15.90
NinaIvanovna 15.90
SH 15.90
Alex Mercouris 19.44
aap 22.48
Ernst Krenkel 25.16
Carl Thomson 27.46
Alexandre Latsa 29.54
Timothy Post 31.82
Alexey Sidorenko 39.16

Furthermore, not only did Andras have the best overall prediction, but he also called Putin’s result to within 0.5% points – also the best result. Hunter and Mark Sleboda were runners up.

VVZh GAZ SMM MDP VVP X
AK 3.27 0.19 3.65 1.82 4.76 0.15 13.8
showdown_2012 1.77 0.19 1.35 3.22 0.56 0.85 7.9
Mark Sleboda 2.77 2.19 2.15 0.82 1.76 0.15 9.8
Alex Sidorenko 0.77 8.81 9.15 4.82 14.76 0.85 39.2
Juha Savolainen 2.27 1.19 2.65 0.32 3.76 0.35 10.5
PK 1.67 1.49 2.25 0.88 3.66 0.35 10.3
Moscow Exile 0.17 0.49 4.15 3.22 2.46 1.85 12.3
Gladstone 5.77 2.19 0.85 0.82 2.76 0.85 13.2
Hunter 4.17 4.59 0.65 1.32 0.84 0.25 11.8
Andor 4.77 1.19 0.15 0.18 6.76 2.85 15.9
Mark Chapman 3.47 2.01 1.55 0.48 4.96 0.55 13.0
Andy Young 2.77 1.19 2.15 1.18 5.76 0.85 13.9
Carl 6.77 4.81 2.15 5.82 7.76 0.15 27.5
donyess 2.77 7.19 0.15 2.18 2.24 0.15 14.7
Tony 3.17 2.01 1.35 1.62 5.56 0.65 14.4
NinaIvanovna 1.27 2.19 4.05 0.68 5.76 1.95 15.9
Ernst Krenkel 3.77 3.81 4.15 1.82 10.76 0.85 25.2
Alex Mercouris 4.66 0.36 5.06 1.88 7.32 0.16 19.4
FyRuPolitics 3.54 2.83 0.54 1.47 6.14 0.71 15.2
Alex Latsa 5.57 1.69 7.35 3.82 9.26 1.85 29.5
SH 4.77 2.19 2.15 0.58 5.76 0.45 15.9
Timothy Post 2.77 0.81 0.15 12.18 15.76 0.15 31.8
aap 1.73 7.19 4.15 2.32 6.34 0.75 22.5

As for the others… Zhirinovsky’s result was best predicted by Moscow Exile; Zyuganov’s result was jointly best predicted by Andras and myself; Mironov’s result was jointly best predicted by Andor, donyess, and Timothy Post; Prokhorov’s result was best predicted by  Andor, followed by Juha Savolainen and Mark Chapman; and the percentage of spoiled votes was jointly best predicted by Mark Sleboda, Carl Thomson, donyess, Timothy Post, Alex Mercouris, and myself.

  • What happens if you aggregate all the estimations. Any truth to the “wisdom of the crowds”?

    • AK

      It’s more accurate than the median, but far from the best.

      Average aggregate error is 12.5% points, somewhere between Mark Chapman and Moscow Exile.

      It predicts well on Zyuganov (0.46%) and Prokhorov (0.71%), but lags a few individual predictions. It is mediocre for Putin (5.1%) and Zhirinovsky (3.1%).

      PS. What I’m really looking forwards is to seeing how well the S/O readership did in comparison with Kireev’s.

      • Alexander Mercouris

        Congratulations Andras!

  • Hunter

    Congrats Andras!

  • Thank you Alex! Thank you Hunter!

    And thank you again, Anatoly!

    I’m really looking forward to Kireev’s evaluation of the predictions too! I guess many of the S/O readership submitted their predictions there as well. I sure did.

    • Congratulations, Andras. But I hate you. I was almost out of clean T-Shirts, and now because of you I have to do laundry.

    • Jen

      Congratulations Andras! That’s a great job!

      You should have your own T-shirts printed. You’re quite a good-looking guy! A good advertisement for Sublime Oblivion!

  • AK

    Congratulations, crew!

    We beat Kireev’s gang. The average error of his (97, to our 23) contestants was 20%. Ours is almost twice better at 12.5%.

    • Are we good, or what? I smell a reality show. Every week the one who does the worst at predicting the result of a pending Russian political event gets voted off the carousel, and has to go to work as an intern at Novaya Gazeta.

  • Moscow Exile

    The problems concerning polls analysis are perhaps revealed by the actions of my wife, who is a key factor in this matter, namely she is a Russian voter.

    Last Sunday she set off for our local polling station, telling me that she was going to vote for Mironov. She returned fifteen minutes later and told me she had voted for Putin.

    I then spent some time explaining to her the English idiom “the road to Damascus”.