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Local government elections: How we made predictions

By Bill White

Predicting elections is a risky business, and all this comes with the proverbial 'health warning' – we'll know of course how accurate it turns out to be after May 22.

In terms of our approach and methodology, the predictions are possible forecasts as to how the party seat numbers may turn out for each council area. This is not meant to be scientific, and is just an indication to possible outcomes.

The 'possible' forecasts have been based on:

  • Interviews with the 220- member LucidTalk Opinion Panel (balanced to reflect society in Northern Ireland) carried out in April 2014.
  • Previous council election results mapped from the old council area into each of the new 'super-council' areas.

Unlike previous models and reviews in the Belfast Telegraph – such as the European election, and the Belfast City council election reviews – no weighting factors have been applied. As such, the forecasts should be taken as indicative only, and are no more than a guide to possible outcomes.

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