AI Forecasts the UK Snap Election


The political landscape in Britain has certainly shifted since newly christened Prime Minister Theresa May reversed her earlier statement and called for a special “snap” election on Thursday. May intended to use the election to consolidate power for the Conservative Party as she begins negotiating the parameters of the UK’s exit from the European Union. But, growing support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, uncertainty around healthcare, and two devastating terror attacks in the past few weeks have rendered the snap election far more difficult to forecast. So much so, in fact, that many British TV stations have decided to forego general polling entirely in the days leading up to Thursday’s vote.

So, while forecasting the British snap election is a daunting task, researchers at Unanimous AI, the creators of the first Swarm AI platform, have never been known to back down from a challenge. Using a process that mimics the way scout bees gather – and act intelligently on – disparate information sources, our Swarm AI technology recently delivered a perfect forecast on an equally unpredictable topic, Donald Trump’s approval rating at the end of his First 100 days. With that in mind, we convened a swarm of thirty informed people to test the swarm’s ability to forecast this historic British election.

Of paramount importance in the snap election is the race between the Conservative and Labour parties because, while both have sworn to “follow the will of the people” with regards to Brexit, they have major disagreements about how that landmark withdrawal should take place. What was once considered a drama-free victory for the Conservatives has tightened in recent weeks, but our swarm nevertheless predicted a Conservative victory with High Confidence.

Of course, our researchers wanted to know what lay behind the swarm’s confidence in a Conservative victory on Thursday, and how each of the two major parties would fare. So, the swarm was asked to forecast the number of seats each party would hold, as well as the final margin of victory. You can see replays for each of those questions by clicking on the chart below.

Finally, it’s worth focusing on that last question for a moment. Asking the swarm to project the most important issue facing UK voters tasks the group not with delivering a forecast, but with capturing sentiment. Recent polls have revealed that Healthcare is the highest priority for British voters ( unlike most nations, where unemployment tops the list ), and yet the Swarm AI expressed a clear confidence that Security and Terrorism will be top of mind on Thursday.

This striking difference between the insights revealed by Swarm AI and polling could reflect shifting opinion in the wake of the London Bridge attack on June 3rd and the devastating Manchester bombing of an Ariana Grande before that, and Prime Minister Theresa May has drawn sharp criticism for recent cuts to the city’s police force. Whatever the cause of this shifting sentiment, the swarm’s confidence in its output was unmistakable. As you can see in this Faction Analysis provided by our Swarm Insight platform, this was not a toss-up between Healthcare and Security, it was essentially a one-horse race.

Perhaps sensing the undeniable importance of this issue to the election, Theresa May vowed yesterday to “change the humans right laws” to allow Britain to deport terrorists. We will find out on Thursday if a newfound tougher stance on terrorism be enough to give Theresa May the victory she needs to win the snap election and negotiate with the EU from a position of strength.

Every week Unanimous A. I. brings together swarms of regular people just like you to help us predict sporting events, investment opportunities, and technology as well as provide insight into everything from pop culture to politics. If you’d like information on joining a swarm – or just want to stay up to date on the latest predictions – fill out the form below.