Archive for the 'Competitions' Category


After this week’s “pollercoaster” now YOU predict the election in PB’s Prize Competition

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Win a Marf cartoon & a betting prize GE15 Competition Phase 1

Using the bespoke NoJam template you will need to enter seat totals for the main parties. The winner will be the person with the smallest overall error.

The plan is to run several competitions as we get closer.

I am delighted to announce that Sporting Index, which is sponsoring PB’s General Election coverage, has agreed to provide a competition prize of £200, payable into the winner’s SPIN account. If the winner does not have an account then he/she will have to open one to receive the prize. This is only open to people over the age of 18.

In the next few days the firm will have a bigger range of GE2015 markets up.

On top of that there will be a special prize – a signed Marf print of the winner’s choice of a cartoon that has appeared on the site.

As in all PB Competitions my rulings on all matters shall be final.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Will Jim Murphy arrest Labour’s slide in the Scottish polls or will it get worse? Enter the competition

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

What’s the December Record/Survation poll going to show?

There’s little doubt that the biggest uncertainty about next May’s general election is what’s going to happen in the 41 seats that Labour currently holds in Scotland. If recent polling turns out to be right they could be left with barely half a dozen of them – an outcome that could have a catastrophic impact on the party’s hope to return to power.

It is in this context that the new leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, takes on his new role watched by an ever attentive Scottish media. How will the new man impact on the polls?

My understanding is that fieldwork for the December Daily Record Scotland poll by Survation will start this week and its findings will be eagerly awaited.

    What is your guess of what the poll will show? Last month it was SNP 46, LAB 24, CON 17, LD 6. What will be the change in in terms of number of percentage points to the SNP lead to two decimal points?

The precise figure will be calculated from the pollster’s detailed data. If you think that Labour will be in the lead then enter a minus number for the SNP margin.

The three closest entrants will receive the new excellent new e-books by PBer Andy Cooke, the Fourth Lectern and the Fifth Lectern. These are a fascinating counter-factual about what could have happened if UKIP had had a lectern in the 2010 TV debates.

Thanks to Nojam for once again producing a competition widget. My rulings on all matters associated with the competition are final

The competition closes at 2200 tomorrow.


And the winner of the PB Rochester and Strood competition is…..

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

N.Simms with the winning entry “UKIP by 7.26%”

This was 0.02% short of the actual margin of 7.28% and the winner got closest. Congratulations.

The winner will receive a copy of the new book edited by Philip Cowley and Rob Ford Sex Lies & The Ballot Box” which was launched earlier this month and has attracted a fair bit of publicity.


Thanks to Mark Hopkins of for creating the structure for this competition. It has worked well and we’ll be using it again.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


As the Rochester campaign moves into its final frenetic days your chance to predict the outcome in a PB prize competition

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Please enter your prediction on the embedded form below.

The winner will receive a copy of the new book edited by Philip Cowley and Rob Ford Sex Lies & The Ballot Box” which was launched earlier this month and has attracted a fair bit of publicity.

I am grateful to for helping create a competition entry system that allows everything to take place on the PB page whilst retaining our existing comments structure. This is the first time we’ve tried embedding the Nojam interface. I think it works well.

As usual my ruling on all matters concerning the competition is final.

Entries will close after Homeland tomorrow night at 2205.

Remember the post-Rochester PB gathering

Next PB gathering Friday Nov 21 - the day after the by-election. It will be in the usual place - Dirty Dicks pub opposite Liverpool Street station London from 1830. Note that the pub is likely to be very crowded with its normal clientèle on Friday night but that we have a special area set aside. This is on the first floor tight at the back. Thanks again to Fat Steve for making the arrangements.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Who got closest to LAB’s winning margin of 18.36% in South Yorks?

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Time to claim your prize

The final result in Thursday South Yorkshire PCC by-elections had LAB ahead of UKIP by 18.36%. If you think that you are near please submit your claim by 1800 tomorrow to

The winner will receive a copy of the new book edited by Philip Cowley and Rob Ford “Sex Lies & The Ballot Box” which was launched this week and has attracted a fair bit of publicity.

There were several hundred entries you might wish to look through the thread to see how close you were. Most entrants went for a UKIP win.

If you want the book but didn’t win then try Amazon here.

I’ve got another couple of copies to offer as prizes – next one up is likely to be the Rochester by-election on November 20th.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Predict Thursday’s South Yorkshire PCC by-election and win the political book that everybody’s talking about

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Which party will win and what’ll be the winning percentage margin?

Last night I attended a splendid book launch for the book by the academic duo of Phil Cowley and Rob Rord featured above. Extracts have received a fair bit of coverage in the past couple of days particularly on the sexual traits of different party supporters.

The book is a compendium if fascinating political tales aimed, I’d suggest, at the political geek audience, I was given a few copies for PB competition prizes and our first will be on Thursday’s S Yorks PCC by election.

Just to note that like all PB competitions my rulings are absolute.

Entries on the thread after 2359 tonight will not be valid. Entries can be with up to two decimal points.

Good luck.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The “Wisdom of Crowds/PBers”: What you/they think will happen in 2014

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

PB 2014 competition predictions now out

(Firstly, apologies for the delay in getting these predictions released – I’ve been absolutely flat out at work with year-end, so thanks for your patience.)

80 pundits took part in PB’s annual crystal ball-gazing exercise, looking at everything from UK leaders at Christmas, the Scottish independence referendum and the Euro-elections, to key international elections, and predictions for the opinion polls from ICM.

Full details of the player-by-player predictions are available here.

UK leaders:

  • Unanimous predictions for Cameron and Clegg as PM and DPM at Xmas 2014
  • Ed Balls got an 84% prediction for Shadow Chancellor at Xmas – Alastair Darling was next with 6%

Scotland referendum:

  • Just 20% of players think that Scotland will vote Yes to independence
  • The average predicted Yes percentage was 41.7


  • Labour is narrowly predicted as the winner, with an average vote % of 28.0
  • UKIP are just behind, with an average of 27.2
  • The Conservatives’ average prediction is 22.7% with 9.4% for the Lib Dems
  • 49 players had Labour winning outright or tying for first, 30 had UKIP, 9 Con
    In the opinion poll predictions, the average highs and lows for the four main parties were (Lab/Con/LD/UKIP) 41/37/15/19 and 33/29/9/9, with the average for the largest Labour lead being 10 points, and the average smallest Labour lead being a one point deficit.

International elections:

  • Brazil (October) – Incumbent president Dilma Rousseff is the overwhelming predicted winner with 89%, with no other prediction getting into double figures.
  • India (April/May) – a slightly more mixed picture here, with the BJP’s Narendra Modi securing 61% of predictions, way ahead of Rahul Gandhi, who will lead the election campaign for the Congress Party, on 21%.
  • US Senate (November) – the Democrats have a comfortable lead in predictions, with 63% of players predicting them to hold onto the upper house in this autumn’s elections.

Many thanks and good luck to everyone who took part, and can I wish all punters, posters, and lurkers on PB all the very best for the rest of 2014 – if anyone would like to take part in the Election Game, the site is available here and the next game will be for the Wythenshawe by-election.


Double Carpet (@electiongame)


The PB 2014 Prediction Competition

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

It’s time to make your predictions for 2014…

It’s going to be a busy year ahead – the Euros, Scotland, and the world’s four biggest democracies all voting. Who’ll win the UK Euro-Elections, and will Scotland be on the road to independence by the end of the year? Will the coalition still be in place at Christmas? It’s time to dust off your crystal ball and make your competition predictions for 2014.

    As before the competition is being hosted by the Election Game. If you would like to take part, the Leaders & Finance game is available here. Entries close 5pm this Sunday. The Game can also be followed on Twitter (@electiongame).

Please do not make predictions on this thread, but click through to the link below.

PB entries close 7pm next Monday – enter the competition here


Part 1 – on Christmas Day 2014 who will be…?

(50 points for each correct answer unless shown otherwise)

1 – UK Prime Minister (100 points)

2 – Deputy Prime Minister

3 – Shadow Chancellor


Part 2 – Scotland and the Euros

(50 points for accurate answers reducing by ten points for each 1% out until zero points are reached)

4 – Percentage YES vote in Scottish Independence referendum

5 – Conservatives GB vote % in Euro-elections

6 – Labour GB vote % in Euro-elections

7 – Lib Dem GB vote % in Euro-elections

8 – UKIP GB vote % in Euro-elections


Part 3 – International elections 2014

(50 points for each correct answer)

9 – Brazil: who will win the election for President?

10 – India: who will become Prime Minister following the election?

11 – US: which party will control the Senate following the midterm elections?


Part 4 – the Opinion Polls – what will the Guardian ICM series report as…?

(50 points for accurate answers reducing by ten points for each 1% out until zero points are reached)

12 – Labour’s highest percentage during the year
13 – Labour’s lowest percentage during the year

14 – The Conservatives’ highest percentage during the year
15 – The Conservatives’ lowest percentage during the year

16 – The Lib Dems’ highest percentage during the year
17 – The Lib Dems’ lowest percentage during the year

18 – UKIP’s highest percentage during the year
19 – UKIP’s lowest percentage during the year

20 – Labour’s biggest lead over the Conservatives
21 – Labour’s smallest lead over the Conservatives/the Conservatives’ biggest lead over Labour

(In the unlikely event that the Guardian series is discontinued, other ICM polls will be used, or failing that a selection of polls at the discretion of Mike Smithson.)


Double Carpet (@electiongame)