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Title:Electoral predictions in Africa: predicting winners in relatively stable two-party systems with early and incomplete results
Author:Fridy, Kevin SISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Elections (ISSN 1609-4700)
Geographic terms:Ghana
Abstract:In African elections, the period between polling and announcement can be protracted and tense. In the best cases, this intermission is marked by hopeful candidates urging tense supporters to stay calm. In the worst cases, such periods are used by politicians to hurl accusations of fraud back and forth to work up partisanship and devalue electoral institutions. The days between an election and its results are stressful because incomplete information about this constituency or that trickles out, but partisans have few systematic ways to compare these data with past results or exit polling, and worry that the missing data are somehow being tampered with. This paper shows how OLS regression using past results to fill in partial results can not only reduce uncertainty in the short term, but may also point out whether or not withheld results seem plausible. What began as a simple social media experiment is presented here as an elegant formula that accurately predicts outcomes across Ghana's Fourth Republic and in Nigeria's 2015 presidential election. This accuracy was achieved with as little as 10% of the results in, and extremely biased samples. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]