Did I mention I like survey data, especially in the context of electoral forecasting? Probably not, as I’m a pretty shy and reserved man. Why are you laughing?? Yeah, that’s true, I’m not that shy… but I did mention my interest for electoral forecasting already!
And before doing a full episode where I’ll talk about French elections (yes, that’ll come at one point), let’s talk about one of France’s neighbors — Germany. Our German friends had federal elections a few weeks ago — consequential elections, since they had the hard task of replacing Angela Merkel, after 16 years in power.
To talk about this election, I invited Marcus Gross on the show, because he worked on a Bayesian forecasting model to try and predict the results of this election — who will get elected as Chancellor, by how much and with which coalition?
I was delighted to ask him about how the model works, how it accounts for the different sources of uncertainty — be it polling errors, unexpected turnout or media events — and, of course, how long it takes to sample (I think you’ll be surprised by the answer).
We also talked about the other challenge of this kind of work: communication — how do you communicate uncertainty effectively? How do you differentiate motivated reasoning from useful feedback? What were the most common misconceptions about the model?
Marcus studied statistics in Munich and Berlin, and did a PhD on survey statistics and measurement error models in economics and archeology. He worked as a data scientist at INWT, a consulting firm with projects in different business fields as well as the public sector. Now, he is working at FlixMobility.
Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !
Thank you to my Patrons for making this episode possible!
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Links from the show:
- German election forecast website: https://www.wer-gewinnt-die-wahl.de/en
- Twitter account of electoral model: https://twitter.com/GerElectionFcst
- German election model code: https://github.com/INWTlab/lsTerm-election-forecast
- LBS #27 — Modeling the US Presidential Elections, with Andrew Gelman & Merlin Heidemanns: https://www.learnbayesstats.com/episode/27-modeling-the-us-presidential-elections-with-andrew-gelman-merlin-heidemanns