As you may recall, we had set our analytic engines onto election watching for Brexit last year , which it got right, and it also managed to predict the Trump election result . We have now set it onto watching the French and German elections, and will have something to say about the French one soon.
Tracking the social data flow is one thing, but to make systems truly predictive it is necessary to build systemic mathematical models that can dynamically adjust as new data comes in (this is the basis of machine learning as well) and for that it’s worth doing a quick analysis of the Dutch election to see if some form of model is emerging. Our analysis is that the following broad picture occurred in Holland:
1, The main Centre-Right party moved considerably more Right (see diagram above), adopting quite a few of the Far-Right policies and narratives. It lost some of its more centrist supporters but prevented the Far Right from robbing it of its more right wing supporters.
2. The Centre-Left was decimated, We suspect that what happened in the UK and US has played out here too, in that the “white blue collars” went left and right – i.e. the pattern of the white blue collar class deserting their traditional party affiliation holds true here as it did in UK and US. It’s where they went that differs from the US and UK, in that there was quite a shift to more Left parties like the Greens (arguably if Bernie Sanders had stayed in the US race US as a 3rd, it could have looked more like this).
3. We have a hypothesis (awaiting more evidence from France) that the white blue collars are not in such a bad position economically in the EU as in the UK/US (better training, better working conditions and welfare), so are not as desperate/willing to embrace the populist option as a last hope – yet (but see footnote marked * below).
At any rate the above is a good start for modelling how Germany and France will play out, in that we assume the main Right Wing parties will adopt more Far Right clothing, and move considerably to the right to ensure they don’t leak support there. (To an extent this is arguably what the Tories are doing, betting that their more centre-ist voters won’t go to LibDems or Labour).
We also assume that the Centre-Left will be pulled apart, as its more right wing elements go right and left wing ones go left. Far Left parties will pick up significant votes given their small sizes.
What this will mean is that a shift to the Right will be of similar size to the US/UK across the EU, just the “traditional” parties have learned from UK/US to embrace not reject the Far Right policies, to keep themselves in power. But the policies will shift to the Right so the effect is similar. We are alraedy seeing this in France and to an extent in Germany.
Anyway, if one uses that as an initial dynamic flow system model, it is then possible to calibrate the social media monitoring to look at cause and effect and the deltas, and refine the model.
An aside – one of the main reasons polls got it “wrong” in the US and the UK was an unwillingness of mainstream groups to believe the incumbent side could lose (<a href=”http://www.broadstuff.com/archives/2935-Polling-errors,-election-predictions-and-confirmation-bias.html”>see here</a>). In Holland it was the opposite before the election, a common assumption was the Far Right would do way better than they did – but within hours of the outcome they were saying it was “back to normal/Far Right was defeated”. This is very wrong too, as noted above. It will be interesting to see if the mainstream media/polls behave in the same way in France and Germany. (Our system is showing that Le Pen is doing less well than the Centre Right at the moment, but a lot changes in the last few weeks of an election)
*A note – The summer had not yet come at the time of the Dutch election, and won’t really have started by the French one – but it will have ended by the German election and if there has been a repeat of the migrant flows of recent years, one can hypothesize it will be much harder stemming the voter flow to the the Far Right than in Holland.