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Unerring Brexit forecaster is now as confused as rest as us
[DUBLIN] Trying to figure out what's going to happen next in the Brexit saga? Sporting Index has had a pretty good record in predicting some of the key twists and turns.
Last week, about two hours before the latest vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, the spread betting firm forecast she'd lose by 60 votes. She was defeated by 58. Earlier in March, when Mrs May lost by 149 votes, Sporting Index predicted a 148 loss. In January, when she was beaten by 230, it forecast 218.
We spoke to Sporting Index's Phill Fairclough by email to try and figure out what might happen next, and how the company's traders have managed to get their forecasts so right.
What happens next?
It's tough to say what happens next, especially after Theresa May's latest statement and the plans to ask for a further extension.
From a personal standpoint, I don't see what a general election would do to solve anything relating to Brexit. At the moment, I don't think it is in the interests of either Labour or the Conservative parties to enter an election battle. It looks like Theresa May has bought herself more time – perhaps even another year – but in the same vein we know how quickly circumstances can change.
How does Sporting Index formulate the forecast?
Every trader has their own particular methods that help formulate a prediction, but it's mostly a mix of sentiment and going with a gut feeling as a starting point after discussing an expected outcome with colleagues. I would say that the main part of formulating a spread calculation is still using intuition, but the numbers and data are still integral to the process.
Does politics spread betting attract much money?
Politics is an extremely popular form of spread betting, offering good levels of volatility for both clients and ourselves. On big election nights, we see extremely large volumes of bets, while even things like the Budget and some of our novelty markets like sips of water are very popular with our customers.