IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Estimating Parliamentary composition through electoral polls


  • Frederic Udina
  • Pedro Delicado


All electoral systems have an "electoral formula" that converts proportions of votes into Parliamentary seats. Pre-electoral polls usually focus on estimating proportions of votes and then apply the electoral formula to give a forecast of Parliamentary composition. We describe the problems that arise from this approach: there will typically be a bias in the forecast. We study the origin of the bias and some methods for evaluating and reducing it. We propose a bootstrap algorithm for computing confidence intervals for the allocation of seats. We show, by Monte Carlo simulation, the performance of the proposed methods using data from Spanish elections in previous years. We also propose graphical methods for visualizing how electoral formulae and Parliamentary forecasts work (or fail). Copyright 2005 Royal Statistical Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederic Udina & Pedro Delicado, 2005. "Estimating Parliamentary composition through electoral polls," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 387-399.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:168:y:2005:i:2:p:387-399

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Szymanski, Stefan, 2001. "Income Inequality, Competitive Balance and the Attractiveness of Team Sports: Some Evidence and a Natural Experiment from English Soccer," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 69-84, February.
    2. Filardo, Andrew J. & Gordon, Stephen F., 1998. "Business cycle durations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-123, July.
    3. Paapaa, Richard & van Dijk, Herman K., 1998. "Distribution and mobility of wealth of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1269-1293, July.
    4. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
    5. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
    6. McCulloch, Robert E. & Polson, Nicholas G. & Rossi, Peter E., 2000. "A Bayesian analysis of the multinomial probit model with fully identified parameters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 173-193, November.
    7. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242-242.
    8. Nobile, Agostino, 2000. "Comment: Bayesian multinomial probit models with a normalization constraint," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 335-345, December.
    9. McCulloch, Robert & Rossi, Peter E., 1994. "An exact likelihood analysis of the multinomial probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 207-240.
    10. Vrooman, John, 2000. "The Economics of American Sports Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 364-398, September.
    11. Kajal Lahiri, 2005. "Analysis of Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1093-1095.
    12. John F. Geweke & Michael P. Keane, 1997. "Mixture of normals probit models," Staff Report 237, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Lahiri, Kajal & Gao, Jian, 2002. "Bayesian analysis of nested logit model by Markov chain Monte Carlo," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 103-133, November.
    14. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
    15. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, January.
    16. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
    17. Flynn, Michael A & Gilbert, Richard J, 2001. "The Analysis of Professional Sports Leagues as Joint Ventures," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 27-46, February.
    18. Koop, Gary & Poirier, Dale J., 1993. "Bayesian analysis of logit models using natural conjugate priors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 323-340, April.
    19. McCulloch, Robert E. & Rossi, Peter E., 2000. "Reply to Nobile," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 347-348, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:168:y:2005:i:2:p:387-399. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.