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Categories: Internet. Tags: ,

Google’s European election predictions based on wrong search terms

June 6, 2009 No Comment

Andrew Girdwood's interesting post about the Google Policy Europe blog is headed 'Google puts UKIP 13 points ahead of the Conservatives in the European elections' - based on trend data from Google Insights for Search.

But Google has used the wrong search term - and the real, and worrying, story is that the BNP is ahead of everyone.

What Google showed

Here's Google's graph (click it to see it bigger), which shows the British National Party languishing in last.

Google's original European Election results prediction for the UK

Google's original European Election results prediction for the UK

It gives these figures (NB these are normalised relative scores, not share of vote predictions - the real results are out on monday):

  • Labour party 38
  • Conservative party 41
  • Green party 32
  • UKIP 54
  • British National Party 11

You get very different results if you use Labour instead of Labour Party, for instance (when the Labour shoots up - but maybe this is because of pregnant women - showing the difficulty of interpreting this data).

If you use BNP instead of British National Party

Here's what you get if you use BNP instead of British National Party, which seems to be me to be a much more likely search term.

The BNP are massively ahead of everyone - a worrying result.

Google's European Election predictions if you use BNP instead of British National Party

Google's European Election predictions if you use BNP instead of British National Party

(Apologies that I've got the parties in a different order so the key is different. Also, for clarity, I've shown just the most recent days. And because of the difficulty of deciding between Labour and Labour Party I left it out).

Thanks to Martin Belam's blog, where I spotted Andrew's post. For past Google predictions, see this and this for differing takes on whether Google got it right.

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