‘What are the odds? Capturing and exploring data created by online political gambling markets’: Headed up by Dr. Matthew Wall on an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project – worth £76,001 – along with his Co-Investigators (Dr Stephen Lindsay – Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Swansea University and Dr Rory Costello – Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick).

The project will last for 15 months and builds on the intuition that the odds offered on gambling markets inform us about participants’ perception of the likelihood of possible outcomes for a given event. As these odds are published online, it is possible to gather them automatically, and to compile records of how the markets fluctuate over time. The project aims to gather information from these betting websites and analyse them in regard to referendum and election results and their odds.

This research that will be useful in judging shifts in electoral trends during a campaign at much more regular intervals than traditional polling. What are the odds?’ is a cross disciplinary project between political scientists and computer scientists. It aims to create a bespoke project website with a ‘research’ face containing the open-source tools, techniques and data generated by the project. The project received funding that allowed the employment of a Computer Science student at Swansea University who will develop and test an algorithm for scraping and analysing the data created by these online political gambling markets.
(Alex Berry)

What are the odds?