Eyes on Thursday night’s results

Normally when watching election results come in, there are a few well known “bell-weather” results from which the overall result can be gauged. For the Independence Referendum though, what do we look for as the early results are announced (council by council) to forecast the overall Yes or No result?

Based on the General Election 2010 results, the Arc of Prosperity blog makes some reasonable assumptions to calculate a propensity to vote Yes or No for each local authority. The assumptions made are not so important, they just need to be reasonably correlated with the propensity to vote Yes or No, and be consistent across council areas. I’ve reweighted the propensities to show the percentages required in each council area for a 50:50 result , assuming relative populations from wikipedia and, obviously, the same percentage turnout in each council area.

This is just a quick and dirty calculation – just a bit of fun for Thursday night (as if we needed any more excitement!) The percentages for Yes in each council area consistent with a 50:50 result are in the table below. At 50.3% for a 50:50 result, the results from Glasgow and Fife look like being indicative of the overall result.

Council Population % Yes % req. for 50:50
Aberdeen 4.2% 48.4%
Aberdeenshire 4.7% 52.3%
Angus 2.1% 56.3%
Argyll and Bute 1.7% 52.3%
Clackmannanshire 1.0% 54.3%
Dumfries and Galloway 2.8% 42.4%
Dundee 2.8% 55.3%
East Ayrshire 2.3% 54.3%
East Dunbartonshire 2.0% 43.4%
East Lothian 1.9% 48.4%
East Renfrewshire 1.7% 39.5%
Edinburgh 9.3% 42.4%
Falkirk 2.9% 53.3%
Fife 7.0% 50.3%
Glasgow 11.4% 50.3%
Highland 4.2% 53.3%
Inverclyde 1.5% 48.4%
Midlothian 1.6% 52.3%
Moray 1.7% 59.2%
Na h-Eileanan an lar 0.5% 57.3%
North Ayrshire 2.6% 52.3%
North Lanarkshire 6.3% 52.3%
Orkney Islands 0.4% 55.3%
Perth and Kinross 2.8% 50.3%
Renfrewshire 3.3% 51.3%
Scottish Borders 2.2% 46.4%
Shetland Islands 0.4% 55.3%
South Ayrshire 2.1% 42.4%
South Lanarkshire 6.0% 50.3%
Stirling 1.7% 46.4%
West Dunbartonshire 1.7% 55.3%
West Lothian 3.3% 54.3%

About David Comerford

Post-doctoral researcher in economics
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