Bing Offers Predictions On Scottish Independence Vote


Bing is now offering predictions on the outcome of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Search Bing for [scottish independence] or [scottish referendum] and Bing will provide they best mathematical guess based on Bing Predicts.

Here is the current prediction, which was last updated yesterday:


Bing said they have successfully and accurately provided predictions on reality TV shows, the NBA amateur draft, and the World Cup. Now they are testing out doing it with September 18th vote on the Scottish Referendum.

These sorts of predictions work differently than voting on reality TV or World Cup winners. Bing explains how their predictions work here:

They look at the trends and sentiment determined from the web and social data, and we then adjust for biases and try to understand the true opinion expressed by a population most representing the actual voters themselves. Algorithmically, we detect terms that are pro-independence and compare the aggregate sentiment against phrases which are pro-union to arrive at a prediction for whether the referendum will have a “yes” or “no” vote. Our sentiment detector also identifies neutral keywords which potentially capture the segment of undecided voters. Information is continually ingested, with the prediction updated regularly, to best capture the latest “yes” or “no” vote. This mainly involves determining which way a percentage of undecided voters are going at the last minute.

As well as a prediction, when we look at the search queries from Scotland in the past 6 months we can see some interesting patterns in what people have been searching for. The top concerns of the Scottish people in their search activity related to the referendum in order of importance are:

- CURRENCY: what will happen to the currency in Scotland if it does become independent?

- GEO-POLITICAL: can the UK veto an independent Scotland EU membership

- NATIONALITY/IDENTITY: will Scottish people lose their British nationality after independence

- BANKS: what happens to RBS if Scotland becomes independent?

- OIL: who gets the oil with independence?

- BBC: what would happen to the BBC in an independent Scotland?

- Other interesting terms: what will happen to the open golf after Scottish independence? And: how will Scottish independence affect law firms?

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