From the 1990s until 2008, UBC’s Election Stock Market successfully predicted the outcomes of provincial and federal elections.
If the now-renamed Sauder School of Business Prediction Markets continues its tradition of being on the money after a hiatus, then the makeup of the legislative assembly after the May 14 election is going to be a lot more interesting.
At present, 45 B.C. Liberal MLAs hold the majority of the 85 seats in the house. The NDP follows with 36 seats, and independents fill four.
As of March 13, share prices predicted the following post-election seat distribution: 56 New Democrats, 23 B.C. Liberals, three B.C. Conservatives, two independents, and one Green.
Although that’s just one seat for the Greens, it would validate leader Jane Sterk’s expectations that 2013 will be the breakthrough year for her provincial party following the election of MP Elizabeth May in 2011.
If accurate, the results will also give B.C. Conservatives a foothold in the legislative assembly on which they could build a new coalition of the right to eventually replace the beleaguered B.C. Liberals.
Investors in the stock market buy and sell shares on three contracts representing the popular vote, seat distribution, and prospect of a majority government.
UBC professor Werner Antweiler runs the market, and according to him, traders have been consistently predicting a B.C. NDP win.
“It’s not very likely as far as the markets tell,” Antweiler told the Straight when asked by phone if the B.C. Liberals could still pull out a victory.