2012 ELECTIONS: Tsai’s lead over Ma increasing, prediction site says

By Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporter

Sat, Dec 03, 2011 - Page 1

The support gap between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has widened in the past week, an online prediction market showed.

The Web site xfuture.org, an electronic exchange at the Center for Prediction Markets at National Chengchi University, said yesterday that People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Ma’s political futures prices on its site were tampered with through “outside interference” after Soong completed his registration of candidacy with the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Nov. 24.

The system had been repaired by 4pm the next day, and as of Thursday, it predicted that Tsai would receive 49.9 percent of all votes cast in next month’s election, Ma would get 41.9 percent and Soong would take 11.7 percent.

Prior to the three candidates’ registration with the CEC last week, the site showed Tsai leading Ma by 5 percentage points.

Noting that the total value of all three candidates’ support rate, as of Thursday, is nearing 100, the site said figures suggested the market is approaching equilibrium.

On the possibility of being elected, the exchange on Thursday gave Tsai 51 percent, Ma 37.1 percent and Soong 12.5 percent, with Ma’s success rate falling by 4 percentage points since Nov. 25, while Soong’s rate increased by 4 percentage points.

Prediction markets are speculative exchanges, with the value of an asset meant to reflect the likelihood of future events. Virtual bids may be made on events, with the bidding price reflecting its probability.