Back to top

Betting Markets vs Opinion Polling: The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

Greig, Jamie
Committee Members: 
Dr. Peter Gross
May 2015


This Master’s thesis focuses on the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, in particular comparing betting markets and opinion polling as outcome predictors. While opinion polls are the most significant data sets used by political scientists and the media when discussing the predicted outcome of elections there is evidence to suggest that betting markets may be more accurate predictors of eventual outcomes. Using data from 5 months of betting and polling this research paper confirms this previous research in the case of the 2014 Scottish referendum. An outcome of this is the conflict between intention and expectation as research questions, the impact this has on communication theory as well as precision journalism.