BBC Sports Personality of the Year prediction pre-show

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We have analysed the tweets made during today in the run up to the show itself. Our cut-off is 19:00, the time at which the show starts and the phone lines are announced so that the public can begin to vote for their favourite. We will keep an eye on when the lines will close but will look to close our ‘tweet vote line’ at about 8:30pm, to ensure our analysis goes up before the announcement of the winner.

In any case, the ordering based on the tweets so far today is:

  1. Tony McCoy
  2. Mark Cavendish
  3. Tom Daley
  4. Phil Taylor
  5. Amy Williams
  6. Jessica Ennis
  7. Lee Westwood
  8. David Haye
  9. Graeme McDowell
  10. Graeme Swann
It is perhaps not surprising to see Graeme Swann at the bottom of the list, given the abject performance by England in the Ashes this last weekend.  However his namesake Graeme McDowell is rather more of a surprise, particularly as Lee Westwood appears ahead of him in the list.
Another surprise is to see Mark Cavendish at number 2 in the list.  He has been up and down the ranking this week, perhaps reflecting a concerted twitter campaign by his key fans to try to garner extra votes.  In fact, our experience from the X Factor analysis has shown how this can easily bias the results.  However, in the X Factor, we were able to analyse the data to see that often there was a strong negative bias coming through the data, relating to the fact that people on twitter were reacting to the campaign, and basically stating that they did *not* want to see that person win.  We see a similar effect with two individuals so far – Tony McCoy and Mark Cavendish.  This would appear to suggest that some people at least are reacting to the campaigns to promote these two sportsmen – there has been a concerted effort by the gambling and horse racing community to promote Tony McCoy – and that this may count against them in the final reckoning?
Look out for our next update in just over an hours time when we will analyse the tweets made during the broadcast.
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