UBC Election Stock Market open for trading on the British Columbia Election


Vancouver - The Sauder School of Business UBC Election Stock Market (UBC-ESM) is open for trading on the May 17, 2005 British Columbia Provincial Election.

Operated during various Canadian federal and B.C. provincial elections since 1993, the UBC-ESM is an online, real-time market where the “shares” (or contracts) being traded are based on the outcome of an election. This year the British Columbia provincial election and the referendum on electoral reform will be the focus of the stock market

Participants in the stock market invest their own funds to buy and sell financial contracts representing the political parties, and in addition, bear the risk of losing money as well as earning profits.

“Election stock markets, like the UBC-ESM, have proven themselves capable of predicting with great accuracy the results of elections in Canada, the United States and elsewhere,” says Professor Tom Ross, Director of the Phelps Centre for the Study of Government and Business and Co-Director of the UBC-ESM. “Markets such as this are successful, in part because they capture the opinions of a geographically diverse electorate, through the traders. The fact that they have invested their own real money provides motivation to the traders who can earn profits or lose money depending on their success at predicting the political parties’ fortunes.”

Four markets will operate during the lead-up to the B.C. provincial election: a “Seats Market”, a “Popular Vote Market”, a “Majority Government Market”, and an “Electoral Reform Referendum Market”. Past UBC ESMs have accurately predicted the outcome, within a few seats held, of the 2001 B.C. Provincial Election and 2000 and 1997 Federal Elections.

The UBC-ESM operates on a not-for-profit basis, with the results of the market contributing to research and teaching at UBC on market and trader behaviour. The minimum deposit required to open an account is $25.00, and the maximum amount that may be invested is $1,000.00 per account. At the close of the market, participants’ portfolios are repurchased by the UBC-ESM at prices determined by the election results. Individual traders will earn profits or bear losses depending upon whether the final values of their portfolios exceed or are lower than their initial investments.

To open an account, or to watch the results, visit

About the Sauder School of Business at UBC

The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia is Canada’s leading academic business school. Recognized globally for its contributions to management practice through its innovative research and teaching, the school is dedicated to opening worlds of opportunities for its students, alumni and associated communities.