Political forecasting can be narrowly defined as the practice of predicting the outcomes of elections. This includes predicting which political party or individual will win and the policies they will implement once they are in office. However, political forecasting in the broader sense refers to the predicting of events that may affect the political systems of a country and their structures as well as the organization of political power. Global political forecasting is therefore an important factor in predicting the political atmosphere of countries around the world and how these political outcomes reflect the will of the people. This is important as it helps in predicting the political and economic stability of a nation for humanitarian purposes in case of civil war and from an economic standpoint for investors.
Since the stakes of global politics are so high and involve so many stakeholders, the need for accurate algorithms and models for global political forecasting is on the rise. The best models have high rates of accuracy in order to be effective in the predicting of outcomes so that players can prepare adequately for them and in some cases take action to change the outcomes if they are not only unfavorable but also harmful. For instance, humanitarian groups may take action to prevent a country from falling into genocide while a government may step in to prevent a region they have invested in from civil war to protect their investments.
The following databases have been used in global political forecasting to predict various outcomes. Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone and Integrated Conflict Early Warning System cover all political events while Manifesto Project Database covers election performance and political manifestos and International Crisis Behavior Project covers international crises. Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and Uppsala Conflict Data Program/Peace Research Institute of Oslo cover armed conflicts. All these databases with the exception of ICEWS are publicly available and are updated regularly. There are also different databases that cover different political areas such as terrorism, suicide attacks, atrocities and militarized interstate disputes and even a database that covers hate speech called Hatebase. Some have been in use since the 1900s such as International Crisis Behavior Project that was launched in 1918.
These databases have been effective in predicting political trends and events around the world, especially events that influence the economy and political atmosphere of countries. They use mass data both structured and unstructured, learn from them and use them to predict future reactions. They study factors that have led to past events such as the causes of genocide, civil war or politically-charged situations like coups. Variables like conflict in neighboring countries or regions and political or economic discrimination are also included in the study to ensure that the results are as accurate as possible. Current political trends are also used in global political forecasting to predict similar situations such as the outcome of elections where other candidates with similar characteristics have been elected into office when it seemed unlikely. If such a break from history has become a trend, then it will be considered a factor in such forecasting.