In an effort to remove some of the subjectivity to the projections, I've replaced my "gut feeling" level of grass roots support for each candidate with the regional polling data from the Ekos and Strategic Counsel polls which came out this week. For the record, I see major problems with the accuracy of both these polls (some of which are discussed by Penny here) but it's still worth including them, I think.
So, to recap, here's the Coles Notes version of how I arrived at these predictions (for the long version, click here):
- 15% of the delegates are ex-officio. So 15% of the vote has been assigned based on the average of identified ex-officio on wikipedia and delegate count.
-For the elected delegates, I broke each province down into new memberships sold and existing memberships. Based on news reports, leaked numbers, and the word on the street, I assigned the new sales to their respective leadership camps.
-The existing member support has been estimated using a variety of information available. I've given 1/3 of the existing member support to the regional breakdown on the two polls released this week. The other 2/3 has been assigned based on media mentions, blog endorsements, other projections, MP endorsements, fundraising dollars, and number of donors.
From there, excel gives me a number. And today, after updating all of this, excel is predicting a first ballot which looks like:
Michael Ignatieff 26.6%
Bob Rae 17.6%
Gerard Kennedy 17.6%
Stephane Dion 14.1%
Joe Volpe 8.6%
Ken Dryden 7.3%
Scott Brison 6.4%
Martha Hall Findlay 1.8%
I'll post a final update on Friday with my own predictions. For now, it appears that Ignatieff is still heading for a strong first ballot lead but, as always, the question is how much growth potential he has. Kennedy and Rae are in a dead heat for second, with Stephane Dion nipping at his heels. No one else really appears to have much of a chance of winning, barring some surprises.