Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fun With Numbers: NDP, Bloc, and Green vote

I won't spend as much time going through the NDP or Bloc vote as I did for the Liberals and Conservatives. Unlike for the other two parties, the NDP vote isn't quite as predictable - the best model I can come up with only accounts for a little over half of the variation. Personally, I tend to think this is proof that voting NDP defies any sort of rational explanation, but there may be another explanation.

However, if we do look at the model, it does suggest the following ridings as possible long-term gains for the NDP, based on the types of people living there: Nunavut, Edmonton East, Edmonton Centre, Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, Winnipeg South Centre, Sydney-Victoria, Yukon, Desnethé--Missinippi--ChurchillRiver, Regina-Qu'Appelle, and Palliser.

And it suggests their seats in Outremont, Western Arctic, Nickel Belt, Sackville-Eastern Shore, and Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing are being won for reasons other than the demographic composition of the riding. That doesn't mean the NDP can't keep taking them, but it certainly means that, long term, it will take some work to hold them.

The model works well for the Bloc, with french as mother tongue being the strongest predictor. What it shows are that the 48 "best" Bloc ridings are all held by either the Bloc or the Conservatives. In short, Conservative wins in Quebec have come mainly in ridings we'd expect to go Bloc. This is hardly earth shattering news, which is why I'm not going to talk about it for more than a paragraph.

As for the Greens, well, once again, their vote is difficult to predict, so there's not a lot to say about it. I will say that Elizabeth May appears to have made a wiser choice when it comes to picking a riding this time than last - Saanich-Gulf Islands is the 8th best Green riding in the country based on demos, whereas Central Nova is the 245th best.


  • Is that the 245th best when the Liberals are campaigning for her?

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:19 PM  

  • St. John's East wasn't considered a riding that is "being won for reasons other than the demographic composition of the riding"?

    By Blogger PoscStudent, at 9:40 PM  

  • I'm curious as to what factors differentiate the Yukon and Nunuvut as possible pickups from Western Arctic as an unexpected NDP riding - even allowing for the limited sample of northern ridings to draw from, shouldn't they all have fairly similar expectations?

    By Blogger The Jurist, at 10:34 PM  

  • Out of curiosity, Grit, what was the Greens #1 most suitable riding? You said SGI was 8th, so...

    By Blogger Volkov, at 1:20 AM  

  • Guelph?

    By Anonymous D, at 1:58 AM  

  • I have a feeling that May is just a temporary leader, used to get them a certain profile, and into the debates.

    She'll be discarded and replaced with Chernuschenko. If you're thinking long-term, I don't think socialism is as important to the party as it is to May.

    Once they get their party back on track I think the demographic leanings will change (but will always involve youth vote).

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:25 AM  

  • @RV, do you mean to suggest that the Greens will eventually enunciate their policies? Even a few of them?

    By Blogger Paul, at 1:41 PM  

  • CG, it might be more useful to look at Canadian Election Survey data than riding level data. The problem with the latter is the ecological fallacy. For instance, in the US, states with a high African American population are more likely to vote Republican, but it doesn't necessarily mean that African Americans are Republicans.

    You should be able to get the data here: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/datalib/major/election.htm

    You can also do online analysis here: http://sda.chass.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/sdapub/hsda?harcsda+ces08

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:45 AM  

  • What you find from the CES data is...
    (+ statistically significant positive relationship, - statistically significant negative relationship)

    French (+, controlling for Quebec)
    Age (+)
    female (-)
    Quebec (-)
    Ontario (+)
    West (+)
    Foreign born (-)
    University grad (+)
    High School Grad (+)
    Union (-)
    Income (+)
    Evangelical (+++)
    Married (+++)

    Age (+)
    Quebec (-)
    Ontario (-)
    West (---)
    postgrad (+)
    university (+)
    union (-)
    married (+)

    French (+)
    Female (+)
    Quebec (-)
    West (+)
    Income (-)
    Union (+)
    Evangelical (-)
    Married (+)

    Quebec (-)
    Married (+)
    Age and university education weakly significant

    One challenge with this data, however, is the fact that many people refused to disclose their income.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:59 AM  

  • We as Canadians coast-to-coast should be so lucky to see the Greens ditch May and get someone more appropriate. From what I know (little) of Chernushenko I'd feel a lot better with him in charge.

    She can pretty much suck my dick, that's how much she blows.

    That she's being "used" in a knowing fashion, with a plan to dump her? I'm not sure... I was sad to see so many Greens flock to her.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 12:29 PM  

  • I thought May was a sleeper agent, though I figured she was a Liberal sleeper agent. In a lot of ways, May has been a lousy leader for the Greens.

    While they have gained more profile, she failed to use that to demonstrate that the Greens were different from the NDP or Liberals. Instead she appears to see her mission as beating Harper, although if she really wanted to do that she would get the Green party to fold. Of course, given some of her catastrophic decisions (running in Nova Scotia and telling people not to vote Green in the last week of the election), maybe she IS trying to get the Greens to fold.

    Moreover, she has been moving away from the eco-capitalist positions that made the Greens a unique and interesting party (and one I would consider voting for).

    Frank de Jong, with far less media attention, was able to win 8% of the vote in the 2007 election, by offering voters a real alternative. His platform was eco-capitalist, and he also gained some support in traditionally Tory areas by proposing the abolition of Catholic schools.

    While I am not sure the guy has the chops to be premier (he taught at my brother's school in junior high. He was often high, and once threw a kid against the wall), at least he is doing something different.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:22 PM  

  • H2H - I agree with you about the problem of looking at aggregate riding data (I actually mentioned the African American example in my first post on this).

    But I think if you're looking at the character of the riding, and don't try to extrapolate out conclusions for individuals, it's a valid way to look at it.

    i.e. You can say poorer ridings vote NDP, but you can't say poorer Canadians vote NDP.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:50 PM  

  • Volkov - top 5 Green ridings:


    But, we're talking about them being projected to 8-10% in those ridings, so it's not like that's neccesarily the only factor May should look at for deciding where to run.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:52 PM  

  • Jurist - Great question, and there's no easy answer.

    A lot of it is just the screwey nature of the territories...we wouldn't expect them to fit into the model well for any of the parties.

    On specifics, Western Arctic trails the Yukon on a lot of demos dealing with education levels, home ownership, and immigration rates. Plus there's a higher average rent there.

    Nunavut, while behind Western Arctic on those indicators has such high poverty indicators that it makes up for it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:05 PM  

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