Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alberta Votes Day 28: What to expect tomorrow

I've already written about the difficulties of using seat projection models due to the unique circumstances of this Alberta election. So rather than crunch the numbers, I thought it might prove more useful to conduct a "wisdom of the masses" exercise, by looking at the predictions being made in  the Great Alberta Election pool. Here's what the nearly 100 politicos who have entered so far are expecting tomorrow:

Seat Totals

The above graph shows the median prediction for each party, with the bars representing the first-to-third quartile range - that is, where the "middle half" of all entries fall. Looking strictly at the means, we get a "best guess" of 42 Wildrose seats, 37 PC seats, 4 NDP seats, 3 Liberal seats, and 1 for the Alberta Party. That's a slightly narrower gap than my prediction of WR 44, PC 35, NDP 4, Lib 4, AP 0 - and it suggests there's some skepticism out there about Smith's ability to seal the deal. After all, three-in-ten respondents still predict a PC victory and only a minority (41%) expect Smith to win a majority.

Races to Watch

Nine-in-ten expect Redford to hold her seat, but respondents are less certain about Raj Sherman (43%) and Ted Morton's (19%) chances. It's a little counter intuitive for Morton to get drowned in the Wildrose wave given he'd be right at home in the party, but I have a hard time seeing any PCs left standing in southern rural Alberta.

As for the Wildrose Party's more colourful candidates, only 36% expect Allan Hunsperger (of "gays burn in hell" fame) or Ron Leech (of "being white is an advantage" fame) to be elected Monday. I'd be shocked if Hunsperger won, but Leech took 26% of the vote running as an independent last election - add in the Wildrose boost, and he seems like the odds on favourite to find his way to Edmonton, perhaps as Danielle Smith's Multiculturalism Minister*.

Edmonton Glenora figures to be one of the most hotly contested seats - the PCs beat the Liberals by 100 votes last time, but both the NDP and Alberta Party are running strong candidates and have targeted the riding. And with the Wildrose's Edmonton poll numbers, even they could pull it out on the vote split. This unpredictability is born out in the pool, where 56% expect the PCs to hold the riding, 21% (myself included) see it as an NDP pick-up, 11% pick the Alberta Party, 10% pick the Liberals, and 2% pick the Wildrose.

The Alberta Party

This being their first election, it's difficult to know what to expect from the Alberta Party. Only one-in-three predict they'll win a seat, and the mean guess on their best riding vote is 15-20%. That's the most I'd expect them to get anywhere, but many pool entries had them winning multiple seats, and up to 40 or 50 percent of the vote in some ridings. 

The Senate

The Wildrose Party is predicted to pick up 1.7 of the 3 Senate seats. Personally, I expect a clean sweep - given the low level attention paid to the Senate election, I expect most will vote party lines.

The Morning After

Close to half (44%) expect Liberal leader Raj Sherman to announce his resignation within 48 hours of the vote - perhaps not surprising since most expect Sherman to lose his seat and just 18% think the Liberals will win more votes than the NDP.

One-in-three expect Redford to resign after the election - presumably not the same people voting for her as "the most progressive option". Personally, I'd be surprised if any of the four opposition leaders are around come next election - hell, I'd be surprised if all four opposition parties still exist come the next election. But my best guess is that they'll all take a bit of time before coming to a decision...or being forced into one.

*That's obviously a joke. We all know Danielle Smith won't name a Multiculturalism Minister.

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  • Pastors Leech and Hunsperger have Charter-protected freedom of speech and religion; similarly, it is my constitutional right to consider them wingnuts unfit for public office. As for the other 85 Wildrose candidates, I am pleased to predict that Albertans will elect most of them on Monday, turfing a Putrefied Corrupted government over a decade past its best-before date. Indeed, the Globe and Mail now reports that the most recent poll, conducted by Forum Research, would put the Wildrose at 62 seats. Hopefully voters won’t heed foolish advice to hold their noses and vote PC, or we will have fewer centre-left (Lib/ND/Alberta) party MLAs -- we have too few already.

    By Blogger Herbert B. Patrotage, at 12:00 p.m.  

  • The problem with using the averae from the election pool is that many people have projected what they *hope* will happen rather than providing a realistic projection. Case in point - the people who projected 12 seats for the Liberals.

    A median of entries from the pool may be more accurate.

    By Anonymous Michael F, at 11:01 p.m.  

  • Edit: I meant to include a comment about excluding outliers from your median. Can't edit original post.

    By Anonymous Michael F, at 11:09 p.m.  

  • Why should Raj Sherman have to quit? Just because Albertains hate the name Liberal ... like the frderal LIEberals and NDPQ hate the present federal government ... is no reason. The Alberta Liberals are different, and I believe they would have been contenders with Wildrose Party if they were under a different name. No matter what the results are, he should stay.

    As for the election, the only thing I would love to see is Redford looses her seat by the way she commented on Ralph.

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 8:34 a.m.  

  • Michael F - Agreed. That's why I included median and inter-quartile range on the graph. For what it's worth, there seems to be some wishful thinking on all sides. The median predictions are nearly identical to the mean:

    WR 42, PC 37, NDP 4, Lib 2, AP 0

    Of note, among CalgaryGrit entries, that median changes to: WR 44, PC 35, NDP 4, Lib 3, AP 0

    It appears Dave's audience skews a bit more PC/AP, while mine skews a bit more WR/Lib.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:22 a.m.  

  • I don't think it is surprising that the pool is close to threehundredeight's projections, because I suspect many people used that as a baseline in the first place. In that sense the "wisdom of the crowd" may reflect the wisdom of "the oracle" (although Grenier's model is not well-suited for change elections, as his 2011 predictions illustrated - his model underestimates the rising party... not that I have a better model, or even A model).

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 3:47 p.m.  

  • PC party-redford are liars. They lied by stating that Wildrose majority is a possibility and to vote PC. Liberal voters believed that lie and voted PC. No one will believe that lie in 4 years. Next election, the liberals will vote Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:50 p.m.  

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