Monday, April 11, 2011

Pre-Debate Seat Projections

Up until now, I've taken the approach that the polls are rather meaningless, as the electorate still isn't tuned in to this campaign. There's no need to curl up in a fetal position in the shower just because your favourite party is down 10 points in Atlantic Canada.

But consider this the last free pass. Voters traditionally tune in after the debates, and there's no reason to think things will be any different this time. If the polls aren't moving by this time next week, it will be time to start worrying.

As the above trend-line shows, there has been little movement in the polls since last week:

Nanos (April 8-10, n = 982 phone): CPC 41%, Lib 30%, NDP 15%, BQ 8%
Decima (April 7-10, n = 1018 phone): CPC 40%, Lib 28%, NDP 15%, BQ 8%
Ipsos (April 5-7, n = 1001 phone): CPC 41%, Lib 26%, NDP 19%, BQ 9%
Ekos (April 4-7, n = 2555 autodial): CPC 36%, Lib 28%, NDP 17%, BQ 8%
Angus Reid (April 4-5, n=2031 online): CPC 38%, Lib 27%, NDP 21%, BQ 8%
Environics (Mar 30-April 5, n = 968 phone): CPC 38%, Lib 25%, NDP 20%, BQ 8%

Running Average: CPC 38.8%, Lib 27.4%, NDP 17.7%, Bloc 8.8%, Green 6.2%

This marks a slight narrowing of the gap from last week, but the emphasis is on slight. At the rate we're going, it would take a 4-month campaign for the Liberals to win.

At these numbers, if we were voting today, the Tories would have a 45.5% chance at a majority (down from 56.5% last week). The Liberals are up 6.4 seats from last week, with the Conservatives down 1.6, the NDP down 2.1, and the Bloc down 2.5. Despite this, the Liberal seat range places them right around their 2008 totals.

Here are the tables - for the methodology, check out last week's update. To clarify, "safe seats" are seats the party has a 95% chance of winning given current poll numbers and "seats in play" are seats they have at least a 5% chance of taking - it's based on current levels of support, it's not a prediction.

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  • I'm a bit surprised your numbers give absolutely no chance of the Greens getting May in. I'm not saying it's likely, but a 0.1 chance seems allowable given they'll put everything they have left into May's chances.

    By Blogger Ian, at 1:13 a.m.  

  • ANdré Forbes is a Métis?

    The press releases kinda left that out...

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 7:52 a.m.  

  • I wonder how adept any of the various models are at modelling Quebec if we really have a three way tie for second. That kind of result could really throw the regional numbers out of synch with the previous results that the models are based on. It could be like a smaller scale attempt to put 93 numbers into a model based on the 84 and 88 elections; we would never see the kind of decimation that the PCs suffered.

    At this stage Quebec really seems like the most interesting province to watch come election night. Unless there is some significant movement in Ontario, the overall result still looks like a Tory minority. Quebec, on the other hand, could be just plain weird. Any of the four parties could conceivably benefit from different splits.

    By Anonymous Robin, at 8:59 a.m.  

  • Ian - I actually think May will win her seat, but that's not something a credible seat model should be predicting at this point. May's candidacy is such a wild card, that you either have to subjectively account for it before runing the data or afterwards.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:24 a.m.  

  • Robin - with the Bloc down and NDP up in Quebec, it certainly leaves things up in the air there. The model shows the Dippers taking up to 4 seats there if things break their way.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:26 a.m.  

  • No outcome would please me more than seeing the Bloc lose Quebec. I hate the Bloc.

    It's understandable but incredibly selfish and destructive to support a party whose mandate is to benefit their region at the intentional or neglectful expense of the country.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:38 a.m.  

  • Re: Vollman @10:38 AM

    Personally, I wish the rest of Canada could take a less visceral view of the Bloc.

    I was amused, but not particularly surprised, to see that CBC's VoteCompass put me squarely in Bloc territory after adjustments for my "issue of concern." But then, I'm a Quebec-born anglophone Canadian (now living in Ontario) with social democratic leanings, and so it's pretty much unsurprising that my views align with the Bloc. Fact is, depending in the end on the candidate, I would be happy to vote for them were I still living in QC. Their separatist agenda is at least respectful, and their policies focus on community, family, and provincial rights. (I would never vote PQ provincially, FWIW.)

    Frankly, I think voters in Alberta who are concerned about community, family, and provincial rights would be surprised about how much they have in common with the Bloc.

    By Anonymous MedEditor, at 11:26 a.m.  

  • Sorry if this is redundant, but could you please explain what your "seats in play" means as I cannot make sense of it. I'm assuming you mean that is the maximum number of seats the party has a reasonable chance of winning.


    By Blogger jad, at 11:56 a.m.  

  • MedEditor:
    If the Bloc ran candidates across the entire country, and/or looked out for the best interests of all of us, not just those of us in one region, then I would withdraw my criticisms of them completely.

    CG: The Liberal line seems to be going up slightly, but nothing seems to be going down?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 1:09 p.m.  

  • Even four seats seems iffy. I have been looking through the 2008 results for Quebec and it really does not help with the confusion. It is hard to see the NDP breaking out anywhere. On the other hand, the bump they are seeing in the polls is pretty sizeable. There actually seems to be more Bloc seats that seem vulnerable to either the Liberals or Conservatives, given the polling, than more than a couple seats that look like credible NDP targets.

    It would really help to know if there are regional aspects to the movement or if it is spread all over the province. I just would not be shocked with any result as it stands now. NDP seats could come out of nowhere. The Tories and Grits could make significant gains without really doing anything. The Bloc could squeak through and maintain their position.

    Maybe I am just looking for some excitement in an election that seems poised to result in the status quo despite the campaign.

    By Anonymous Robin, at 1:13 p.m.  

  • "If the polls aren't moving by this time next week, it will be time to start worrying."

    We're still two days away, but I think it's pretty safe to say that the Liberals indeed need to start worrying.

    By Blogger Election Watcher, at 3:32 p.m.  

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