Friday, April 14, 2017

So long and thanks for all the polls

When I started this site in October 2008, it was out of my admiration for the work that was being done by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight during that year's U.S. presidential election. His site sparked a passion for political polling, election forecasts and psephology in me — and it has now become my full-time work.

After developing this site from amateurish to slightly-less-amateurish, I was lucky enough to secure regular freelance work with The Globe and Mail and The Hill Times in 2010 and The Huffington Post Canada in 2011, as well as election-related work with some French-language media outlets.

Things changed in 2014 when I begin working with the CBC in the run-up to the 2015 federal election. Since the beginning of that campaign I've been working out of the newsroom with the Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa.

It's been a life-changing move, as well as an honour and an inspiration to work with such a talented and professional group of journalists every day.

Now, regular readers might have noticed that the activity on this site has died down in recent months. My work with the CBC has curtailed the time I've been able to invest in this website.

But now that I have accepted a full-time position with the Parliamentary Bureau, the time has come to cease operations of this site.

I hope readers will continue following my work with the CBC. In addition to your local CBC radio and television stations and CBC News Network, here is where you can find me: will be kept online and accessible as an archive and a reference, but it will no longer be updated.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my readers over the last nine years. Thank you for visiting, for giving me your support and encouragement, for keeping me accountable and always striving to get better.

I've loved this site, but it is now time to move on to the next chapter. I'm excited about it.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Pollcast: What to watch for in Monday's byelections

The five federal byelections being held on Monday are not expected to be nail-biters. They are taking place in traditionally safe seats for the incumbent Conservatives and Liberals.

But there are still some things to watch for when the votes are counted.

You can listen to the podcast heresubscribe to future episodes here, and listen to past episodes here.

The byelections are being held to fill the seats vacated by Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent), Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa–Vanier), John McCallum (Markham–Thornhill), Jason Kenney (Calgary Midnapore) and Stephen Harper (Calgary Heritage).

In the 2015 election, the closest contest of these (Markham–Thornhill) was still decided by a margin of 23 points — so a change in the seat count is not expected.

But there are a few questions that the byelections can help answer. Will the Liberals be hurt by the controversies surrounding the nomination processes in Markham–Thornhill and Saint-Laurent? Has the Conservative leadership race helped attract new support to the party, or has it put voters off? And will the NDP do better than the last byelection that was held, when the party finished with just one per cent of the vote?

I'm joined by the National Post's David Akin to discuss.

You can listen to the podcast heresubscribe to future episodes here, and listen to past episodes here.