Saturday, October 22, 2016

Polling associations look to increase transparency with merger, but not everyone is on board

Two organizations representing market research firms and pollsters in Canada have announced they are entering into merger talks to speak on behalf of the public opinion polling industry with one voice and apply a uniform set of standards for their members.

But at least one prominent polling firm has concerns that some aspects of those standards could undermine the level playing field in the industry.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Pollcast: Has the Liberal government given up on electoral reform?

Has Justin Trudeau given up on electoral reform?

In a recent interview, the prime minister explained that the appetite for electoral reform has diminished now that his government has replaced Stephen Harper's. Some have seen this as an admission that the Liberals have lost interest in changing the way Canadians vote now that the system has put the Liberals in power.

But others see Trudeau as laying down the gauntlet to the opposition parties that are in favour of electoral reform: find consensus or it won't happen.

So where do things stand on the electoral reform issue? Can it still happen? And if the government is backing out, why did it start this process in the first place?

Joining me to discuss the issue are the CBC's Aaron Wherry and Kady O'Malley of the Ottawa Citizen.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

As final debate looms, Hillary Clinton opens widest lead yet over Donald Trump

Donald Trump's worsening position in the polls was sparked by his poor performance during the first presidential debate and has been sustained by a torrent of problems dogging his campaign — including the emergence of allegations of inappropriate behaviour or sexual assault from about a dozen women.

Tonight's third and final presidential debate may be Trump's last opportunity to turn things around. And it's women — for whom Trump says he has "great respect" — who might just be the most significant obstacle to his White House ambitions.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Donald Trump and the war on polls

One of the few remaining polls showing Donald Trump in a competitive race with Hillary Clinton turns out to have been overly influenced by one young African-American voter from Illinois who, unlike virtually everyone else who fits his demographic profile, is a committed Trump supporter.

It's another knock against the credibility of polls at a time when Donald Trump is talking about the election being "rigged" and questioning the legitimacy of many reliable election surveys.

Trump has complained that a hostile media and widespread voter fraud, or a combination of both, could steal the election from him.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Pollcast: Yukon goes to the polls

Yukoners will go to the polls on Nov. 7, the day before the presidential election south of the border — or, in the case of the Yukon, west of it.

But though the Yukon election is tiny by comparison, the result might be just as unpredictable.

The right-of-centre Yukon Party has governed the territory of about 37,000 people since 2002. Party leader Darrell Pasloski is asking for his second consecutive term as premier and his party's fourth. The New Democrats under Liz Hanson and the Liberals under Sandy Silver are both vying to replace Pasloski's government.

But polls in the territory are few and far between. The last one is eight months old, and a majority of Yukoners at the time said they were undecided.

So who has the inside track?

Joining me to discuss the territorial election is Chris Windeyer, editor of the Yukon News.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Federal precedent favours Yukon Liberals, but campaign will decide the result

Yukoners will go to the polls to elect their territorial government on Nov. 7, barely a year after they cast their ballots in last year's federal election. So can the results of that 2015 vote provide any indication of what to expect at the end of this campaign?

While there is a definite relationship between the performance of territorial parties and their federal cousins, that relationship is only strong enough to provide a hint at what may be in store for the Yukon on election day.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How Trump's campaign could cost the Republicans their majority in Congress

If Donald Trump's polling numbers don't improve, and soon, he won't win the White House.

But if the bottom continues to fall out of his campaign, he might drag the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives down along with him.

Americans will not only be voting for their next president on Nov. 8. They will also be filling many other offices, ranging from county sheriff to state governor. The most important races after the presidency, however, will be in the two chambers of the U.S. Congress.

You can read the rest of this analysis here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Donald Trump's dwindling paths to the White House

Even before the release of audio of lewd and offensive comments about women Donald Trump made in 2005, and before scores of fellow Republicans called on him to step down, Trump's chances of winning the U.S. presidency were looking slim.

They may now be non-existent. 

But if Trump somehow weathers this storm, an electoral map that puts him in the White House can be cobbled together if he can swing just a few battleground states in his direction.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

September 2016 federal polling averages

Below you will find the federal polling averages for the month of September. The averages combine four federal polls (Léger, Mainstreet, and Forum x 2) and one Quebec poll (CROP), altogether surveying 10,481 Canadians.

Compared to the August 2016 averages, the Liberals were up 1.8 points, the Conservatives were unchanged, the New Democrats were down two points, and the Greens were down 0.5 points.

Monthly tracking chart

The tracking chart below shows the monthly polling averages stretching back to January 2009. Elections and campaigns as well as the arrival of new federal leaders are also included.

You can click or tap on the chart above to magnify it.

Seat projections

The chart below shows how many seats each of the parties would have won in an election held in this month. This seat projection uses the current first-past-the-post system. For full methodology, see here.

The tracking chart below shows the maximum and minimum seat ranges (which are wider than the likely ranges above) projected for each party since the 2015 federal election.
You can click or tap on the chart above to magnify it.

Seat projections with alternate electoral systems

The chart below shows potential seat outcomes using alternative electoral systems.

In addition to first-past-the-post (FPTP), the chart shows estimations for proportional representation (PR) and alternative voting (AV).

For PR, each province retains the number of seats they currently have. The number of seats each party receives is rounded up or down according to the vote share received in each province, and any leftover seats are awarded to the party that finished in first place in the region.

A very simple calculation is done for AV. Because the Liberals and New Democrats tend to be each other's second choice, they are awarded any seat where they are projected to be in first place (along with the Greens). Any seat that the Conservatives or Bloc Québécois leads with 45 per cent or more is awarded to that party. Any seat where the Conservatives or Bloc Québécois is in first place but with less than 45 per cent is given to the Liberals, the NDP, or the Greens, depending on which of these parties was in second place.

Though a crude method, past experience with more sophisticated methods have yielded virtually identical results in the current political landscape.

These projections also assumes no change of behaviour by the parties based on the system in place, no change in the behaviour of voters, and no other parties on the ballot. All of these assumptions are likely to be greatly tested in any change to the electoral system.

The Pollcast: The second presidential debate, the media, and the polls

The next confrontation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will take place on Sunday at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The first debate did not go very well for Trump. Since that debate, Clinton's lead over the Republican nominee has grown in national polls and her electoral college advantage has solidified. At the second presidential debate, can Trump do anything to turn his campaign around?

Joining me to discuss the upcoming debate and the role of the media and polls on the U.S. presidential campaign is Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of Vox.

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