Thursday, May 12, 2011

Turnover to provincial coverage

In the coming days and weeks, ThreeHundredEight will be changing over to coverage of provincial elections. The graphic on the top of the page makes that clear. Mixed in with post-election analysis of the May 2nd federal election will be updates here and there to prepare the website for provincial coverage, with a few administrative changes thrown in as well.

Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador (in that order) will be having their provincial elections between October 3 and October 11. Saskatchewan will be having theirs on November 7. As provincial campaigns generally last a month, we should be in a campaign from the beginning of September until the vote in Saskatchewan, barring any surprises that may come from a province like British Columbia. But for all intents and purposes, the campaigns in these provinces are already under way.

The graphic on the top of the page will be covering the four provincial elections scheduled for October. Saskatchewan's projections will be kept in the right-hand column until the four October elections are completed.

Of course, ThreeHundredEight will also be keeping an eye on the provinces that are not having elections this year, as well as the federal scene. However, with the next federal election not scheduled until October 2015, I will not be maintaining federal projections. And once the five provincial elections are completed, ThreeHundredEight will turn to the elections likely to occur in 2012, such as that of Alberta and Quebec.

I have not yet developed any riding-level models for the five provinces having elections this year. I will work to complete them as soon as possible, using the same projection system that was used in this past federal elections (with a few tweaks here and there based on the new data from the federal campaign). In the meantime, I will keep the graphics up-to-date with the latest polls and a seat projection based on those polls, using the old-style abstract projection model.

The five elections this year should be interesting. Those in Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island are expected to be cakewalks for the governing parties, but this past federal election has demonstrated how things can change. Ontario and Manitoba should have some hotly contested elections, while the campaign in Saskatchewan will probably hand another majority to Premier Brad Wall.

Not all of these elections will be polled to any great extent. As far as I can tell, only one polling firm was active in the 2007 elections in PEI and Manitoba, but five were active in the Ontario campaign. So we should have a steady, but not overwhelming, stream of polls from each of the campaigns.

Suggestions, ideas, and comments are more than welcome as the site changes over to provincial coverage. 


  1. Eric:
    you should still continue to do a federal projection on a timely basis.
    this site adds alot of value.
    best wishes

  2. Perhaps I will do poll-specific projections for some of the federal polls that will be released, but you can expect that with a majority government in place the federal polls will be few and far between.

  3. Just wondering about the dates and companies that provide the numbers for the last polls?

  4. I'll add it to the graphic later today.

    For Ontario, it is a Nanos poll from March. For Manitoba, it's a Probe poll also from March. PEI and NFLD are from CRA in February, while Saskatchewan is from Sigma way back in November.

  5. I'm looking forward to the provincial projections. I know very little about provincial politics outside of the three most western provinces, so this should be quite informative.

    On the federal front, do you have a plan for how to accommodate new ridings should we see the long-awaited additional seats added to parliament?

  6. Of course we may well have a BC election this fall as well - though Christy Clark may be a little gun-shy after coming to close to blowing up on the launch pad in the Point Grey by-election last night!

  7. I'm ecstatic to see that I'm no longer the only one covering this. I'm burnt out, so I'm happy to see efforts being put in by a not-me :P

  8. Ira,

    Once the new boundaries are settled I will deal with the issue. I imagine I will simply portion out the 2011 vote according to how the seats are re-distributed.

    Of course, there will still be 308 seats in the House of Commons until that October 2015 election, so my site's name is safe for the next 4+ years. And if the site is still around by then, I'd hurt the brand more by changing the name than keeping it as a historical relic.

  9. I used to live on PEI. Due to the very small size of seats, personality matters quite a bit. One of the three current/recent PC MLA's might be able to use that personality pull to hold on to their seat despite a Liberal wave, much the same as what happened in 2001. I don't think we will see a shut-out.


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