Friday, July 15, 2011

PCs open double-digit lead over Liberals in Ipsos poll

With less than three months to go before the Ontario vote, Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives hold a double-digit lead over the governing Liberals, with solid support among older voters living outside of Toronto and a competitive race between the two parties in and around the city.

The latest poll from Ipsos-Reid pegs PC support at 42 per cent, well ahead of the Liberals’ 31 per cent. The New Democrats, with 22 per cent, trail in third.

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website.

The standing Ontario projection has been updated with the results of this Ipsos-Reid poll only. As you can see, the Progressive Conservatives are still on track for a majority but the Liberals are no longer relegated to third spot. But with a margin of only six seats separating the Liberals from the New Democrats, the Official Opposition spot is still up for grabs.

The poll tracker at the bottom of the page has also been updated, as has the polling trends chart in the right-hand column

The Ontario model is coming along nicely, I just have to input the 'factors' into it and it will be ready to go. Shortly after that, ThreeHundredEight will be maintaining a running projection using an aggregate of all available polls.

I'm not sure what to do about individual riding projections, however. I was not very pleased that they were reported as news during the federal election campaign. I could just present which party is projected to win each riding or give only regional breakdowns. Or, are the individual riding projections useful and interesting to you readers and worth presenting in full?

I'm also trying to settle on how best to report the regional breakdown of Ontario's seats. Currently, I'm working with four regions: Ottawa and eastern Ontario (14 seats), northern Ontario (11 seats), southwestern and central Ontario (42 seats), and the GTA (40 seats). There doesn't seem to be any consensus on how seats should be broken down, especially since the "regions" of Ontario aren't very well defined, unlike Quebec. This, too, I open up to my readers for comment.


  1. I think that if you have regions with as few 11 or 14 seats, you can further divide the GTA into City of Toronto and 905 outer belt. Many if not most Ontario polls do split these up. I'd also like to know which tidings you consider to be "southwest/central" as opposed to eastern

  2. I won't lie, I used the Wikipedia page's breakdown of the 2007 election to determine the regions. I needed a ready-made list.

    The list is here:,_2007_(candidates)

    Based on that list, "Ottawa and East" includes those ridings listed as in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario.

    "Greater Toronto" includes those listed as in Toronto, Brampton/Mississauga/Oakville and Southern Durham/York.

    "Northern Ontario" includes those listed in Northern Ontario.

    And "Southwest and Central" includes those listed as in Central Ontario, Hamilton/Burlington/Niagara, Midwestern Ontario, and Southwestern Ontario.

    I'm completely open to suggestions for change.

  3. And as for polls, the polling firms don't break up the regions of Ontario uniformly, and it is difficult to know whether Ipsos-Reid and Angus-Reid both define "northern Ontario" the same way.

    Also, the sample sizes for the regions is often tiny, even smaller than the Atlantic Canada samples for federal polls.

  4. I really enjoyed reading the full riding breakdowns actually. There were flaws with it in the last federal election, but like polls it is a breakdown on what the field looks like at that point in time and not definitive.

    As a political junkie, I thought they were great to have

  5. Yeah, there is a lot of inconsistency - for example some firms lump Hamilton/Niagara in with the southwest and others lump it in with "central" and others make it a separate region!

    Here is what I would suggest though. I think that the "Central" region in that wikipedia link needs to be broken up. here is what I would do: Move Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, and Northumberland-Quinte into the "eastern region" which is otherwise a bit too small anyways. Then move Durham, Dufferin-Caledon and Newmarket-Aurora and maybe York-Simcoe into "outer belt GTA". Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound should definitely be in "southwest" - then that just leaves you with Barrie, Simcoe Grey and Simcoe North to allocate - I would say merge them with whichever of "eastern" or "southwestern" is smaller!

  6. I would love to see you do the same % breakdowns for the Ontario election. It would help me for my own prediction research.

    Also, for regions... North, East, Central, Toronto (416), 905 (excl. Hamilton-Niagara), Hamilton-Niagara, Midwest and Southwest make good regions.

  7. I loved your full riding projections during the federal election.


  8. I like the individual seat projections when coupled with notes on how close things are--this allows one to have a feel for what are effectively toss-ups.

    I would not over-emphasize making the regions balanced in terms of number of ridings. Living in Renfrew, which is under at least some schemes the north-western corner of the east, I do think that there are cultural fault lines in Ontario which can be captured by geographic region. North, East, Toronto, 905, and south-western seem solid--some further divison might be possible, but it is more important that a riding be placed as accurately as possible within these divisons than that the divisons be of equal size.

    You might want to check out the divisons at the following link.

  9. I agree with DL that the GTA should be divided into the city of Toronto and the greater region aka the 905. The two areas have very different dynamics.

  10. While I don't have any interest in riding-by-riding data in Ontario, that's likely because I don't know Ontario very well. If you were projecting Alberta, Saskatchewan, or BC, I would defintely want individual riding projections (particularly in BC, given how mercurial the BC electorate is).

    As such, I suspect there is considerable desire among your readers for individual riding projections.

  11. How about regions by telephone area code for Ontario? Usually the demographics of the area code are similar and usually vote in a block. 519 is SW Ontario, 905 is the Golden Horseshoe, 416 is Toronto, 613 is Ontario East, 705 is Central Ontario, and 807 is Northern Ontario. There may be some problems with unequal distributions of seats with this method.

    EF from TO

  12. Good ideas and good suggestions. People seem to want individual projections, so I will cave to demand once I am at that stage.

  13. "705 is Central Ontario, and 807 is Northern Ontario."

    FYI: 705 includes large parts of northern Ontario including Sudbury, Timmins and the Soo (as well as coming south as far as Peterborough). 807 is just the far northwest of the province (ie: Thunder Bay, kenora etc...)

    BTW: Can you give us the complete regional numbers from the Ipsos poll - the news reports are very incomplete.

  14. Take Northern Ontario to be that area north of the French River and Lake Nipissing, but including North Bay.

    Then take all the ridings then remaining surrounding Georgian Bay.

    The other clearly definable areas would be:

    City of Toronto (although I wonder whether an inner/outer split would help in analysis)

    Peel/York/Durham + Oakville
    Halton (ex Oakville)/Hamilton/Niagara

    And then the remainder would constitute Southwestern Ontario and Eastern Ontario.

    At least, that has been my observation as to how Ontario's elections results have broken down in the past. Individual results are OK, it is still preferable to aggregate according to common historical traits.

  15. Perhaps it is best to just keep it simple with 6 regions (based on the given regions on Wikipedia's Ontario 2007 Election page):

    1. Northern Ontario (11 seats)
    2. Central Ontario (11 seats)
    3. Eastern Ontario - includes Ottawa (14 seats)
    4. Southwestern Ontario - includes ridings from both midwestern and southwestern Ontario (21 seats)
    5. GTA/Golden Horseshoe - includes Southern Durham & York + Brampton, Mississauga & Oakville + Hamilton, Burlington & Niagara (28 seats)
    6. Toronto (22 seats)

    - AW

  16. latest poll from Ipsos-Reid pegs PC support at 42 per cent


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