Monday, September 26, 2011

McGuinty and Selinger in majority territory

With less than two weeks to go in Ontario’s election campaign, voters remain split on who should form the province’s next government. But that is good news for the incumbent Liberals, since were an election held at the end of last week Dalton McGuinty would have likely won a razor-thin majority.

To read the full details of today's Ontario projection update, check out The Globe and Mail website here. The riding projection in the right-hand column is also updated.

A few words on the Forum Research poll that came out this Saturday. The size of the poll should not be over-emphasized. The +/- 0.5 point margin of error only applies to a truly random sample, and of course no poll is taken in a vacuum. As many pointed out during the census debate, increasing the sample size doesn't erase errors in the methodology. That is not to say there is a problem with Forum's methodology, only that a poll of 40,000 people isn't automatically the be-all and end-all of polling.

Because the poll was so large, riding level numbers were also released. Aside from a few cases, often in ridings that the firm itself called "anomalies", the riding polls in the GTA matched comfortably well with my own projections. I haven't seen many numbers outside of the GTA yet, however.
But the big news today is out of Manitoba. CJOB News is reporting on a new poll by Viewpoints Research. As it is radio, they are stretching out the release of details throughout the day, so for now all we have is the decided vote: 41% for the New Democrats, 32% for the Progressive Conservatives, and 5% for the Liberals. Another 19% are undecided, which means we can extrapolate that 51% of decided voters are supporting the NDP, 40% the Progressive Conservatives, 6% the Liberals, and 4% the Greens.

As I am starved for new information out of the province, I will use these numbers for the projection until the full decided/leaners details are released later today. Another poll is apparently scheduled for release tonight, so the situation in Manitoba is finally going to be a little clearer.
The New Democrats are now projected to take 50.2% of the vote, up 10.3 points since the last projection from the end of July. The Progressive Conservatives are down 4.8 points to 39.5%.

The Liberals have sunk 5.5 points to only six per cent support, while the Greens are down 0.1 point to 3.9%.

This results in the New Democrats winning 39 seats in the 57-seat legislature, a comfortable majority. The Progressive Conservatives win 18 and the Liberals are shut-out (though just barely). That is a gain of six seats for the NDP since the last projection and a loss of two for the Liberals and four for the Tories.

The New Democrats have picked up two seats in the southeast and four in Winnipeg, giving them 27 of the 31 seats in the capital. They are running close to the PCs in the rest of the province, however, with 12 seats to 14. The Tories have lost two seats in southeastern Manitoba and three in Winnipeg, but gained one seat from the Liberals in the capital. The New Democrats took the other.

There are only a few close races in the province, and the Liberals are implicated in one of them. Otherwise, the seat range for the NDP and Tories is between 16 and 20 seats for the PCs and 37 and 41 seats for the NDP.

The ranges chart gives a visual representation of the distance between the parties.
With the new numbers being put out by CJOB today and the rumoured other numbers appearing tonight, I should be able to update the Manitoba projection tomorrow as well. Prince Edward Island is going to report soon, and Manitoba is supposed to have at least one more poll at the end of the week. We'll undoubtedly have some new Ontario numbers soon as well.

Also, check out my column in today's The Hill Times. It requires a subscription to read online (the paper edition is available in many downtown kiosks in Ottawa), but is well worth it (the online subscription, that is).

31 comments:

  1. Looks like my predicted return of McGuinty was on track, eh?

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  2. I'd be interested to see how the PEI numbers have moved, with all the immigration scheme talk.

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  3. I'm hoping we get some more Ontario numbers either today or tomorrow to set us up going into the debate tomorrow. It's been almost two weeks since either Nanos or Ipsos reported vote intention numbers, a week for Angus-Reid and close to three weeks for Harris/Decima. I'm also curious why EKOS hasn't released any polling at all for the Ontario election.

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  4. Anonymous always get it right...and wrong for that matter.

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  5. Where can we see the riding by riding breakdown for outside of the GTA?

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  6. I think you need to use some thoguht and common sense in your projection.

    The PCPO is leading by .6 % but the lower end of the OLP's seat range is 1 higher than the high end of the PCPO's seat range

    asdf

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  7. The Manitoba poll was done by Viewpoints research based on less than 600 people surveyed. The pollsters, Viewpoints, is the NDP's campaign manager from 2007, and Gary Doer's wife, Ginny Devine. Quite simply, it is not a credible poll. In the municipal election last fall, viewpoints had a poll that came out that was 25% off. It had the NDP candidate leading by over 10 points, and she lost by 15 points. So project accordingly but I suspect that you will be eating your words. You should have waited for a more credible poll to do your projections :)

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  8. I don't see a problem, the last time Viewpoints and Probe released a poll in the same month they were almost identical.

    There will be others before the vote, don't worry.

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  9. @Anonymous 11:20

    I suggest you read Eric's methodology. The reality is in a first past the post system, where you get your votes matters just as much as how many votes you get. Take a look at the 1996 BC election (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia_general_election,_1996) - the NDP got a majority government even though the BC Liberals got 2.3% more of the vote than them.

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  10. Or to be more glib, our though and common sense have nothing to do with how our elections work :)

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  11. I think the Ontario Forum poll might have been accurate in % of vote, but too many ridings especially in Toronto are way off Eric's projections.The tories could still win in alot of close ridings if they get out the 55+ voters and the under 25s vote in lower numbers as usual
    Ericrw

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  12. Its true that Viewpoints has ties to the NDP - but their polling in the mayoral election in Winnipeg was not off by anywhere near as much as the earlier poster implies. They did a poll about a month before election day in Winnipeg and had it almost dead even with Judy W-L leading by low single digits. She ended up losing by about 6% - we will never know whether that earlier Viewpoints poll was actually "wrong" or was correct for when they were in field - a month before the election.

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  13. Except that there arent any really close ridings in 416 area Toronto that are PC/Liberal battles, only one within 11% last time and even if a few incumbents are retiring I find it very hard to see the PCs winning more than 2 seats in the area if they are tied provincewide with the Liberals. Not that they couldnt win the election anyways but this would involve significant gains everywhere else in the province, which would be an unlikely result without a breakthrough in Toronto.

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  14. Hi Eric, I'm a long time listener fist time caller. Huge fan of your work.

    I just was wondering about your model numbers in the Manitoba election case. CJOB and the Winnipeg Free press are reporting the popular vote projections are 41 NDP, 32 PC and 5 Liberal. I'm just not clear why your popular vote numbers are different.

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  15. Hi DeeVo,

    Good to have you comment!

    The difference is that CJOB and the WFP are including the 19% undecided in those numbers. 41% + 32% + 5% adds up to only 78%, after all.

    I'm using the percentage of decided voters, so that is after taking out the 19% and adjusting the rest proportionately.

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  16. Any chance we will see a Yukon election projection? Or are there insufficient numbers for such a projection?

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  17. Have there been any Yukon polls?

    I think it is too small a jurisdiction for this kind of model. Even PEI could be pushing it.

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  18. Datapath Systems did a poll for the Yukon this summer Eric. I can't find it on their website though it is reported here (http://www.electionalmanac.com/canada/yukon/polls.php).

    One interesting thing for Manitoba is that this poll ended on the 21st, and the leaders' debate was held on the 23rd. Will be interesting to see if things changed since.

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  19. I spoke too soon:

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/breakingnews/manitoba-tories-hold-slight-lead-in-new-environics-opinion-poll-130576928.html

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  20. New poll from Abacus, this time using the traditional ballot question: PC 37, Lib 33, NDP 23. This time they asked both traditional and non-traditional ballot questions. Using their non-traditional ballot question, the result after distributing those who didn't rate any party higher than any other, was PC 38, Lib 30, NDP 25.

    http://abacusdata.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Ballot-Ontario-Sept-26-2011.pdf

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  21. From Abacus - "David is the Pollster for Sun News"

    Hmm.

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  22. Yeah and by extension Quebecor !!

    Abacus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Summa.

    Tell us anything ??

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  23. Its funny that one of the only articles I have read about the Manitoba election seemed to suggest that the Manitoba Liberals thought they were going to have a huge showing. Doesn't look like it, does it???

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  24. It seems, so far, that none of the polling companies really agree on where actual support for the parties lies. But if you look at the "opinion polls" section on Wikipedia's article about this election and look at the trends by polling firm, ALL of them show a gradual movement of support from the PCs to the Liberals, even if some of them have the PCs ahead and others have the Liberals ahead.

    @Five 0 Six, there certainly are close races in Toronto. In York Centre, for example - it may just be where I live, but I'm seeing a lot more Conservative than Liberal signs when I walk around the neighbourhood. If Kwinter hangs on, it will probably be by a hair-thin margin.

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  25. It really doesn't mean anything. Ipsos and Forum are the pollsters for the Star, but that doesn't seem to translate into unreasonably good numbers for the Liberals, and the fact that Nanos is the pollster for the G&M and CTV doesn't seem to inflate Conservative/PC numbers. Any major news outlet is going to need a polling company.

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  26. I was looking at the breakdown of the latest abacus poll. The Tories are polling 36% with 18-29 year olds and only 32% with 30-44 year olds is mind boggling. NDP and Green support is also stronger with the 30-44 year old group than 18-29 group is hard to believe.

    One thing that is evident with almost all polls is that the Tories are extremely weak in Toronto. I don't think they would win a single riding in the 416. This would be an embarrassing result for the provincial Tories, months after the success of their municipal and federal cousins.

    I wonder what Rocco Rossi would be doing come October 7th?

    - Maple

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  27. TS - Yah I'm just giving Abacus a hard time. I suspect a lot of the difference is just from statistical noise and from what appears to be a more stringent likely voter screen, not a deliberate attempt to manipulate the numbers. It'll be interesting to see how they perform.

    What'd I'd love to see though is the detailed data. Abacus reports based on how likely people are to vote for one party or another. I'd love to see how this correlates between parties. Are there a bunch of people who are waffling between the NDP and Liberals? The NDP and Conservatives? These kinds of things could give us big hints on how things will go down on election day.

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  28. Does anyone anywhere have access to the riding-by-riding results for the Forum Research poll outside the GTA. I have seen many posters and bloggers on various websites refer directly to data from ridings outside the GTA from the Forum Research poll but for the life of me I cannot actually find the list of numbers from the Forum Research poll for non-GTA ridings anywhere. I'm not sure where all those posters and bloggers got their information from but I have looked very carefully and it doesn't seem to be anywhere. I'm curious to see those numbers. Anybody have any insight on why those numbers are invisible for me but apparently not for certain other people?

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  29. They don't seem to be available online, but were published in full in Sunday's Toronto Star.

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  30. Well tonight may or then again may not settle things a bit in Ontario.

    Leaders debate !!!

    Will Hudak put his foot in it again?? Tonight we'll find out.

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  31. Eric, any chance you can access the full details of the Forum poll? I am very interested to see the details, especially how they are weighting the respondents versus the actual part of the population that votes.

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