Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brief Ontario update

The projection has been updated with a poll from Oracle Research, who we heard from earlier in the campaign. The poll is older than the most recent Ipsos Reid survey, however, as it dates from May 23-27. It was a telephone poll interviewing 1,000 people for Environmental Communications Options, a consultancy. The poll gave the PCs 36% support against 32% for the Liberals, 25% for the NDP, and 7% for the Greens.

Had the poll been included along with the other survey completed on May 27 by Forum Research, the dramatic swing that occurred with the addition of the Ipsos poll yesterday would have been lessened, as in the prior update the PCs would have narrowly led in the vote and seat count. The range tracker graphic on the projection page has been retroactively updated to show this.

The Oracle poll is interesting as their previous survey had shown a very large lead for the Tories (42% to 31%), just as an Ipsos poll done at the same time did. And now they show a close race leaning PC, just as Ipsos has in their eligible-voter tally released on Thursday. It helps to clarify the picture somewhat.

While I do not include internal party polls or interest-group polls in the projection model, I have included those commissioned by consultancies before (Hill & Knowlton in 2013 in British Columbia), as well as the previous Oracle poll and the riding polls being done by Oracle in the party leaders' ridings. In addition, Oracle Research has conducted polls in other races over the last few years, notably British Columbia and in a number of Ontario by-elections.

46 comments:

  1. And now the question is what will happen in the next Eleven days. Seems like PC support is slowly waning but will it drop below the threshold of a minority Govt ??

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    1. Is it waning, though? Or is it firming back upward after the initial scare that came from public sector job cuts announcement now that people have a better idea of what the plan actually involves? Forum showed a drastic shift after that announcement and two polls with the Liberals in a notable lead - with one even above 40 - only for their latest poll to show the Liberals reduced back to a tie with the Tories. Ipsos is still showing a rather significant lead for the Tories among Likely Voters which hasn't change much at all during this campaign, too. To say that the polls during this campaign has been confusing is an understatement. I don't think there has been enough consistency among any pollster where one could realistically claim trending support for any one party, as even the NDP are bouncing from the low to high 20s.

      Following the polls and seeing how the numbers play is a fun exercise among political junkies for sure, but I get the feeling there isn't going to be a clear picture until the day we actually vote and see the results as they roll in that evening.

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    2. Not sure if there is an established trend that would override whatever effect the debate will have. If Hudak is strong or Wynne goofs up, then they may move over 40%. The opposite is also true. If Wynne can come across as competent and trustworthy while Hudak is fake and confused in his numbers, then the Libs can still win this thing.

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    3. Peter,

      Sorry to tell you Hudak is on the cusp of a majority. Kathleen Wynne will lose her seat.

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    4. No I think it's another Lib minority and Hudak will lose his seat and leadership !

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    5. It is extremely unlikely that either Wynne or Hudak will lose their seat.

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    6. I give you one name

      Pauline Marois !!

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    7. Marois won her riding by 13 points in 2012, at a low-point for the Liberals. Both Hudak and Wynne won their ridings by a margin double that size in 2011.

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    8. Who cares ?? It doesn't matter. This is an ELECTION. That's the one where the public views are set by relatively irrelevant stuff that is really "talking points" and personal impressions not facts !

      And bluntly Hudak does NOT come over well on TV !! I stand by what I said !

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    9. Only chance that Wynne or Hudak will lose their seats is if the opposite's party gets a 75+ seat majority, which is defiantly not happening!

      Horwath is pretty safe in Hamilton Centre too despite how the NDP campaign goes across the province.

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    10. Big Jay,

      I wouldn't be so sure about Hudak and Wynne. Couillard won a fairly small majority in Quebec and Marois lost what should be a "safe" PQ seat. Clark won a modest majority and she lost her seat. I don't think a rout is a pre-requisite to a leader losing his or her seat although, a majority for the opposition party probably is.

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    11. Daniel,

      I agree that rout is not a pre-requisite for a leader losing their seat.

      However, Wynne's Don Valley West and Hudak's Niagara Falls West Glanbrook are relatively safe seats for their respective parties. During, the last election the former won with a 28 point lead, and the latter won with a 24 point lead.

      The Tories can probably win other Toronto ridings before knocking down Wynne. And the Liberals can win other small town ridings before they knock out Hudak.

      The anti-Wynne or anti-Hudak sentiment is not strong enough in their ridings that they will lose their seat unless the opposite party wins a large majority.

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    12. Big Jay,

      The anti-Iggy sentiment was not a organised force in 2011 but, he lost his seat. There was very much an organised anti-Christy sentiment in 2013 and she lost but, just barely.

      Don Valley West is a swing riding, Wynne may be popular but she is certainly beatable. The riding has a Tory M.P. and when up against John Tory in 2007 Wynne won by a mere 5,000 votes. If we are to believe the polls the OLP is retaining about 85% of their 2011 vote. Since, 90% of the vote in DVW goes Liberal or Tory a drop in the Liberal vote is almost certainly to be picked up by the PCs.

      Hudak's seat is also a swing riding but as the polls indicate the PC vote is up this election I think he has a greater likelihood of retaining his seat.

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    13. Tim Hudak lose his seat?Now I've heard it all on the specualtion of this election.

      I live in Niagara West Glanbrook. Tim Hudak WILL be my MPP after this election, he is very popular locally and has won over 50% of the vote even in elections like 2007 where the PC's did terrible.

      His opponents are weaker than he's ever faced before and the riding itself is very conservative with big margins federally. Tim will get at least high 40's in % terms of votes and likely closer to 53-55%.

      The real race in Niagara West-Glanbrook is who will finish 2nd, it could be the NDP who finished 2nd here in the last federal election.

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  2. The Oracle poll would give me:

    46 PC
    41 OLP
    20 NDP

    And the new 308-average gives me:

    48 PC
    40 OLP
    19 NDP

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  3. The result is not IMO completely dependent upon the debate. Earlier I called the race for Hudak. I was wrong in that call, although he may yet win.

    At this juncture the I don't think people are very engaged. The fact that Hudak's million jobs claim has now been shown to be farcical leaves him to either admit his mistake or appear as a liar. At this stage of the campaign we now get to see how strongly the electors of ON want a change. The debate should clarify these things and polls in the wake of the debate should clarify the race.

    What happened to the NDP? I have to think that given the various likely outcomes that Ms. Horwath will regret defeating the government.

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    1. The issues surrounding the math in Hudak's platform may be the talk of the town among those who are always are politically engaged (like us posting here), but it isn't among those who are not. Hudak doesn't need to admit anything about it and it won't do anything to change how people who have already decided are going to vote. For the remaining swing voters out there, it's more about the talking points and the presentation rather than the nuts and bolts. The whole Mars situation as well as the Ornge charges laid yesterday may have a positive impact for the Tories (are the numbers reflecting it now? Don't know), but I'm not holding my breath for it to be anything significant.

      With a race this close the debates will play a bigger role than they have in the past, and none of the three leaders are particularly good speakers all for completely different reasons. To their credit, at least Hudak and Horwath have been through one before and know what they're in for.

      As for the NDP, my gut tells me they're not going to fall off the face of the earth like some have been suggesting. They might take a bit of a hit in Toronto, but they'll still hold on to their core ridings like the Hamiltons, Welland, ones in the north, etc. At this stage I don't see them doing much worse - if at all worse - than in 2011, but I could see them losing all their byelection gains. Will she regret bringing the government down? If Hudak wins, probably not - she'll have a fresh face to work with. If Wynne wins, probably yes - too much bad blood.

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    2. The NDP will be fine with a Liberal minority. Wynne getting elected on her own gives the government a clean(ish?) slate, allowing the NDP to collaborate with the Liberals without the stink of the gas plants, and lets the Liberals either live up to their new leftiness supported by the NDP, or prove that the last budget was a jonny-come-lately scenario.

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    3. Horwath is already on the record saying that Wynne didn't live up to any of the agreements they had, so in that respect there will never be a 'clean slate' between the two do them to work with.

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    4. There will be a clean(ish) slate because the NDP can't afford another election, they're likely to lose seats in this election, they'll probably be in the process of electing a new leader, and they will get creamed at the polls if there is another vote in the next few years. As we all know, saying something "on record" is meaningless.

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    5. That isn't a clean slate. That's called the Liberals governing a minority as if they have a majority.

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  4. Methodology seems to trump recency.

    Ipsos seems always to lean one way while Ekos always seems to lean the other way, poll after poll.

    Faced with this trend, weighted averaging in favour of immediacy does not produce valid tending information

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  5. I wonder how many people surveyed are solid in their support for a party versus those who are relatively uncertain and simply pick a choice for the benefit of the survey. There is also the televised election debate which could potentially have enough of an impact to swing things more in one party's favor than before.

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    1. Given how late the debates are this year, some people will have already voted in the advance polls. I wonder if the pollsters try to keep track of this?

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  6. I always lie to pollsters. It is the best way to jerk the politicians around. What benefit is there to me in having politicians confident in polling?

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  7. You peg NDP support in Toronto/416 at 26.4%

    The most recent polls show them at:
    - Ipsos-Reid 22%
    - Forum 17%
    - Abacus 22%
    - EKOS 23.7%


    How did you come up with your number?

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    1. I pulled it out of a hat, of course!

      I use likely voter numbers when available. Ipsos had the NDP at a much higher level of support among likely voters in Toronto.

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    2. Can you publish the Ipsos regional breakdowns for likely voters? Or are the samples too small?

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    3. I was asked not to publish them because of the small sample sizes.

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  8. From my experience with the Quebec election, the debates will mean everything. They are what put Couillard over the edge to majority in Quebec. This is despite the fact that the PQ campaign offered the bombshell of a right-wing, Sun News-owning, PK Peladeau joining the "socialist" PQ and giving a rousing speech on Quebec independence. That led to a moderate federalist shift towards the Liberals that didn't really consolidate until the debates.

    The Ontario campaign has not had not defining moment like this. There is no discernible trend in the polls, just a lot of methodological noise and a few phantom trends visible only to those looking hard for one.

    I think it will come down to the impression Wynn makes. Those that don't follow politics closely do not really know her as she has not campaigned before.

    I will say, though, that when the electorate as this many doubts about all the candidates it usually ends up in a minority government.

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    1. I don't think people really watch the political debates. I think most people get their information on the debate through a 30 second re-cap on network news or a summary on a newspaper.

      The media likes to focus on one-liners and potential knock out punches, so it may come down to that.

      I think Hudak needs to overcome his awkwardness (i.e. the TTC subway issue during the early part of the campaign). Hudak can't have a moment he is frozen and smiling due to the attack of another candidate.

      Wynne will need to be good at deflecting the attacks of previous scandals. The biggest anchor on the Liberals is that they are running a tired government.

      Horwath needs to present to voters what her vision of the province is and how it differentiates from the Liberals and PCs.
      She also cannot go overboard on attacking the Liberals on corruption (which will benefit Hudak).

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    2. They may not watch the debate but they will watch the clips from the debate on the news. If there are zingers, people will hear about them. And the media will pronounce on the debate winners and losers. No candidate wants to lose a debate. Debates are huge, esp. in an election that is supposedly this tight.

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  9. Does Oracle ever release any regional breaks in their polling? It should be noted that the polling by Oracle is the ONLY public domain polling we have seen in this entire campaign that uses what used to be the standard methodology - an RDD telephone poll with LIVE interviewers...all the other polling we see is either based on online panels or based on IVR automated polling...if these disparities continue this election will also put some methodologies to a real test

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  10. Headline: Most election polls unreliable: experts

    Link: http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2014/05/30/tired-of-trying-to-make-sense-of-ontario-election-polls-ignore-them-say-experts/#.U4tcvPlSYlR


    This article is a concise analysis of what is going wrong with the Media polls.

    The experts quoted with explanations as to why polls are wrong are:

    Allan Gregg, who currently serves as Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group,

    Daniel Cohn, professor of Public Policy and Administration at York University,

    Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the polling industry's professional body

    Frank Graves, president of Ekos Research

    Best Line from the article:

    "Pollsters then compound their problems by trying to explain their findings using factors they haven't analyzed."

    My take on the polling situation:

    If (to use the climate change fanatics phraseology) bad inaccurate polls are settled science......

    I have to ask what is the purpose of publishing the polls. They are obviously being used as political campaigning tools and likely should be banned.

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    1. No, neither the MRIA nor Frank Graves agreed with the premise of the article. The MRIA was quoted in terms of online polls and MOEs, and Graves was quoted to discuss how pollsters are adapting.

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    2. If polls are inaccurate and useless, why do political parties use them and keep them secret? Do they enjoy wasting their money?

      Moreover, Nate Silver very accurately predicted Obama's victory in the last U.S. election to within several decimal points. He just had more and better information than Canadian pollsters have.

      Polling information for my riding allowed me to switch my vote from Liberal to NDP last election in order to vote out the defeat the Bloc Quebecois. The polls accurately showed and NDP surge, so I switched my vote and the NDP candidate won.

      As a strategic voter and someone who advocates strategic voting, banning polls would deprive me and other Canadians of information to make an informed decision.

      If anything, with certain political parties actively pursing voter suppression campaigns, voters need more information, not less. All political parties should be required to publicize all their polling numbers as they collect it. Taxpayers pay for it, and they should be able to benefit from it.

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    3. Of course Graves and the MRIA wouldn't agree. The article attacks their bottom line !! Sheesh !!

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    4. Gus,

      Anecdotal information is great and often more indicative of voters' preferences or feelings than polls. You certainly did not need polls in 2011 to predict the Liberals would do badly. Ignatieff's debate performance, the preceding leadership struggle, the fact the Liberals had no enthusiasm to stage a proper leadership race in 2009, Iggy's question period performances, the coalition shananigans all indicated a Liberal party in serious trouble and decline.

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  11. Eric

    Can we expect a flood of polls Wednesday and Thursday after tomorrow nights debate ??

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  12. Eric, Will you be doing an analysis of the Toronto mayoral race?

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  13. So where are Nanos and Angue Reid this time around? In 2011 those two companies represented 11 of the 26 polls released during the election. We have also not seen Leger this time around.

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  14. Eric are you going to look at that Quebec poll that rejects the PQ and basically said more involvement with Canada ??

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  15. Need more polls. Going into withdrawal.

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