Monday, May 4, 2015

Alberta NDP maintaining lead

21h10 Update - Final (?) poll of the campaign confirms NDP lead, Notley advantage

What could be the last poll of the campaign was out this evening, from Insights West. Like the other polls, it gives the NDP a very comfortable lead over Wildrose and the PCs, though it does suggest the race in Calgary could be close enough to force some tight contests. But what is most revealing may be the leadership numbers.

Insights West was last in the field between March 27-30, so before the campaign began. That doesn't make it useful from a trends perspective.

The poll gave the NDP 42% support, with Wildrose trailing at 27% and the PCs at 23%. This falls well into line with the other polls we have seen (below).

the poll awarded 4% to the Liberals, 3% to the Alberta Party, and 2% to other parties. A total of 9% of the sample was undecided.

As the poll was conducted online, no margin of error applies. See the link above for full details on the questions asked.

The NDP led in all three regions of the province. In Edmonton, it had 58% support to 16% for both the PCs and Wildrose.

In Calgary, the NDP had 35% support, against 30% for Wildrose and 27% for the PCs. Of the three polls released since yesterday, this is the best one for both the Tories and Wildrose here.

In the rest of the province, the NDP had 35% with Wildrose at 32% and the PCs at 25%.

Fully 82% of respondents agreed it was time for a change of government, while just 35% agreed that they would be upset if the NDP won.

This makes the current climate very different from the 2012 Alberta or 2013 B.C. elections. Rachel Notley is much more popular than either Danielle Smith or Adrian Dix were in those campaigns.

Insights West found that Notley's approval rating was an astounding 62%, with just 21% of Albertans disapproving of her. Apart from Jim Prentice, she scored the lowest on the number of 'unsures'.

Prentice had an approval rating of just 25%, and he was the only leader with a majority disapproval rating (63%).

The other leaders had mixed ratings, with Brian Jean posting a 35% to 40% split, David Swann having an approval rating of 33% to 36% disapproval, and Greg Clark splitting the question 20% to 23%. A majority of Albertans did not have an opinion about the Alberta Party leader.

And just like other polls have shown, opinion has deeply soured on Prentice. Just 6% of Albertans said their opinion of him had improved during the campaign, compared to 52% who said it worsened. By contrast, 52% of Albertans said their opinion of Notley improved, while just 11% said it worsened. These are very consistent numbers with what we've seen from ThinkHQ and Léger last week.

Notley beat Prentice by a wide margin on being the better leader on health care, the environment, education, crime, housing and poverty, and government accountability. She was narrowly ahead, 28% to 24%, on the economy and jobs, and narrowly behind, 23% to 27%, on energy and pipelines. This is a little asterisk to keep in mind tomorrow night.

But on who would make the best premier, Notley scored 37% to just 18% for Prentice and 13% for Jean. Christy Clark and Alison Redford did not trail so far, nor were their approval ratings as low as Prentice's, the day before their victories.

16h18 Update - EKOS poll still shows NDP in front, lead growing

EKOS, in the field as recently as yesterday, adds to the trend of the Alberta New Democrats holding their own and, seemingly, in little danger of a last minute slide.

EKOS's previous poll was last in the field between April 25 and 29.

Since that survey, the NDP has picked up 2.1 points to move further into the lead with 44.3% support. Wildrose was up 2.7 points to 24%, while the PCs were down 0.6 points to 22.5%.

All margin of error shifts, but certainly arguing against a softening of NDP support and a rebound by the Tories. They are almost 22 points behind the NDP. How plausible is it really to still consider this a three-way race? We wouldn't in any other election.

The Liberals were down 0.7 points to 5.6%, while the Alberta Party was down 2.4 points to 2.2%. Interestingly for them, their support dwindled to almost nothing everywhere but Calgary, where their leader Greg Clark does have a shot (the projection currently awards his party a seat).

In battleground Calgary (sarcasm), the New Democrats were up to 40.5%, followed by the PCs, down to 22.3%, and Wildrose, down to 22.2%.

The NDP slipped slightly in Edmonton to 58.6%, followed by the PCs at 18.8% and Wildrose, which jumped to 17.7%.

In the rest of the province, the NDP was up to 35.5%, followed by Wildrose at 31.1% and the PCs at 25.9%. Both parties were up slightly as well.

These regional numbers are very similar to what Forum found in its May 2 poll below.

09h53 Update - Alberta NDP maintaing lead

One of the biggest polling issues with the 2012 Alberta election campaign is that too many pollsters dropped out of the field too early. We'll never know if they would have captured anything different had firms like Léger, ThinkHQ, or Abacus Data stayed in the field over that final weekend.

Luckily, it seems that some pollsters are not going to make the same mistake this time. The last round of polls dropped out of the field on Wednesday, leaving Albertans almost week to mull things over. The new round of polls has continued in the field throughout the weekend, and might even include some interviews from today.

Two post-April 29 poll have already been published or are on their way. One, conducted by Forum Research and published yesterday on the Edmonton Journal website, was in the field on Saturday. The other is forthcoming from EKOS Research. Frank Graves hinted at his numbers yesterday on Twitter, and they showed the NDP's lead growing - not shrinking.

Forum was last in the field on April 23, when it was the first mainstream pollster to see the NDP moving into majority territory.

The NDP led in this new poll with 42%, up four points from the previous survey. Wildrose was down one point to 24%, while the Progressive Conservatives were up one point to 21%.

The Liberals were down two points to 5%, while the Alberta Party was down one, also to 5%.

Another 3% said they would vote for another party (down two points).

None of these shifts were outside the margin of error, though the results look a lot like the polls we saw last week.

The numbers argue forcefully that the NDP's lead is going nowhere. There was much speculation that the round of polls published on Thursday and Friday showing the NDP in majority territory would have an effect on people's voting intentions. Instead, it seems to have had no effect. If the PCs were going to stage a comeback, we'd see it somewhere in the trends. Trailing by 21 points is not something that can be overcome in a matter of days. Even Wildrose's lead in 2012 was just eight points, on average, in the final week.

The New Democrats led in the poll in Edmonton with 55%, followed by the Tories at 19% and the Wildrose at 13%. These numbers were mostly unchanged.

The NDP was also ahead in Calgary, moving up to 37%. They were followed by Wildrose at 26% and the PCs at 21%, both of which were stagnant. Even Calgary might not turn out to be the three-way race many people are expecting.

And the NDP also led in northern Alberta, with 38% to 30% for Wildrose and 24% for the PCs, and central Alberta, with 32% to 29% for Wildrose and 27% for the PCs.

Wildrose led only in southern Alberta, with 42% to 37% for the NDP and 16% for the PCs.

Again, we'll have to wait and see what happens on Tuesday. But a lot of the prognosticators saying that the NDP doesn't have the map to win a majority government are ignoring these sorts of numbers. In this poll (which admittedly has small regional samples, but which is in line with others) the NDP has at least 32% outside of the two main cities and is ahead by double-digits in Calgary. If those numbers hold, then they most certainly have the math to win a majority government. These things can happen - would anyone really have considered the NDP a lock to win all of conservative Quebec City's ridings in the last federal election? If the NDP can win Quebec City, it can win Calgary.

112 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Jim Prentice. Now people can stop using Harry Strom as an example of a defeated Premier.

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    1. ... of a self-defeating Premeir.

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    2. I think I'll have a shirt made that say: Yo, Jim - math isn't difficult, look in the mirror

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    3. Ha ha This election could be a real windfall for t-shirt printers. So many bon mots to immortalise.

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  2. What sort of fines or legal ramifications are there for polling companies and media that publish poll that are outside the margin of error?

    Has any party considered suing pollsters for hurting their election chances?

    Are the pollsters going to increase the PC vote? Intuitively I would say it would. Folks that have been satisfied with the 44 PC run have not had a reason to get out to vote until this election.

    If the NDP does not win this election it will be devastating for the NDP party as they have run a great campaign , have a great leader, have an incumbent with a poor campaigner as a leader, an economy in as bad a shape as it has been in a long time. The official opposition leader and significant part of the part leadership quit. This is a once in a generation opportunity for the NDP.


    Publishing the polls that the NDP are likely going to win a majority government is the only thing that should prevent the NDP from actually accomplishing this.



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    1. I think it's utterly terrifying that you are proposing legal action towards public dissemination of information.

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    2. It would be extremely difficult to show harm, which would be necessary for any legal filing.

      If people read the polls correctly, they won't draw false conclusions. If they do draw false conclusions, it's not the pollsters' fault.

      Moreover, how could you ever demonstrate that a poll was outside the margin of error. They're not forecasts; they're snapshots.

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    3. "What sort of fines or legal ramifications are there for polling companies and media that publish poll that are outside the margin of error?"

      With respect, that's a fairly stupid question. First of all, why would there be any legal ramifications? If I want to publish a poll showing the Greens leading by 85%, I can. Nobody has to believe it, but it's not illegal.

      Second, you never know *which* polls are outside the margin of error, only that *some* of them will be. In fact, if none of them are, then you have a problem, statistically speaking.

      Are you seriously suggesting that certain polls should be suppressed because they show the NDP in the lead? What are the parameters that should allow any poll to be published?

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    4. I think you greatly overestimate the degree to which the average voter sees things through your particular lens. What the polls show is that voters are increasingly more comfortable with the notion of an NDP majority, not less. Which argues for their sanity and ability to reason free from exaggerated fears and/or prejudices.

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    5. Ira

      They are saying that right before the election , based on their polling methodology that they should be correct within a specific MOE 19 times out of 20.

      If they are outside of this and yet again we have the 1 out of 20 then they at least should be obligated to remove the MOE and probability statement from the poll.

      Additional they should be forced to add that provided we were able to get a random sample, which was proven wrong by not getting the known age demographic correct.

      @ Yannick

      It is not valid information. The polls are not statistically valid as they have make very specific claims that they are.

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    6. The big question is do the people lead the polls or do the polls lead the people. I think the answer is a mix of both, but moreso lately the polls lead the people, but that's because there's so many of them nowadays.

      What would likely happen if pollsters could be charged for misinformation is there would be less polls, there'd most likely be one set of polls as an election begins and another set of polls as an election ends and none in between.

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    7. @Yannick I am terrified that I could consistently jerry-rig a poll, have it published as fact that the Green party has over 10% of support of all Canadian voters and not be held liable for this sort of propaganda.

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    8. Publishing polls that are 'outside the mOE' do you mean that companies should be fined because of how randomness works? This may seem snarky, it is not meant to be, I honestly want to understand the question.

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    9. Polling companies have an incentive to be accurate. They're in the business of selling market research and if their polls are not accurate they won't get customers.

      Sueing polling companies for being wrong would be like suing the weather man for being wrong. Utterly silly to anyone with a basic comprehension of statistics.

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    10. Chill, people.

      BCVoR's statement wasn't meant to be taken seriously. The purpose of the comment was damage control, recasting a "sure thing" PC victory as an election that the NDP couldn't possibly lose, right from the writ drop. The goal is to minimize perceived Harper weakness this fall. Pollsters were just the hook, but some may have swallowed the line and sinker too.

      Jim Prentice probably regrets that he didn't consult with BCVoR before calling an early election, but nobody else has to connect the dots in such an innovative sequence.

      Michael den Tandt of PostMedia gives a much better--even credible--analysis of how an NDP win in Alberta could help federal Tories: if it turns Ontario Liberal votes orange, the Conservatives may pick up a few more swing ridings there. As commentators would say, This Remains To Be Seen. The biggest losers on Tuesday won't be the Grits.

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    11. @BCVoR - It's called freedom of the press. You can publish whatever you like. It's up to the people to view you with scepticism.

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    12. @BCVoR - I seriously do not understand why you should fine a company for reporting the result of a study. If 10% of respondents say that they support the Green Party, then 10% of respondents say they support the Green Party. That's what the poll is going to report. That is the information. It's real information. It can't be any realer than what people told them on the phone.

      Whether people end up voting that way on election day is really immaterial to what the results of the polls are.

      (In any case they don't - Eric describes how he projects the actual vote result from polling taking into account incubancy, governing/opposition/3rd party/marginal party status, etc... from polling data to account for this)

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    13. I think BCVoR's assumption is that some polling firms are biased against certain parties and that they produce polls that intentionally try to deceive the public and sway election and thus should be punished for their partisan activities. Not sure how else to read it.

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    14. If that was the case, some of the polls would disagree with each other, wouldn't they? It'd be a tall order to prove that they are all maliciously misreporting the facts.

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    15. BCVoR, I wish you could apply the same standards of honesty to actual liars, like, for instance, corporations that claim that cigarettes won't kill you, or those that claim that the oil spill they caused won't have any lasting ill effects, etc. or for the politicians that support such companies.

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    16. Before we kill the polsters howsabout we hold politicians to the fire? Jail time for lying while campaigning? Harper promised over and over again in 2008 that there would not be a deficit if he got back in. Then the next budget set a record for biggest deficit ever and it turned out we were already in deficit going into the election but they were fudging the numbers. McGuinty in Ontario is also a classic case promising not to raise taxes but within minutes (it seemed) of getting in he created a 'health fee' or levy or something dancing around the words to make it not sound like a tax.

      Both got reelected due to terrible choices by their #1 opposition parties (PC's in Ontario, Liberals federally) and large number of voters who alternate between Kang & Kodos thinking there are no other options. Alberta is showing there are other choices as the Liberals die off and the PC's go down in flames most likely tonight.

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    17. chimurenga04 May, 2015 21:54
      BCVoR, I wish you could apply the same standards of honesty to actual liars, like, for instance, corporations that claim that cigarettes won't kill you,


      exactly my point please google "tobacco Companies sued"

      Billions and Billions of of dollars awarded to victims of Tobacco company lies.

      Motor cycles kill more people in the prime of their life as tobacco but motor cycles don't lie about it being save.

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    18. @ Ira It's called freedom of the press. You can publish whatever you like.

      Not if you publish a known falsehood, A Climate Scientist sued the National post and was awarded $50,000

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    19. The 19 times out of 20 thing does not mean that every 20th poll is incorrect. It means that there is a 95 percent chance that the confidence interval captured the parameter (the percentage a party has in support).

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  3. That said, if Prentice does manage to pull this one out, he'll look like a freaking wizard.

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  4. 36 hours to go before witnessing a political event that will be studied in Canadian history/poli sci text books for many years!

    There does not seem to be any indication of a last minute PC boost. In fact, it seems that attacks on the NDP over the last week just contributed to their support being solidified.

    One benefit to the NDP - The right-wing vote is split almost evenly. They could not ask for the vote to be split better than it has (according to the polls). They can win a handful of seats with just 35% of the vote share.

    One hinderance to the NDP - Their GOTV game is definitely weak in parts the province. The Dippers overcame that in Quebec, let's see how it plays in Alberta.

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    1. Indeed, who would have predicted it would be the NDP to end the PC dynasty in Alberta.

      Now, the question is, is Alberta better off with an newly elected NDP government?

      I think all parties are flawed right now but the NDP has run the best campaign. I just am not a supporter of the NDP that's why I include it as flawed. As far as the PC's they have become too comfortable with power and have taken the voters for granted, and with the wildrose their leader is not as strong as their former leader who betrayed them and they are being viewed by most (not me) as fringe right wing.

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  5. Éric:
    I used your riding-by-riding percentages in my Excel spreadsheet. If I use 60% as a cut-off point for certainty that a party wins a particular riding, I see that there are only 15 seat in contention. Of those 15 seats, when I apportion points as 0.50-0.50 when it is a two-way race and 0.33-0.33-0.33 when a three-way race, I get a slightly different seat projection:

    NDP 52 / WR 22 / PC 11 / Others 2

    Anyway, thanks for the great work here.

    Bruno

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    1. Interesting! What if you do the same, but with a higher cutoff, say 80%?

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  6. Here's a prediction:

    After the election, the Liberal Party and the Alberta Party will merge. Probably under the Alberta Party name.

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    1. I agree, the only people voting liberal are the true centrists of the liberal party, but the Alberta party is the most centrist ideologically so Alberta will only need one centrist party, and then for the time being two centre-right parties and one centre-left party. I'd say by 2019 Alberta will have one centre-left, one centrist, and one centre-right.

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    2. Wow, I really don't think so. They have nothing uncommon, and the liberals are hardly going to relinquish the name of one of the two founding parties for that of just another rightist upstart also-ran.

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    3. The Alberta Party and the Liberal Party have almost identical platforms, and the Liberals have been a political non-entity in Alberta for years.

      Many Albertans will never vote Liberal.

      And the PCs in Saskatchewan did voluntary vote themselves out of existence, so it can totally happen.

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    4. The Alberta Party are not 'rightist' but pretty much dead in the centre politically.

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    5. What about the people who voted for the Liberals in 1993? This strikes me as an absurd line of thought. More likely is the dissolution of the Alberta Party...

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    6. I think it depends on the result.

      If the Liberals and Alberta Party win one seat each there can be a merger of equal terms.

      If one of the two parties fail to win a seat, I could see the party becoming defunct and then have their infrastructure absorbed into the other party.

      If the NDP does indeed form a majority government. I think it would be wise for them to break ties with the federal NDP and then invite Liberal and Alberta Party organizers into their party. The Alberta NDP will then be the province's big tent party of progressives and centrists.

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    7. The Liberals have progressively made themselves irrelevant in provincial politics over the past 20 years. At this point, only the tried and true hardcore Grits are still left, and those who live in the ridings of incumbency. There is no growth potential for them elsewhere, but there is for the Alberta Party.

      I really hope Greg Clark becomes the leader of a new merged party, that would have great potential to draw votes both from the left and right.

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  7. Brian Singh at !ABVote has been using Google Surveys and his results have been consistently similar to the polling companies.

    His latest posting http://1abvote.ca/ndp-have-momentum-on-social-cue-for-e-day/

    NDP 44
    WR 21
    PC 19
    Lib 10
    Ab 6

    In my testing of Google Surveys I have been pleasantly surprised at the potential for it to work well as a polling method.

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    1. Except they haven't. They showed a big NDP lead before any of the other pollsters did, which suggests to me that those polls were always going to show a big NDP lead, regardless of whether there actually was one.

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    2. Wow, with these numbers, my model projects:

      72 NDP
      10 WR
      4 ALP
      1 AP

      Yup, you see this right, no PC! The ALP and AP are probably both overestimated, but the PC's race are not with them, so it's not really a factor, especially since the ALP vote is more likely to move to the NDP (I don't really know for the AP, but I'd guess it's the same since the ones voting for them probably want some change and the PC out or they wouldn't be voting for such a small party).

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  8. Alberta Party minority. You heard it here first.

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  9. I'm not an Albertan. But I have plenty of Alberta friends and have worked there on numerous occasions. I think the explanation for Alberta politics is that the historical experiences have been different; not that the voters are different from other parts of Canada. To a small degree perhaps.

    So here's my take on the current dynamics:
    1) Stelmach was a non-entity, and the Stelmach PCs continued their slow, inexorable ride into oblivion. Who knew what, if anything, they really stood for. 2) Along comes Wildrose, a proxy party for the federal Conservatives, pushing the PCs from the right with an attractive leader and message that resonated (The PCs have lost their way). 3) Alison Redford surprisingly wins the leadership and energizes centrist PCs and Wildrose alike. 4) Redford seemingly governs as if she's another in a long line of dynastic rulers, killing her career and succumbing to an Ottawa-Conservative fueled smear campaign, to the benefit of the Wildrose. 5) Prentice easily wins the leadership, and as a card-carrying Ottawa Conservative, obviates the need for Wildrose. 6) Wildrose confirms that they were nothing but a proxy for the Harper Conservatives by jumping ship to government in one of the most cynically calculated political moves I have ever witnessed. 7) Oil prices plummet leaving both Ottawa and Edmonton with gigantic budgetary holes. Ottawa responds by refusing to issue a budget; Edmonton by a series of cuts that barely address the deficit. 8) Prentice justifies the perception of entitlement by calling the election a year early to supposedly ask for a mandate for his empty budget document. 9) Rachel Notley demonstrates that she is more than just a capable politcian.

    To be honest, when you look at the highly cynical sequence of events that played out over the last 3 years, what is truly surprising is that the NDP did not run away with this sooner. The stench coming from both PC and Wildrose is simply too great for most voters to hold their noses and vote for them. And it's difficult to see anything positive that either of those parties is offering.

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    1. I'm not sure what stench you detect coming from Wildrose. Those people who crossed the floor aren't in Wildrose anymore. What's left of Wildrose is the principled people who didn't cross the floor.

      I don't understand how that floor-crossing event can tarnish Wildrose. The Wildrose we have today didn't do it.

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    2. But, Ira, the remaining members of Wildrose are former members of the Conservatives...

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    3. Ira, there is no greater blindness than of those who will not see what is right in front of their eyes. I assume you are vested in the Wildrose or federal Cons or their policies. No one else would have trouble recognizing that Wildrose was designed to push PCs right, or replace them with federal Cons.

      Such unbelievable cynicism. I don't see how you can keep a straight face.

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    4. Guilt by association is a lousy standard by which to judge someone, especially when it's not a current association.

      The Alberta Tories have offered good government. Just not recently.

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    5. I never suggested that you were culpable, just invested. I appreciate your honesty.

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  10. The big question on many people's mind is how will this apply to the federal election if the NDP win a majority.

    Here's how I think it will, which it won't really.

    There will be a government in the biggest Conservative stronghold in the country that are against their ideas, they will use this as a bully pulpit as much as possible.

    The left vote in Alberta will coalesce around the NDP but it won't make a huge difference because the Conservative party has a higher base of support than each party combined.

    It might result in one or two more seats for the NDP in Edmonton.

    But the major issue will be how much of a spectacle the media makes it out to be. The left wing media will say this is what happens when the left come together. Except they are failing to admit that it's people from all parties in Alberta that are going to the NDP, the NDP started out the election around 16 percent with the Liberals around 15 percent, only about 10 of the 15 percent has left the Liberals, it means some people who were planning on voting wildrose and PC are now considering voting NDP.

    However this election might hurt Justin Trudeau because the NDP might now be seen as the party to stop Harper (by those on the left).

    However in doing so it might push more centrists to the Conservatives to stop the NDP.

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    1. I think it's generally been the case that where the NDP has held power provinicially (B.C., Sask, Manitoba) it did not translate into federal seats really. Through the 90s we had the situation where ridings that were voting NDP provincially were electing Reform of Conservatives or Liberals to parliament. So I think you're right, it's not going to boost Mulcair's fortunes much. However it may be the case that Linda Duncan is joined by 1 or 2 others, no more.

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    2. Assuming this turns out to be the NDP majority that looks almost certain, my fearless prediction for October is that Mulcair will be Prime Minister.

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    3. An NDP majority in Alberta will give their federal cousins a much needed morale boost. This is needed for party morale after all the set backs that occurred during the last two or three years.

      NDP numbers have been slightly improving over the last few months.

      Mulcair will be spinning the results as in Alberta as the NDP is the only progressive option that could beat Conservatives.

      While the NDP should have a boost, I doubt Mulcair will do all that well in Alberta. The best case scenario for the NDP is maybe 3 more seats in Edmonton and the open Lethbridge seat. The federal Liberals should be more competitive in Calgary where they could win 2-3 seats with current numbers.

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    4. Well, you're echoing the tepid projections for the NDP before this election and before the 2011 federal election, and for the Quebec Liberals in last year's election, etc. Hard to see it now, but the conditions are right for Harper to receive the same greeting that Prentice is, in terms of death spiral unpopularity and in terms of support for the NDP.

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    5. I think an NDP victory, especially if it ends up being a majority, will galvanize the party's membership & supporter base. This will drive up both fundraising and volunteers coming forward to work the federal campaign, and also drive people to come forward as candidates, especially where a former federal candidate has been elected as an MLA. This will strengthen the NDPs fortunes in Alberta and could lead to the NDP winning a number of new seats. However, realistically, the federal Conservatives remain strong in Alberta, and there is no split on the right as there is at the provincial level.

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    6. A reasonable argument that the federal NDP leader might make is that it is remarkable and noteworthy that the voters in a traditionally conservative stronghold, the day they decided that they wanted change looked at the NDP, not the Liberals.
      This is an argument that one could reasonable make and that might score points with some.

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  11. "There was much speculation that the round of polls published on Thursday and Friday showing the NDP in majority territory would have an effect on people's voting intentions. Instead, it seems to have had no effect."

    I'd say it is having an effect. It's called the bandwagon effect. Once numbers reach critical mass, they generate their own power.

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    1. That, and people seem to be disgusted by the attempts at fear-mongering and manipulation by the PCs, Wildrose and corporate media, making voters even more determined to throw out the PCs.

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  12. This is probably the most difficult election to predict, the polls have been all over the place throughout the course of the campaign and Alberta elections are notoriously difficult due to the low voter turnout-a turnout rate of 50% is deemed "good".

    In any case, I think the election could go in almost any direction: WR, PC, NDP either majority or minority governments for each. So, I am quite prepared to be completely wrong in my prediction.

    WR: 35%, 31 seats
    PC: 31%, 28 seats
    NDP: 25%, 25 seats
    Lib: 5%, 3 seats

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    1. This has got to be one of the easier elections to predict, so long as you accept the polls.

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    2. Alberta 2012 and BC 2013 give some reason to be skeptical of the polls. I have a really hard time believing the NDP is in the 40s, no matter how much of a train wreck the right of centre parties have made of this election. It's Alberta.

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    3. "the polls have been all over the place throughout the course of the campaign"

      Really? The polls have not all shown a NDP rocket-rise, a PC fall and also a WR fall? Please show me evidence of what you are advancing. I will even give you this link so you can have a quick glance at all the polls to help you with your statement:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_general_election,_2015

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    4. What are you talking about Pete? the most difficult election to predict, the polls have been all over the place?

      Are you joking? The polls have been very steady in what they are saying and they've been saying the NDP is raising steadily and are on track for a majority, the only question is are the PCs or WR going to take the opposition.

      In less there is a literal last minute massive swing your numbers are pure fantasy.

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    5. Well Timothy,

      The polls have not consistently shown a; " NDP rocket-rise, a PC fall and also a WR fall". from March 29-April 23 polls consistently showed a small Wildrose lead. After which the NDP has retained a lead in the polls. Polls at the beginning of the campaign had the PCs tied with Wildrose and Liberal support has ranged from 17%-4%. To me that is a good deal of fluctuation especially since 3 parties have now held the lead, I would count that as unusual.

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    6. And Timothy, I don't feel obliged to prove to you anything. My last post is simply a courtesy that I will probably not advance in the future.

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    7. DCMOJY,

      The polls have now shown the PCs, WR, and NDP to be in the lead at one time during the campaign. At the start of the campaign a poll by Mainstreet had WR and PCs tied at 30% with the NDP and Liberals in the high teens. In fact as eric's graph demonstrates the polls have only shown a NDP rise in the last 10 days or so.

      Please, please, please take time to proof read DCMOJY, it's "Opposition" when writing of the formal position of "Official Opposition" but, "opposition" when speaking of opposition parties together or in an informal manner.

      And Thierry, sorry for the mis-spelling of your name f&%*ing autocorrect!

      Delete
  13. May I suggest that there's a long standing "why bother to vote when the PCs are going to win anyway" attitude.

    The polls are making it clear that the PCs no longer have a lock on winning; so voters who may have had a long term discontent with the PC dynasty are now coming out of the woodwork.

    The federal implications will be interesting if the NDP wins anywhere near as well as the polls portend.

    The CPC Alberta bastion will be severely damaged and a victorious NDP machine will be taking once safe federal seats from Harper.

    The CPC has been gaining seat count projections in Ontario that may end up offset by losses in Alberta.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, but, I wouldn't read too much into it. When the PQ won in 1971 it took another 20 years for the BQ to emerge. The NDP may well get an Alberta bump but, what if they lose? Can we expect Strathcona to go Tory in the next election?

      Canadians are smart and savvy voters by and large they are able to differentiate between federal and provincial politics and politicians.

      Delete
    2. Note that Rachel Notley has been actively downplaying any such association. She claims she "barely knows" Thomas Mulcair.

      Notley doesn't think the support is transferrable. Why do you?

      Delete
    3. FYI, the PQ first won in 76, not 71.

      Delete
    4. The reason this election has implications for the federal situation is because of the close ties between Harper & the federal Conservatives and the PCAA and Wildrose. And it's not only a question of personal connections, or the fact that so many federal cabinet ministers (incl. Harper himself) and other members have their seats in Alberta, it's because of the links in policy and ideology. Harper has repeatedly claimed that Alberta and its oil industry is the future of Canada, the economic engine of Canada, etc. He has said enough times that whither goes Alberta goes the rest of the country, so... [And incidentally, the provincial riding that overlies his federal rising is, in Éric's projection, expected to go NDP with 81% confidence]. There's also the fact that Alberta has long been seen as an impregnable Conservative stronghold, federally, provincially, and culturally. Now, we all have to confront a different Alberta. And the most powerful lesson to be learned from this election, is that great change can happen even in such an ostensibly impregnable stronghold. Everyone in this country can see that there is an alternative to the Conservatives, and it doesn't have to be a hair-without-a-brain Justin Trudeau, or a william-macy-after-a-three-week-bender Brian Jean. Most of all, from the hundreds of comments and articles I've read about this election, Albertans no longer trust the policies that Harper is championing, i.e. the policies that Prentice (and his predecessors) have promoted and implemented.

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    5. Ira that's not at all what she has said.

      She said the Fed NDP has not been involved with the elections, she HAS said she thinks an ANDP Victory would boost the Fed NDP.

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  14. Say what you will about people like Peter Lougheed and Ralph Klein, they always had the common touch. Jim Prentice, by contrast, comes across as an oozy, arrogant career politician who's more interested in engaging in intrigues (read: the defection of Danielle Smith) than he is in actually appealing to the electorate. Brian Jean might have been a plausible alternative, but his status as a former campaign contributor to Jim Prentice just serves to drive home what an incestuous, backroom culture conservative politics in Alberta have become.

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    1. If things turn out as the polls suggest, then Jim Prentice will have suffered a very rare ignominy for an Albertan Conservative politician : he will have been twice defeated by the NDP.

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    2. Twice defeated? He resigned his seat in Calgary (Calgary North Centre) a couple months before the 2011 election. He then won a by-election six months ago.

      Delete
    3. I loved Ralph. Many people did.

      I was once sitting on a patio with Ralph Klein - on Bowen Island, just off Vancouver - and random British Columbians kept coming up to shake his hand to tell him how much they respected him. And this was well after he left office.

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    4. @ Capilano

      Jim Prentice lost a provincial election in the mid 1980s to the NDP in Calgary. I believe that was the NDP's only victory in Calgary to date (I may be mistaken).

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    5. Capilano, you missed that he lost to NDP member Bob Hawkesworth in the 1986 provincial election.

      http://tinyurl.com/nz64ps6

      Delete
    6. The one area in which Prentice is deservedly respected is around native land claims issues - he is widely regarded among first nations leaders as the best native affairs minister we've ever had. His understanding of land claims issues was Alberta's only hope for getting the Northern Gateway pipeline built. Respect to him for that at least.

      That said, I'm equally delighted at the prospect of the demise of the Northern Gateway and the demise of the Alberta tory government. He he.

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    7. And Big Jay, the NDP won two seats in Calgary in that 1986 election, the election that made them the official opposition.

      Delete
    8. Thanks, I didn't know Prentice ran in 1986.

      ArfMD, is quite right about Prentice and Aboriginal issues. Both Prentice and Strahl did an excellent job as minister. With the Williams Decision granting Aboriginal title there is a fairly good chance Northern Gateway will be built albeit with a higher cost to Enbridge and many ad hoc agreements with First Nations in BC. It really depends on the price of oil as much as Aboriginal agreement.

      Delete
  15. Very difficult election to predict I can see either the NDP, Wildrose or PCs winning a minority and since, this is Alberta even a majority. Turnout and the ground game will be key, although if polls and some pundits are to be believed the NDP has the big Mo'.

    NDP: 39 seats; 32%
    WR: 32 seats; 29%
    PC: 14 seats; 28%
    Lib: 2 seats; 5.6%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are predicting via personal opinion then yes you are right plugging in random numbers to guess there election is very hard.

      If on the other hand you look at the polls as Eric does the picture is clear... unless the polls are a lie.

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    2. DCMOYJ,

      For someone who can't spell "through" properly, I really don't need your opinion.

      It is scary you ran for Parliament, had you succeeded you would no doubt of had the hardest working EA in the history of that institution.

      Frankly, you exemplify the reason the BC NDP keep losing: overly opinionated, rude and not quite smart enough to realise you are both. It's a free country and people are allowed even encouraged to have their own opinions!

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    3. Nice deflection.

      I'm not sure how my spelling errors are a valid counterpoint but sure go with it. Further to that spell checking seems to be a issue with a lot of politicians if history is any judge.

      But at least my staff would be unionized and respected for all the hard work of spell checking they would have to do. Which is better then the poor staffer who work for everyone else on parliament hill.

      Oh I know I'm opinionated (I'm trying to run as an MP!) and when I'm rude it's because I intended to be. My post however was anything but rude, it was a counter point to yours and others who decided to use random numbers to predict elections, because you don't like what you see.

      Frankly you exemplify everything that is wrong with right-wing, neo-liberal/neo-con supporters. You accuse debate as being personal attacks, you belittle your opponent with attacks on character and superficial problems (spelling). You pass of fantasy as fact, personally opinion as evidence and opposition as as treason.

      The right-wing has proven over and over that it is bankrupt of ideas and morals, it peddles greed as opportunity, fear as security and corruption as justice.

      There are plenty of right-wing BBS for you to mime your rhetoric and opinion unopposed, here and other open spaces you and your ilk will be debated and opposed. So for future reference if you intend to do battle in the arena of facts and logic, its best not to fight unarmed, because I do not.

      FYI - That's me being rude!

      Delete
  16. PEI votes today so, I'll predict:

    13 Liberal
    13 PC
    1 Green

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    Replies
    1. 18 Liberal
      8 PC
      1 Green

      9:30 Atlantic time

      Delete
    2. As a Green I was very happy to see the PEI Green leader win his seat with the highest vote total on the island and biggest margin of victory. There is a desire for change but voters have trouble finding where to go. In Alberta the NDP is about to get a historic chance like Bob Rae did in Ontario lets hope they are thinking things through a bit more than Rae did not just for their sake but for Alberta's.

      Delete
  17. With today's two polls, my model projects (Forum/EKOS):

    62 NDP 69
    18 WR 13
    3 ALP 3
    3 PC 1
    1 AP 1

    No contest here. Actually, there is: who will win the most seats between the PC and the ALP! That is somewhat crazy when you think about it. I'll post my final projections, along with riding by riding breakdown on Eric's final prediction blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're forgetting the Liberal super-incumbents from 2012. Without them, they'll be lucky to win 2 seats.

      But seeing a PC total below 6 wouldn't surprise me at all. At levels at or around 20%, their vote simply isn't concentrated enough to win many seats.

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    2. Well, two of those super-incumbents are seeking re-election.

      Delete
    3. I'm not really well versed in Alberta politics as I'm from Québec, so I wonder why those super-incumbents actually were super-incumbents? Was it because of the individual or was it because of the riding themselves? I can't say I've seen anything pointing to it being the individuals, but I also can't say I've looked much for an explaination. For a lack of one, I'm just treating their ridings like any normal riding. If you can prove otherise though, I would gladly change it (but then, I also wonder if a riding that has always voted for a certain party, even if because of the individual, would just suddenly start voting for another party because the individual is gone. Plenty of "candidat poteau" (I don't really know the English term, sorry) are being elected after a well-known member of a party leaves politics, of course, that rarely happens when the party is mostly meaningless on the outcome of an election and what could somewhat be called a free-fall).

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    4. Definitely due to the person.

      For instance, look at Laurie Blakeman's vote totals in Edmonton tomorrow compared to her Liberal counterparts in other parts of Edmonton.

      Similar to the Ralph Goodale effect in Regina. Look at a map of polling stations from Regina in the 2011 federal election, and it's clear that people who would have been NDP (and even Conservative) in other parts of the city voted for him.

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    5. Thierry - the English term is "paper candidate", as in, the only work the party puts in for that riding is to put a name down on paper.

      Delete
    6. Thierry & John DeWolfe, or a "place holder"...

      Delete
  18. We haven't seen any sign of a Dipper dip due to Albertans suddenly waking up to an orangey-red commie-socialist job-killing peril at their door, dire warnings from the CPC notwithstanding. Given that, I'd expect the NDP to outperform their current polling numbers.

    People are less likely to vote if their preferred candidate is seen as a hopeless cause. Those same people should logically also stay at home if they feel their preferred candidate is a shoe-in, but humans aren't rational. "I did my part and voted for the winner" has its own psychological reward. Given the broadcast forecast, the NDP wins and the PCs lose if that's true.

    I'll edge further out on the limb by speculating that this extends to swing ridings where votes *do* make a difference: the provincial psychology is echoed in each riding. Tomorrow should test this hypothesis. Look for missing PC votes in close contests.

    Possible confounding factors are the likelihood that PC supporters are generally older and thus more likely to actually vote, plus a well-honed PC GOTV engine. Even so, it takes a bold spectator to predict an NDP vote share 10% or even pushing 20% lower than the polls are showing.

    I'll pull my punch and predict a final NDP vote share "in the 40's", but north of 45% wouldn't shock me. Am I blowing smoke? It's quite possible. We'll have a better idea late tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. demographic breakdowns in the polls have shown the NDP leading, even in the 65+ age group, which should help the 'socialists'...

      I agree with your prediction

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    2. I would expect the Dippers to underperform in Calgary as the NDP have a weak ground game and because the NDP have the weakest candidates.

      Delete
  19. New Insights West poll :

    http://www.insightswest.com/news/notleys-leadership-pulls-ndp-ahead-of-rivals-in-alberta/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This poll gives me:

      58 NDP
      21 WR
      4 PC
      3 ALP
      1 AP

      Still a strong NDP majority with a WR opposition. PC almost wiped out, ALP inconsequential and AP gets its leader elected.

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    2. As Éric said on Twitter, you can make an argument that the PCs will win. You just can't make that argument with polling data.

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  20. I really really hope I am wrong but I believe later tonight and tomorrow we will be talking about how the polls were so off yet again....I just can not see the NDP winning in Alberta, people will get to the ballot box and at the last minute return home to the cons..


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey I just don't want to have to follow threw on betting the Fed NDP will win 208 seat in October following the ANDP win....

      But you know what it's a small price to pay for an orange Alberta.

      Delete
  21. I was a skeptic but this much data is impossible to dismiss. NDP majority it is!

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  22. http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/282/historic-majority-seen/
    Forum: 45 NDP, 23 PC, 23 Wildrose
    No last minute narrowing like we saw from them in 2012
    I have to predict NDP majority. Amazing. I offer my apologies to 1abvote, they've caught on to trends before any of the major posters.

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  23. I'm disappointed there wasn't a final day ThinkHQ poll. I was looking forward to that one.

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  24. 308 estimates will be shown to be wildly incorrect. NDP are way over estimated in rural and Calgary. AP will not win Calgary Elbow, Liberals will win 2 seats and NDP will be held to under 35 seats. PCs will win most in Calgary, Wildrose will win rest of Alberta outside of Red (Orange)monton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is contrary to almost every poll

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    2. They're not estimates. They're projections based on data.

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  25. Is that based on any real evidence, or are we just supposed to trust your intuition?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's pure Belief Without Reason.

      Delete
  26. Eric, ya Nailed it!

    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete

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