Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How the riding polls and riding projections did

One last go around on the 2015 federal election polls and projections before we can put this long campaign to rest.

At the riding level, the projection model was certainly not as close as I would have liked it to have been. Overall, the model called 269 ridings correctly and identified the potential winner (as defined by the parties considered capable of winning the riding by the high and low projections) in 291 ridings. That adds up to an overall accuracy of 79.6% on the calls, and 86.1% for identifying the potential winners.

Where did the model do better? It identified the potential winners in 94% of ridings in Alberta, 91% of ridings in Ontario, and 89% in the Prairies. It performed worse in Atlantic Canada (84% of winners identified), British Columbia (83%), and Quebec (76%).

Not surprisingly, the biggest misses were in terms of the seats that the Liberals ended up winning. The largest group of misses were ridings in which the New Democrats were projected to win, only for the Liberals to pick them up. There were 24 of these ridings, located primarily in Quebec, urban and northern Ontario, and in Atlantic Canada. This is where Liberals unexpectedly defeated New Democrats.

The next largest group were the 19 ridings in which the Conservatives were favoured but the Liberals actually won. These were largely in the Greater Toronto Area, in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, and in New Brunswick. This is where Liberals unexpectedly defeated Conservatives.

There were seven ridings projected to go NDP that actually went to the Bloc Québécois (mostly north of Montreal), and seven ridings projected to go Conservative that actually went NDP (in the Prairies and the B.C. Interior).

On average, the misses were called with just 65% confidence and the average margin of actual victory in these ridings was about 6.7 points. So, they were modestly close races.

One aspect of the seat projection model worked very well. The assigned probabilities of victory turned out about as expected, though at the lower levels of confidence they were somewhat more confident than they should have been. This is likely due to many instances of three-way races, when the model is designed for two-way contests.

As you can see, the calls were generally as correct as they were expected to be.

At the 50% to 64% level, where the calls performed significantly below expected levels of confidence, Liberal victories were missed in 58% of them, or in 22 ridings. That alone gives an indication of how the Liberals were winning close ridings they were not expected to win. Add those 22 ridings to the final projection of 146 for the Liberals, and you have them knocking on the door of a majority government, rather than apparently coming up well short.

With the actual results plugged into the model, the accuracy of the riding level projection increases to 81.4% (or 275 out of 338 ridings), and to 87.3% (295 ridings) for identifying the potential winners.

As discussed in my analyses of the projection model's performance, we're looking primarily at the Liberals picking up new voters in unexpected places, with strategic voting apparently helping the New Democrats out-perform expectations in Western Canada. The Liberals' vote efficiency in Ontario and elsewhere was also above expectations, though well in line with what the Conservatives were capable of with a similar amount of support in 2011.

Riding polls

Now that we've dissected my performance at the riding level, how about the pollsters?

In the charts below, I've included only the polls done within the last two weeks of the election campaign, and compared the riding-level polling only for the parties that finished in the top three slots on election night. The actual results are in the gray areas, and the date refers to the last day the poll was in the field. Let's start in B.C.

Across the board, you can see that in every riding the riding-level polling under-estimated where the Liberals ended up. In two cases, it turned a third-place showing into a win: Burnaby North–Seymour and Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam. Depending on the riding, either the New Democrats or Conservatives found themselves over-estimated as a result.

The results in Vancouver Granville were particularly interesting, as Mainstreet's final poll came very close, whereas Environics' poll for LeadNow did not. There had been a lot of controversy in the riding due to LeadNow's endorsement of the NDP, despite the edge given to the Liberals in their final poll.

A few riding polls came quite close to the mark, considering the margins of error. For example, in Courtenay–Alberni, Nanaimo–Ladysmith, and South Okanagan–West Kootenay. Not coincidentally, these were NDP-Conservative races in which strategic voting might have kept the Liberal surge at bay.

Now to Alberta.

Again, in Alberta we see the riding polls under-estimate the Liberals significantly in every riding. Unlike in B.C., however, the polls were quite good at gauging Conservative support. Instead, it seems that NDP support collapsed in the final days and went to the Liberals. This appears to be another indication of the role strategic voting played in these races. That especially appears to have been the case in Calgary Centre and Edmonton Centre.

Ontario was slightly different.

In Ontario, the Liberals were under-estimated in most riding polls, but not all of them. In the ridings of Brampton North, Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound, Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, Kanata–Carleton, Kitchener Centre, Perth–Wellington, and Peterborough–Kawartha, the results for the Liberals were within the margin of error of the final riding polls.

This should not come as a surprise. Unlike Alberta, in which the NDP did worse than expected in the popular vote, the NDP's support had largely already collapsed in Ontario well before election day. There was no surge that sunk the NDP's chances at the last moment in Ontario (as there might have been in Quebec). The Liberals were already riding high in the province in the week before the vote.

And in the ones the polls did miss, it wasn't always the same party that took the hit at the expense of the Liberals. In Timmins–James Bay and Nickel Belt it was the NDP, but in Flamborough–Glanbrook, Nepean, Kenora, and Sault Ste. Marie it was the Conservatives.

There were fewer riding polls done in Quebec in the final days, but they did moderately well.

But here again we're looking at the Liberals being under-estimated, and significantly so in Chicoutimi–Le Fjord, one of the most surprising Liberal wins of the night. That vote came primarily from the Conservatives, but also the NDP. In Jonquière and Lac-Saint-Jean, the polls did quite well.

There were only a few polls done in Atlantic Canada as well, but they were generally poor. The Liberals out-performed these polls by nine to 15 points, with the NDP taking the hit where they were most competitive and the Tories taking the hit where they were competitive.

More lessons to be drawn from the discrepancies, then.

Who did best? In terms of average error per party (only the top three) of those riding-level pollsters in the field in the last two weeks, Segma Recherche did the best with an average error of 3.4 points per party. Next was Environics at 4.6 points per party, followed by Insights West and Mainstreet at 5.5 points per party each. MQO Research had an average error of 7.0 points per party, while Oraclepoll had an average error of 7.8 points per party. Of note is the performance of ThinkHQ in Edmonton Centre, off by just 1.7 points per party among the top three.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How the polls and the projections did

The 2015 federal election was a success for the polling industry, with the results of the election within the margins of error for most of the pollsters. The results were certainly better than in 2011, when the polls were not pointing to a Conservative majority government. The polls in this campaign did not seem to be pointing towards a Liberal majority government either, but that was because the seat projections were bamboozled by a growing and changing Liberal voting base.

So let's get down to it.

There was a late surge for the Liberals that pushed them over the top, but some of the polls that had older data (even only a few days old) were not able to capture the wave that pushed them from between 35% and 38% to the 39.5% the party actually got. For that reason, the vote projection was also lagging a little bit. Nevertheless, it still painted an accurate picture of what was going on, particularly when considering the likely ranges.

The seat projection model did not perform up to my expectations. When the results were plugged into it, it still projected a Liberal minority - though the chances of a majority government were higher.
The Liberal result was far more comfortably within the high-to-maximum range,  but was still out of the likely range of outcomes. The Conservative result falls further out of the likely range than it did initially, though the NDP's projection is improved and the Bloc's projection hardly changes.

The regional projections edge closer to the mark, but you can still see the problems the model had.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives were greatly over-estimated, with both the Liberals and NDP under-estimated as a result. Alberta would have been accurate, but the NDP would have been under-estimated in the Prairies to the benefit of the Conservatives.

In Ontario, the Conservatives would have been over-estimated at the expense of the Liberals. In Quebec, the Bloc and Conservatives would have been accurately pegged, but the New Democrats greatly over-estimated, at the expense of the Liberals again. And in Atlantic Canada, the Liberal sweep is still unimaginable - even at the maximum ranges. It is the only region of the country where the maximum ranges would have still not been enough, demonstrating how unusual it was that the Conservatives and New Democrats lost the ridings that they did.

So I think there are some things to learn from how the results were different from the projections. It is something I tackle in the CBC piece.

I have not yet gone through the riding-by-riding results, but will in the coming days.

The performance of the polls

The polls did a very good job, with Nanos Research and Forum Research taking the cake both at the national and regional levels.

The list below includes only those polls conducted and publicly released in the week before Election Day. Abacus Data and Innovative Research did not release a final poll in this period.

Nanos and Forum finished at the top of the table, the biggest mark against them being the under-estimation of the Conservative vote. Nevertheless, for all of the parties neither missed the mark by more than 1.9 points.

(This is looking at Nanos's one-day result, though the three-day result was also relatively close to the mark.)

Ipsos Reid, Mainstreet Research, and Léger were all quite close as well, putting the Liberals at 38%, the Conservatives between 30% and 33%, and the New Democrats between 21% and 22%. That slight over-estimation of the NDP vote was behind the under-estimation of the Liberals.

EKOS had less total error than Léger, but Léger told a story that was in my view closer to the reality in that it gave the Liberals an eight-point lead over the Conservatives, suggesting a majority was possible (the Liberals won by 7.6 points). EKOS's poll, which put that gap at just 3.9 points, was the biggest source of doubt in the Liberals' ability to get close to that majority mark the night before the election. The Angus Reid Institute also contributed to that doubt, and was at the bottom of the table.

Note that, as its post-election release mentions, Mainstreet Research did indeed send me their topline numbers before the votes were counted (and, as the report says, the data was also sent to Postmedia). That result would put them in the top three with Nanos and Forum. But the numbers were not published before the election results were known and I imagine they would not have been published had they been off the mark (Quito Maggi of Mainstreet says in a comment below that a commitment had been made to Postmedia to publish the results of the poll regardless of the election result). It would not have been fair of me to judge Mainstreet based on its unpublished numbers had they been wrong, so it isn't fair of the other pollsters to judge Mainstreet by its unpublished numbers because they were right.

But it should be noted that Mainstreet's final polls of the campaign (published before the date or not) were quite close to the mark.

Also note that, as Nanos did not publish any regional numbers for its one-day sample, I have graded them below according to their three-day sample. And as they combined their Alberta and Prairie results, I have left them out of the rankings for those regions.

The polls were quite good in British Columbia, though the ranges were wide. But there was no systemic over- or under-estimation of any of the parties, and in fact nearly every pollster was almost exactly on the mark for the Conservatives and NDP. Insights West had the best result by a wide margin.

There was a systemic under-estimation of the Conservatives in Alberta, which seemed to benefit the NDP more than it did the Liberals, who were well-gauged. Angus Reid, Ipsos Reid, Mainstreet, and Forum did well here.

Considering the small sample sizes, the polls did very well in the Prairies, with the results falling well within the ranges of the polls done in the region. Léger had the best results.

Ontario was very well polled. All the pollsters had the Liberals between 43% and 46%, when the party took just under 45%. They under-estimated the Conservatives across the board, however, and in most cases it was the NDP that got the extra points. Nanos and Forum did well here.

Quebec was the miss of the election. Only Forum had the Liberals anywhere near the 35.7% the party took, with all the other pollsters under-estimating the Liberals by a significant mount. The NDP was better gauged by most pollsters, though some over-estimated them. The Conservatives were mostly over-estimated, while the Bloc was generally well polled. Nanos and Forum did the best here.

And in Atlantic Canada, the polls either got close to the Liberal result or under-estimated them. With few exceptions, the polls over-estimated the NDP and Conservatives across the board.

On the whole, though, the polls did a very good job. The only real error was in Quebec, and that was enough to make the difference between the 38% the Liberals were pegged at nationally in half the polls published in the last week and the 39.5% the party actually took on election night. That is a performance the pollsters can be proud of. 

I'll have more on how the seat projections performed at the riding level soon. That should be illuminating in why the projections missed the mark.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

First sifting through the results

A big election with some big changes, so there is a lot to go through. I did my first overview of the results for the CBC here, so I suggest you start there.

Here's the latest episode of the Pollcast, and the last to deal directly with the results of the election. It's a good one. Joining me is the CBC's Catherine Cullen, Tom Parry, and James Cudmore. They were with the three campaigns in the final days, and we talk about what they were seeing.

Coming in the coming days (potentially into next week): a review of how the polls did, a review of how the projection did, and where we go from here.

Some initial thoughts, though. The polls ranged from a pretty good job to a terrific job, so I think they deserve full credit. Seat projections across the board, though, were off. And I think there is something to learn from that, as the vote results should not have delivered a majority government to the Liberals. Their vote came out disproportionately in seats they could win. I think that tells us something.

Covering this campaign with the CBC was one of the best experiences I've had. It was a fun campaign to cover. For regular readers of this site, I know it was different from how it has been in the past. But thanks for nevertheless coming to this site every day and leaving your comments.

Throughout the campaign, this site received 7.1 million hits. Suffice to say, that smashed the site's previous records set during the 2011 federal election campaign. I hope many of you will return to the site and stay with it as we turn our attention from the election campaign to the fate of this majority Liberal government. And until 2019, we should have some interesting leadership races and provincial campaigns to cover too.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Final federal projection: Likely Liberal victory, possible Conservative upset

Some surprising results in the end, but the final polls of the campaign called it. Shows the importance of momentum. Here is my initial post-mortem of the results. A deeper post-mortem of the numbers here later in the week.

Based on their current standing in the polls, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have the best chance of winning the 2015 federal election. But their victory is not assured, and Stephen Harper's Conservatives have a chance to win a victory of their own. Thomas Mulcair's New Democrats will almost certainly finish third, with Gilles Duceppe's Bloc Québécois and Elizabeth May's Greens finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. A minority government of one hue or the other is the most likely outcome, though a majority is within the realm of plausibility.

Please check out the CBC Poll Tracker to see the details of the latest projection, as well as to see how the polls have trended since the beginning of the campaign. The riding projections can be found here, along with Stephen McMurtry's terrific interactive map.

I also invite you to read my final polling analysis of the campaign for the CBC here, which goes over what we can glean from the polls, and what to keep in mind as we await the results on Monday night.

The likely outcome

The Liberals are projected to win between 124 and 161 seats, putting them just below the 170-seat mark required for a majority. This also gives them a decent amount of overlap with the Conservatives, which is why a Liberal victory is not, by any stretch, a certainty. The party is projected to win between 33.5% and 39.9% of the vote, which gives them a very high likelihood of finishing in first place in the popular vote. It would be an upset if they don't.

The highest probability outcome for the Liberals would be within the low to average band (124 to 146 seats), but the most likely outcome would be between the minimum to high bands. That is a very wide range, and thus not very helpful. But it does show that if the Liberals outperform the average projection, they would be doing better than most parties that had their status in the legislature at dissolution. But of note is that they have a 23% chance of finishing between the high and maximum ranges, which does put them in majority territory.

The precise projection gives the Liberals 37.2% of the vote and 146 seats, their best performance since 2000, when the party last formed a majority government.

The Conservatives are projected to win between 100 and 139 seats. This makes a majority for them a stretch of the imagination, but does put them in a position to potentially win the plurality of seats by a very narrow margin. At the extremity of the likely ranges, that would give the Tories only a 15-seat advantage over the Liberals, while at the other extremity the Liberals would have a 61-seat advantage.

The Conservatives are projected to take between 29.3% and 34% of the vote, and the most likely outcome for them should fall within the average to high projection. That means it could be very close between the Liberals and Conservatives in the seat count, though there is still a one-in-four chance that the Conservatives will under-perform their polling (it is a little more than one-in-two for the Liberals).

The average projection gives the Conservatives 118 seats and 30.9% of the vote, their worst result since 2004, the last time the party sat on the opposition benches.

The NDP is projected to take between 51 and 90 seats. That puts them squarely in the position to become the third party in the House of Commons, with no overlap with either the Conservatives or the Liberals. The party is projected to take between 20.8% and 23.4% of the vote, which also suggests they will finish in third. They have a two-in-five chance of slightly out-performing their polls, falling in the average to high band (which would deliver 66 to 90 seats). They have a two-in-three chance of finishing within the low to high band.

The NDP's average projection gives them 66 seats and 21.7% of the vote, the party's second-best performance in its history.

Relative to the number of seats they are projected to take, the Bloc Québécois has the widest range. They are projected to win between one and 12 seats, which puts them (at the outer edge) just on the cusp of official party status — the party's stated minimum goal. That may be a hard bar to reach.

The Greens are projected to win just one seat, and between 4% and 4.8% of the vote. That puts them roughly where they were in the 2004 and 2006 elections, with the addition of a seat.

Expecting the unexpected

The minimum to maximum projected ranges give an indication of what could plausibly happen on election night, based on how the polls have missed election calls in the past. And this is what these numbers generally represent: a miss by the polls (though, potentially, not all of them).

A few factors are at play here. The first is the momentum the Liberals seem to have (Nanos's polling on October 18 put the party at 39%, while Forum put them at 40% in their one-day poll), and the risk of a bandwagon effect (and strategic voting) pushing them beyond where the bulk of the final polls of the campaign had them. The second is the potential for the Conservatives to outperform their polls by a significant degree, due to the 'shy Tory effect', higher voter turnout among the demographics that are advantageous to them, more resources and better organization, or a combination of these factors.

At the outer edges of plausibility, we could see majority governments for either the Conservatives or the Liberals. We could even technically see a very weak NDP minority government. But these outcomes only occur at the limit of the 95% confidence interval.

More realistically, we could see the Conservatives finish somewhere in the 140 to 160 seat range, which would complicate matters for the opposition parties. Particularly if the Bloc ends up anywhere near its maximum range of 26 seats. We could, of course, also see them fall below the 100-seat mark.

For the Liberals to reach a majority government, they need about 61% of the seats in which they are at play but are not currently projected to win to swing their way. The Conservatives would need that to happen in 76% of the seats in which they are at play but not projected to win, a far higher bar to meet.

A plausible over-achievement for the New Democrats would see them retaining almost all of the seats they won in the 2011 election. If that happens, the Liberals are probably finishing second.

Regional breakdown

The charts below break down the numbers for each of the six regions. The Liberals are favoured to finish first by a wide margin in two of them: Atlantic Canada and Ontario. They are narrowly favoured to win the popular vote in Quebec and British Columbia, but are expected to lose the seat race in both provinces (though not necessarily). They should finish second in the Prairies and in Alberta. If the polls are right, the Liberals could potentially finish first in every province except Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Conservatives are heavily favoured to win Alberta and the Prairies, and are narrowly behind in British Columbia. They should finish second in Ontario and are in a close race with the New Democrats for that spot in Atlantic Canada. In Quebec, they are vying with the Bloc for the third spot, but are expected to finish fourth.

The NDP is projected to finish third by a wide margin in Alberta, the Prairies, and Ontario. The New Democrats are also slated for third place in British Columbia, with second place finishes in Quebec (though likely with more seats) and, by a hair, in Atlantic Canada.

The Greens are projected to have their best numbers in British Columbia, where they are expected to take between 8.4% and 10% of the vote. The Bloc is projected to take between 18.1% and 21.5% in Quebec, marking its worst performance. It could better its four seats of 2011, however.

Overcoming long odds in a long campaign

When this campaign began, the Liberals were sinking deeper into third as the Conservatives and New Democrats jostled for top spot. The idea that the Liberals would be favoured to win a minority government, and potentially even a majority government, would have been seen as unlikely, to say the least. And yet here we are, with word being from those in the know that there is greater likelihood of the Liberals outperforming their polls as they pick up strategic voters from the NDP, rather than the Conservatives pulling off an upset.

The Liberals have the momentum and have big numbers in Ontario. These two factors alone could be enough to carry them through. Indications that the party is doing surprisingly well among francophones in Quebec and could win more seats than previously believed in places like Alberta are strong signals that the safe money would be on the Liberals tonight.

But Conservative parties in Canada have made a habit of beating expectations on election night. And why not? Their supporters tend towards the older, as do voters. In a campaign where Stephen Harper has been (rightly or not) vilified, and in which identity politics reared its ugly head, why wouldn't poll respondents be reluctant to say they intend to vote Conservative? Both of these factors could give the Conservatives a boost at the ballot box. Maybe not the five points that some think is plausible, but just enough to turn an easy Liberal victory into a nail biter. On the other hand, after 10 years in office and a lacklustre campaign, maybe their supporters simply don't show up.

And what of the NDP? Their incumbents can be tough to beat, proving resilient in a number of elections in which the NDP had a far slimmer chance of forming government than they have today. And perhaps the vote splits in Quebec will work in their favour, rather than against them. Combined, that could easily boost the NDP closer to the 100-seat mark than they are currently projected to hit, which has the potential to hurt the Liberals in their quest for victory.  

But these are only plausible what-if scenarios. The Liberals should win tonight, based on the data that is available. Will they? And, if so, will it be a minority or majority government?

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone reading for making the Poll Tracker and this site such a tremendous success during the election campaign. It has been very rewarding and endlessly enjoyable to work with such a great organization as the CBC, and to get such fantastic support from the wonderful team at the CBC Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa (and, lately, in Toronto). It has also been rewarding to see how much fun many of you have had following the trends with me over the last few months. I hope the results on Monday night will show it was worthwhile to follow the polls and my analyses in this roller-coaster of an election campaign. Now it's up to you: go vote!

2015 Canadian federal election riding projections

The following are ThreeHundredEight.com's riding-level projections for the federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015. These numbers were last updated on October 18, 2015, and reflect the best estimates as of October 18, 2015, the last day of polls included in the model.

ThreeHundredEight.com's detailed national and regional vote and seat projections can now be found at the CBC's Poll Tracker. The riding projections here may lag behind the Poll Tracker's latest projections by a day or more. Please be sure to check the date of the projections above.

A detailed explanation of the vote and seat projection models that have been used to make these riding projections can be found here.

These riding projections are the best estimates of likely outcomes if an election were held on the last day of polling. The high and low results are  the estimates of likely floors and ceilings, based on the high and low vote projection ranges. The probabilities listed beside each riding is the likelihood that, if an election were held on the last day of polling, the projection model would correctly identify the winner. It does not assign any probability to a particular trailing party winning the riding - if a projection gives the leading party a 75% chance of winning, there is a 25% chance that any of the other parties could win (though, in practice, most ridings are only contests between two parties).

These riding projections are not polls and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of current voting intentions in each riding.

The interactive riding map above was created by Stephen McMurtry, who specializes in data visualization. You can visit his site here.

A full screen version of the map can be found here. If there are any discrepancies between the projections above and those in the charts below, the charts are correct.

These riding projections are not polls and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of current voting intentions in each riding.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2015 Federal Election Link Round-up: Week 11

The final week is finally here!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated for the last time in this campaign (*sniff*). I'll have a detailed breakdown of the final projection up on this site soon.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated (at 7:27 PM ET).

- My final Poll Tracker analysis for the CBC in this campaign, in which I go over the broad strokes of what to expect tonight.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated (at 12:45 PM ET). I'll update throughout the day if new polls emerge, and post my final projection late tonight.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

- An extra-long, extra-good episode of the Pollcast, the last before the election! Joining me is Chris Hall, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the races in this campaign, and Christian Bourque of Léger, who has been a favourite of ours on the podcast. Don't forget to subscribe here, the post-election episode will be one you won't want to miss.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated. But a note about those. Throughout this campaign, the projections on this site have been quoted by many as if they were actual polls. They are not, as I have made explicitly clear. They are estimates based on province-wide trends and, when available, riding polls. They are not an aggregation of polls done within a riding, as a public poll has not been conducted in most ridings. That is the case with Outremont, which is currently projected to go Liberal by a whisker.

Understand this: there have been no public polls in Outremont, so we do not know for certain if Thomas Mulcair is in any trouble or not. What the projection says is this: if the NDP's support in Quebec decreases by a uniform proportion throughout the province, and if Thomas Mulcair is unable to withstand those trends to a greater extent than the average party leader in his situation, then he might be in tough in his own riding. Those are big assumptions. What the projections suggest is that Outremont is a riding to watch, and one the Liberals could theoretically pick up. The projections do not suggest that Mulcair is actually trailing in his riding.

The same applies to every single riding projection, and I urge people to use them as a rough guide to the race, rather than a precise measurement of actual support.

- My final regional spotlight is on the GTA, minus the T.

- A did a round-up of the electoral map with Chris Hall on The House this morning.

- A last look at the polls on the polling panel with Dimitri Pantazopoulos and Shachi Kurl.

- The latest polls are all showing a Liberal lead, but it is either a relatively narrow one that the Tories might close on turnout (Angus Reid Institute, EKOS) or it is a wide one that gives a strong indication of the Liberals winning a minority, or possible majority, government (Nanos, Léger, Mainstreet).

- Poll Tracker update and an episode of the Pollcast coming today!

Friday, October 16, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- Nanos, EKOS, and Forum this morning and yesterday afternoon, as well as some Mainstreet riding polls from Alberta and British Columbia. Nanos and EKOS showing a Conservative uptick, but Forum isn't.

- I was on Metro Morning yesterday talking about the state of the race in Toronto, and projections more generally.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- National polls yesterday afternoon and this morning show the Liberals still in a good spot, with Nanos continuing to show the party with the momentum. EKOS has the Liberals and Tories down with the NDP up, though their NDP score puts them on par with other pollsters. There have also been a smattering of riding polls, which I'm having trouble keeping track of. So I suggest you peruse this exhaustive list from now until Monday.

- I was on Power and Politics yesterday talking about British Columbia.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

- Sorry for the lack of updates today! In the meantime, you can check out my analysis of British Columbia. Back to normal (or as close as I can get to it here in Trawna) tomorrow!

- You can also take a look at this. I think the guinea pigs are an electoral reform option nobody is talking about, but they should be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated. It was either update at the end of the day today, or not update until Thursday, due to scheduling issues tomorrow. I don't think that would have went over well.

- I took a look at where the polls were a week out in 2011, and what (if anything) we can draw from that in 2015.

- No national polls this morning! Woe be upon us. The best we have is a poll in Chicoutimi–Le Fjord, showing the NDP in a better position than expected in the projections. It will be added for the next update.

- Don't freak out, but there may be no Poll Tracker update until Thursday. No polls today with which to update, and I will probably not have time tomorrow to squeeze an update in. I apologize in advance if that is the case.

Monday, October 12, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- Happy Thanksgiving! Which, according to pundits like me, is the time when you are legally mandated to argue politics with your family.

- A few polls over the last few days, despite the holiday weekend. Nanos is showing a very wide Liberal lead, as is Forum. EKOS is showing a much closer race, however. And it is differentiated from the other polls in having the New Democrats very low, at just 19%.

- My latest regional look, which went up on Saturday, was at the regions of Quebec, or Quebec outside the Greater Montreal. When I initially planned my schedule of regional looks, I had made certain to put Quebec near the end of the list just in case. That turned out to be a good idea.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

2015 Federal Election Link Round-up, Week 10

The debates are done and we now find ourselves in the penultimate week. A decisive week?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- I talked to Chris Hall on The House about the TPP and the trend line heading into the final week.

- Another four polls this morning: EKOS, Nanos, Angus Reid Institute, and Innovative. Innovative and Nanos show the Liberals moving ahead, and EKOS has it tightening up. ARI has moved into agreement with the other pollsters compared to where it stood before.

- Some long-weekend scheduling: I'll be updating the Poll Tracker today and on Monday, but not Sunday.

Friday, October 9, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- The latest episode of the Pollcast, with unofficial co-host David Coletto of Abacus Data. We talked the change vote and the TPP.

- Looking for a poll today? Looking for four? Nanos, Léger, EKOS, Mainstreet. All but Mainstreet show the Liberals ahead, and even that poll has the gap at one point after putting it at seven.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

- My latest analysis of the new polling numbers.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- Talking about the polls on last night's Power and Politics with Rosemary Barton.

- The latest episode of the Pollcast, featuring Susan Delacourt! We talk about what impact the polls have had on this campaign, and how the media has been covering them.

- Les tendances des sondages - Matins sans frontières, Radio-Canada Windsor.

- The last 18 hours of polls: Nanos showing the Liberals down, the NDP up, and the Conservatives up a little since their previous three-day sample. Since a day before, EKOS showing the Tories and NDP down, the Liberals up. And Forum showing the Liberals up and the Conservatives down from their previous survey. A lot of convergence, then, from the more confusing picture the polls were painting over the past week or two. Also, some riding polls from Mainstreet for the Ottawa region.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- My latest regional spotlight is on Toronto.

- Your daily Nanos. Compared to the previous three day sample, every party has moved about a point: the Liberals and NDP down, the Conservatives up. And an Abacus Data poll just released, showing the Conservatives up very slightly, and the Liberals making a more substantial gain at the expense of the NDP. With this poll, and the EKOS poll yesterday, I think we're starting to see more convergence.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

- My latest analysis of the polls, and how they are still in disagreement. And this disagreement might continue on a daily basis, as EKOS will now be releasing daily tracking polls too!

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- A few national polls released in the last day. Your daily Nanos, which compared to the previous independent three day sample is showing the Liberals and Conservatives up very marginally and the NDP down less marginally (and overall, the Liberals leading the Conservatives by 3.5 points). Ipsos Reid is showing very little change from their previous poll, with the NDP and Liberals down a point and the Conservatives up one (the Conservatives lead the Liberals by one). And then there's Mainstreet, which shows the Conservatives almost in majority territory (the Conservatives lead the Liberals by eight). Their previous poll was done almost two months before, so the trend line is not very informative. Also note that Mainstreet was out of the field on October 1, whereas Nanos and Ipsos were out of the field on October 5.

- Another bunch of riding polls from Forum. Check out this page for the full list.

Monday, October 5, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- Your daily Nanos. Compared to the last independent sample from Nanos, we're looking at a small drop for the Conservatives (0.9 points), a decent increase for the Liberals (2.1 points), and a slide for the NDP (3.1 points). Compared to the sample before that, we're looking at much more substantial movement (-1.6 for the Conservatives, +4.2 for the Liberals, and -4.2 for the NDP). Also, a riding poll from Forum for Peterborough–Kawartha.

- If you're up this early, you can catch me on CBC Quebec City radio (in English) at about 8:10 ET and on CBC News Network at 8:40 ET.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

2015 Federal Election Link Round-up, Week 9

Only three more full weeks to go before voting day. Are we starting to see the three-way race became unstuck?

Saturday, October 3, 2014

- My latest regional analysis is of Greater Montreal.

- I was on The House this morning talking about the latest polls and the impact of the debates.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated. On a weekend! Now that we're in the final stretch, I will try to update on the weekends when there are enough polls out to warrant an update. I wouldn't update for a single Nanos poll, for example, but today I had three to add.

Friday, October 2, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated, and the actual candidates in each riding has been taken into account in these projections.

- This is a great editorial from the National Post in defence of polling. The editorial makes pretty much every point I would make in defence of polling during a campaign, so I give it a very hearty thumbs up.

- Your daily Nanos, which has the Liberals up and the Tories and NDP down compared to their previous independent three-day sample. An Angus Reid Institute poll from yesterday, but since we haven't heard from ARI in a little while it is difficult to see the trend line. But it echoes the Forum poll from yesterday. And a Léger poll this morning, showing the NDP down and some big changes in Quebec. Finally, a Forum riding poll for University–Rosedale showing a close race.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

- Here's my analysis of this morning's polling.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated. Note that the riding projections do not take into account the official candidate list yet.

- Your daily Nanos, showing stability for the Liberals and Conservatives and a tiny decline for the NDP since Nanos's previous independent three-day sample. And a Forum poll, showing the Conservatives up, the Liberals down, and the NDP steady. The two polls (looking at when Nanos was last in the field at the same time as Forum) agree on the Conservative uptick, but disagree on whether it is the NDP (Nanos) or the Liberals (Forum) that dropped as a result.

- For those wondering, as the official list of candidates is now finalized I will be going through that list to make sure the projections reflect the actual ballot in each riding. Look for those updated numbers either later today or tomorrow.

- I was on Power and Politics last night talking about Alberta.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- My latest regional focus, this time on Alberta.

- The daily Nanos poll, which is generally showing stability for the Liberals and Conservatives and continuing decline for the New Democrats. That has been the story of the last week. Here are Nanos's results since the beginning of September, looking only at the independent three day samples:

09/08: 26% - 31% - 33%
09/11: 31% - 30% - 32%
09/14: 31% - 30% - 30%
09/17: 29% - 31% - 31%
09/20: 31% - 29% - 29%
09/23: 31% - 31% - 32%
09/26: 32% - 28% - 33%
09/29: 32% - 26% - 32%

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- A busy day yesterday! Here I am on The National talking about the latest polls (starts at 8:55), here's the polling panel with David Coletto and Dimitri Pantazapoulos on Power and Politics, et hier sur Midi info au sujet des sondages et leur importance.

- Stability in your daily Nanos numbers, while Ipsos Reid is showing the same sort of longer term gains for the Tories and losses for the NDP that other polls have been showing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

- My analysis of today's polls. This was before the new Ipsos Reid poll. And the Pollcast episode with David Coletto is up. You can find it here.

- The Poll Tracker and riding projections have been updated.

- The Abacus poll, with the surprisingly large drop for the NDP in Quebec. Stay tuned for the next episode of the Pollcast, as David Coletto of Abacus Data will drop by to talk about his numbers.

- Your daily Nanos, which is showing some definite movement against the New Democrats. It is certainly the most dramatic shift we've seen since the three-way race ensconced itself. Also, some interesting Innovative numbers (see the full website for all the PDFs), and an Abacus poll is forthcoming. Some riding polls from Forum have just been released, looking at two ridings in Edmonton and one in Ottawa.

- On The House this weekend, I talked about Ontario and the latest EKOS poll. I also took my regional look to northern, central, and eastern Ontario.

- In case you were wondering, I'm not going to calculate the weekly averages as they were conflicting with the Poll Tracker and confusing some people.