Wednesday, 27 February 2019

338 Projections vs By-Elections in Burnaby South, Outremont and York-Simcoe

Three federal by-elections were held Monday in Burnaby South, BC, Outremont, Quebec, and York-Simcoe, Ontario. The winners of those by-elections will sit in the House of Commons for the remainder of the 42nd legislature, which is scheduled to be dissolved next September.

Although the 338Canada Electoral Projections are designed to project the result of the next general election, data is data, so let's compare the results of those by-elections with the riding projections published last Sunday, February 24th 2019.

By-elections are usually far more difficult to project, because 1) very little local data is available (reliable data that is, not "internal polls"), 2) the turnout rate is more often than not much lower than in a general election, so there is greater uncertainty on who will go vote (and who won't), and 3) the small amount of coverage makes it hard to estimate "hyperlocal" effects.

Nevertheless, let's take a look at all three by-election results and compare them with 338Canada's latest projections:

Burnaby-South, BC

Jagmeet Singh has finally become an elected MP with his victory in Burnaby South. Because the projection was designed for the general election, the Green Party was still included in the graphs. My intentions were to create a side projection for the by-election, but the data available was unfortunately too limited.

Take a look:


The LPC and CPC projections were right on the mark. The model slightly overestimated the PPC's performance (although getting to double digits is still considered a fairly good result for the PPC).

The NDP's results tells me that, with an effective ground game and get-out-the-vote efforts, the NDP was able to consolidate most of its support and a fair fraction of Green voters. With a Green candidate on the ballot, it is safe to assume Mr Singh's margin of victory would have been much narrower.


Outremont, Quebec


The departure of Tom Mulcair (or, rather, his ousting from its leadership) has hurt the NDP a great deal in voting intentions, especially in Quebec, where the NDP won over 40% of the vote in 2011, about 25% in 2015, and is currently polling at barely 9%-11% in the province.

Therefore, the clear favourite going into the Outremont by-election was the Liberal candidate. Indeed, the LPC used to win Outremont easily (24 out of 25 times between 1935 and 2006) before Tom Mulcair's arrival on the federal scene in 2007.

Here are the projections and results:


The Liberal, Green and Bloc projections were almost perfect, but the model underestimated the NDP candidate (Julia Sanchez) by 9 points. It also missed the mark with the Conservative vote - the CPC finished 5th with a disappointing 7.3%.




York-Simcoe, Ontario


York-Simcoe was projected as a safe conservative seat, and the results confirmed it clearly. Conservative candidate Scot Davidson won 53.9% of the vote, just barely above the projection's confidence interval.


The Liberal and NDP projections were dead on. The model did overestimate the results of the smaller parties (GPC and PPC).


* * *

It would be unwise to brag about those results (doubt is safer than certainty), but it gives me great confidence on the model's performance and the quality of the poll aggregate so far.

The next 338 Projection Update will be published on Sunday, as per usual.

Have a great day!



Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

338 Projection Update: LPC Slides, Conservatives and Liberals Neck and Neck

We add three more polls to the 338 Electoral Projection this week:



All the federal polls (conducted by professional firms, and not those from local riding associations...) are listed on this page.



Here is the 338 Electoral Projection Update for February 24th 2019.


Popular Vote Projection


We still have a statistical tie on top of voting intentions, but this time the Conservative Party of Canada sits on top, barely, with an average support of 34.8%. Polls in the last month have put the CPC as low as 32% (Nanos) and as high as 38% (Campaign Research & Nanos). The Léger/CP poll released this week was the first Léger poll showing the CPC ahead since 2015 (per Jean-Marc Léger himself on Twitter).


The Liberal Party of Canada slides again this week with an average of 34.4%, down half a point from last week's projection (where it was down 0.7 point from the previous week).

The other big winner this week was the Bloc québécois, which gains two more points on average in Quebec. If the BQ continues to climb and approaches the 20% mark, the odds of a liberal "quasi-sweep" of Quebec will go down significantly.

Here are the popular vote projections with 95% confidence intervals.





Seat Projection


Unsurprisingly, the seat projection tightens up even more this week. With the Liberals shedding support in Quebec, the Conservative Party of Canada continues to climb and wins an average of 151 seats.



The Liberal Party of Canada stands just behind with an average of 149 seats. To give readers an idea of how close these projections are, take a look at this probability density graph:


With such numbers, it is impossible to identify which party is the favourite or the underdog. The distributions overlap each other almost perfectly (notice the Liberal curve is slightly wider: this is because the LPC is competitive, but not necessarily leading, in more ridings than the CPC).

The New Democratic Party wins an average of 19 seats, which still is less than half its 2015 result. Naturally, all eyes will be on the Burnaby South by-election tomorrow. The results could have national consequences.




As mentioned above, the Bloc québécois has fared much better in the polls since the arrival of Yves-François Blanchet at the helm. Here is the BQ seat probability density, which has an average of 13 seats:






Odds of Winning the Most Seats


With this week's numbers added to the 338 model, we have - almost literally - a coinflip on which party could win the most seats. The CPC wins the most seats in close to 51% of the 250k simulations ran by the model. The LPC wins the most seats in about 48% of simulations.

The remainder of simulations are those where the CPC and LPC are tied in number of seats (the black line on the graph below).






Regional distribution


  • In the Atlantic provinces, the Liberals still hold a comfortable lead, but not comfortable enough for a clean sweep like the 2015 elections. Conservatives are poised to make gains in New Brunswick
  • In Quebec, the Liberals still win an average of 50 seats. The Conservatives lead in the Quebec City area. Maxime Bernier is projected ahead in Beauce.
  • In Ontario, the Conservatives and Liberals are in a statistical tie, with an edge given to the Conservatives in terms of seats. 
  • In the Prairies (MB/SK), the Conservatives are ahead. The Liberals hold most of their seats in Winnipeg.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives are projected ahead in 33 of 34 districts. The NDP could hold on to Edmonton-Strathcona. Liberals won 4 seats in Alberta in 2015 and are currently projected to lose them all. 
  • In British Columbia, many districts are projected as toss ups. The Liberals, NDP and Conservatives could split Greater Vancouver, the Greens could make gains on Vancouver Island. The Conservatives lead in most rural regions.


The complete map of the projection has been updated.




To find your home district and/or region, I invite readers to use this list:

And don't forget: three by-elections Monday night: Outremont, York-Simcoe, and Burnaby South.

Next 338 update will be on Sunday, March 3rd 2019. Have a great week!



Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Interview on CTV Montreal About the Upcoming By-Elections






Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Two New Polls From Léger and Ipsos Give Conservatives Edge Over Grits

It looks like the Jody Wilson-Raybould / SNC-Lavalin story unfolding in Ottawa lit an fire under several pollsters in the country. Two new polls, published in consecutive days, give a slight edge to the Conservatives over the Liberals.

First, Ipsos/Global News published yesterday a poll that showed a seven point swing in favour of the Conservatives since December. Here are the national results from Ipsos:


[*Ipsos does not include the Green Party of Canada nor the People's Party of Canada in its polls.]

Today, The Canadian Press published Léger's new numbers, and they indicate pretty much the same tendencies as Ipsos the day before. Léger measures an 8 points swing, and the Conservatives take the lead (albeit barely) for the first time in a Léger poll since 2015 (according to Jean-Marc Léger himself on Twitter).






My sources tell me more new numbers are expected later this week. This surely will make the next 338 Electoral Update interesting to watch. Tune in Sunday for the update.




Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

338 Projection Update: February 17th 2019

The details of this week's 338 Electoral Projection are published on L'actualité magazine's website at this address. I invite you to visit the page and support this project. If you do not read French, online translators like Google Translate do a surprisingly decent job (I've tried it myself and it's not half bad!).


Here are the seat projections per party:



The complete map of this projection has been updated. Click here to visit the interactive map.



All 338 district projections are now available on 338Canada.com. To find your home district, use this list:



Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Campaign Research Poll: Conservatives Ahead Nationally, BQ surges in Quebec

The polling firm Campaign Research was last on the field in December and it measured a two point lead for the Conservatives over the Liberals (essentially a statistical tie if we consider the poll's uncertainty).

Last night, Campaign published fresh numbers that show the Conservatives taking an outright lead in voting intentions in Canada. Campaign was on the field February 7th to 11th, meaning it was polling Canadians as the Globe & Mail story about Justin Trudeau, Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin was unfolding.

Here are the results:



The Conservative Party of Canada leads the pack with 37% of support among the poll's 1 590 voter sample. It is the highest score for the CPC in a non-Forum Research poll in months.

Also of note in this poll are the Quebec numbers. In the past weeks, the polling firms Léger, Innovative Reseach, Nanos and now Campaign Research all measured an increase of support for the Bloc québécois in Quebec. For the better part of 2018, the BQ was polling in the low teens and its seat projection hovered around 3-8 seats at best. The arrival of new Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet may have revived the hopes of the pro-independence party.

Here are Campaign's latest Quebec numbers:


These new numbers will be added to the list of polls included in the 338 model. A complete new electoral projection will be published tomorrow, Sunday February 17th. Stay tuned.

Enjoy the weekend!


* * *

Here is the report from Campaign Research.



Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

338 Projection Update: February 10th 2019

New polls were added to the 338 Projection this week: the Nanos weekly tracker and the Léger/Journal de Montréal Québec poll.

Here are all the national polls from the last twelve months. The complete list is available here.




Popular Vote Projection


Again this week, we have a statistical tie between the Liberals and Conservatives on top of voting intentions:


Here are the popular vote intentions with 95% confidence interval brackets:




Seat Projection


We still have a significant overlap between the Liberals and Conservatives for the seat projections. The threshold for a majority is 170 seats.



Here are the seat projections per party:




Odds of Winning the Most Seats


The Liberals win the most seats in two thirds of all 100k simulations. The Conservatives win the remaining third.



Regional distribution


The complete map of this projection has been updated. Click here to visit the interactive map.



All 338 district projections are now available on 338Canada.com. To find your home district, use this list:



Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

338 Projection Update: Return to a Two-Party System in Canada?

New polls were published in the past seven days: the Nanos weekly update and the federal Mainstreet Research Ultrapoll. Both polls showed similar tendencies: 1) the Liberals still stand slighly ahead of the Conservatives, but are losing ground in the West, 2) the NDP are near a complete collapse, 3) The Bloc québécois has not (yet) enjoyed a boost from the nomination of its new leader Yves-François Blanchet.

All federal polls are listed on this page. Methodology for this projection follows the same basic rules as did the Qc125 model in Québec and Ontario*: the model calculates a weighted average of all polls publicly published by professional firms. The weighting depends on field date, sample size and historical performance of the polling firm on similar polling endeavours (i.e. provincial polls are not the same as federal polls or municipal polls, etc.). Moreover, the model takes into account the electoral history of all regions of Canada and the demographic data published by the Canadian census.

(*In 2018, the Qc125 model correctly predicted the PC and CAQ majorities in Ontario and Québec respectively, and correctly identified the winners in 111/124 ridings in Ontario and 112/125 ridings in Québec.)

As the last parliamentary session of the 42nd federal legislature gets under way next week, here are where the main parties stand less than 8 months away from the general election.



Popular Vote Projection


Although every poll published since mid-December 2018 shows the Liberals in the lead nation-wide, the gap between the Liberals and the Conservatives is still too narrow to be considered statistically significant. Indeed, as we will see below, we have a statistical tie on top of voting intentions.

The Liberal Party of Canada leads the way with an average of 35.9%. As we will see below, the Liberals are leading in the Maritimes, Québec and are neck and neck with the Conservatives in Ontario. The Liberals seem to have lost ground lately in BC, where it could cost them some crucial seats.

The Conservative Party of Canada currently stands at an average support of 34.0%. According to current numbers, the Conservatives could win as many as 40 more seats than in 2015. Those net gains could potentially come from New Brunswick, Ontario, and all of the western provinces.

For most of 2018, the New Democratic Party polled, at best, in the low 20s and in the high teens, but in the past few months, its score has fallen closer to 15% or below. This week, the NDP's average stands at 13.0%. On February 25th, all eyes will turn towards the Vancouver district of Burnaby South where NDP Jagmeet Singh hopes to get elected to the House of Commons. Should he failed to do so, it could have national consequences.

Here are the popular vote projections with 95% confidence intervals:






Seat Projection


The Liberal Party of Canada, which won 184 seats in 2015, wins a average of 174 seats over one hundred thousand simulations performed by the 338 model. The threshold for a majority is 170 seats, so a Liberal majority - or even a Liberal win for that matter - would be far from certain should those numbers hold until the fall.


The Conservative Party of Canada climbs again this week in the seat projection, this time with an average seat count of 143. As it stands right now, the CPC would be the only party in position to make net gains compared to the 2015 general election (with, to a much lesser extent, the Green Party of Canada).

Consider the following graphs. It depicts the probability densities of seat projections for all major parties with a comparison with their 2015 seat totals.

For the LPC and CPC, the probability functions overlap significantly, meaning that although the Liberals still hold a slight edge, a Conservative (minority) win would still be a plausible scenario:


Here is the NDP seat probability density. Obviously, it falls way short of its 44 seat total of 2015:


For the Bloc québécois, I would urge to use caution with these numbers. As mentioned above, the BQ has a new leader since mid-January, and it would be a reasonable assumption that his arrival has not yet made the needle move for the pro-independence party.


The Green Party of Canada is projection to make modest gains, especially in Vancouver Island in BC:







Projection of outcome


With these numbers, the Liberals win the most seats in about three quarters of all simulations. This graphs shows the probability density of the seat difference between the LPC and the CPC.





Regional Distribution


All 338 district projections are now available on 338Canada.com. To find your home district, use this list:


The complete map of this projection is available on this page.



New polls are expected later this week. Stay tuned.




Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.