Sunday, 23 December 2018

338Canada Electoral Projection Update: 2018 Ends With High Uncertainty

Several Canadian polling firms have been on the field since late November to measure the pulse of Canadian voters, and so we end the year with a slate of fresh data to sink our teeth in. Indeed, in the past four weeks, six different firms have publicly released voting intentions of Canadian voters and, while the numbers vary from one firm to another, taken together these numbers show that the Liberals end 2018 on a downward trend.

[Here are all publicly available federal polls that have been published in 2018. Visit this page for the complete list.]

We add these numbers to the 338Canada model and, with the help of these polls' regional and demographic sub-samples, we publish today a brand new federal projection that depicts the current political landscape in Canada at the dusk of 2018.

Popular Vote Projection


Riding just under the 40% mark for most of the fall, the Liberal Party of Canada ends the year down to an average of 35.0% of popular support. The Liberals have their work cut out of them for 2019, because even though they are still leading the pack nationally, such a level of support could prove insufficient to win a second straight majority (as we will see below).


Not far behind the LPC, the Conservative Party of Canada finishes 2018 with an average popular support of 33.1%. When we look back at the CPC numbers throughout the year, we notice that, outside of natural fluctuations, its support has been incredibly stable - never much below 30% nor much above 35%. Thus, when the seat projections show a tightening between the LPC and the Conservatives (as it is the case this week), it is better explained by the Liberals dropping then by a Conservative surge.

Even though the New Democratic Party ticks up a point and a half to 16.1% this week, the left leaning party has little cause for celebration this year. Compared to its 2015 results, the NDP is down in every region of the country and is on the verge of being wiped out of Quebec (where it won 16 seats in 2015, highest number of any province). We will watch the Burnaby South by-election closely this winter, as it could have national consequences: should Jagmeet Singh fail to get elected to the House of Commons, an NDP caucus revolt would not be out of the question, as Don Martin of CTV News wrote in his 2019 predictions. The Green Party has already announced that it will not have a candidate for the by election as a "courtesy" for the NDP leader.

A cynical liberal strategist could think his party should do the same to make sure Mr Singh stays in place for the general election next fall. After all, no federal party benefits more from the NDP's misfortune than the Liberal Party. But that's a whole other story.

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



Seat Projections


With the current level of support, the Liberal Party of Canada wins an average of 166 seats (down from 189 last week), just 4 seats shy of the majority threshold of 170 seats. As you can see from this graph below, the Liberals have the highest average seat count, but their confidence intervals overlap significantly those of the Conservatives - meaning there is a high level of uncertainty on which party could win the most seats.


The Conservative Party of Canada ticks up this week to an average of 133 seats nationally (significantly higher than its 2015 total of 99 seats). As we will see below, such level of support would make the CPC a strong underdog should those numbers hold to next fall. However, notice how wide those confidence intervals spread: from 92 to 172 seats. This tells us once again how uncertain and blurry the current picture is.

The New Democratic Party wins an average of 27 seats, up almost ten seats from last week's numbers. However, such a result would still be quite a setback compared to the 44 seats Thomas Mulcair and the NDP won in 2015.

In Quebec, the Bloc québécois takes advantage of the Liberals' slide in La belle province: the current BQ average is 8 seats (it won 10 seats in 2015). We will watch with attention in January to see whether BQ leader candidate Yves-François Blanchet (the lone candidate so far) will move the needle for the pro-independence party.

The Green Party of Canada takes an average of 3 seats per simulation, all of which are located on Vancouver Island in BC.

Finally, the People's Party of Canada is currently leading in the swing district of Beauce, PPC leader Maxime Bernier's home riding.


Projection of the winner


The 338Canada model ran 100k general election simulations that took into account several weeks of polling, demographic data from the Canadian census and the electoral history of all 338 districts.

With current popular support and seat projections, the Liberal Party wins the most seats in three quarters of all simulations (75.8%). It wins a majority of seats in 45% of simulations.


The Conservative Party wins the most seats in 23.5% of simulations. Although a Conservative majority is not impossible with current numbers, this scenario would be considered an outlier (3.7% of simulations).



Regional Distribution


In the Atlantic provinces, where the LPC swept all 32 electoral districts in 2015, the Liberals are still leading comfortably the seat projection, although another sweep looks rather implausible. The Conservatives could make gains, especially in New Brunswick.



The hopes for a Trudeau reelection have at least one clear path, and it is to sweep Quebec and most of its 78 seats. According to current numbers, the LPC could win as much as 55 seats in Quebec, way up from its 2015 total of 40 seats. Those potential liberal gains come mostly from the NDP, which could be reduced to two seats: Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie (Alexandre Boulerice) and Berthier-Maskinongé (Ruth Ellen Brosseau).



In Ontario, recent numbers have fluctuated so much that seat projections have a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Look at those confidence intervals:


While the Liberals hold the highest Ontarian seat average with 58, the confidence intervals spread so wide that we have a statistical tie. In fact, when running test simulations, the model calculates that a mere two point swing between the LPC and the CPC could cause at least 25 seats to change colour.


In the Prairies, the Conservatives are poised to win almost every seat outside of Winnipeg and Ralph Goodale's Saskatchewan district of Regina–Wascana.


It is no surprise that the Conservatives are ahead in Alberta, but with the support just under 60% of Albertan voters, the Conservatives are currently projected leading in 33 of the province's 34 seats. This blue wave would wipe the Liberals out of Alberta (where they won 4 seats in 2015) and the only district left would be Edmonton Strathcona (where the NDP is still favourite).



Finally, British Columbia has without a doubt the highest concentration of swing districts and three way races. While the Liberals still hold a narrow lead over its rivals, every party - including the Greens - can hope to make gains in BC.




In conclusion



Less than ten months away from the 43rd Canadian general elections, we end the year 2018 with high levels of uncertainty regarding the voting intentions of Canadians.

While the Liberals are still in the lead nationally, their current position cannot be described as comfortable. Should a cooling in the global economy affect Canadians in a negative way, we could see anger and dissatisfaction towards the Liberals translate into support for its rivals. One point or two in Ontario could swing the projection in favour of the Conservatives and make Justin Trudeau a one term Prime Minister.

Quebec will also have a say on the 2019 election. The Liberals have been leading by wide margins in Quebec since the 2015 election, but a renewed leadership for the Bloc québécois (and what looks like an inevitable nomination for Mr Blanchet) could open up room for an anti-liberal and/or protest vote, especially with the NDP so low in the province.

It will be a fascinating year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to 338Canada readers!

* * *

If you enjoy this blog, thanks for sharing it with friends and relatives. I believe Canadian media needs data based, spin free and non partisan political analysis, which I intend to provide all the way to the election next fall.

I wish to sincerely thank all those who support this blog and comment respectfully on 338's Facebook page and on Twitter.





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.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Campaign Research: Conservatives Pull Ahead

In the past month, polls from multiple firms have measured a downward trend for the Justin Trudeau's Liberals. In early November, the Nanos tracker had the LPC alone in first place with double digit leads over the Conservatives. In mid Novermber, Leger estimated the Liberal lead at six points. Then in December, Nanos had a statistical tie between the LPC and the CPC.

Earlier this week, Toronto based Campaign Research published a poll conducted from an online panel of 1494 voters (from December 11th to 13th) which has the Conservative two points ahead of the Liberals.

Here are the national results:


Seeing the Conservatives at 35% is in itself not surprising, since other firms on the field lately have measured the same level of support. However, 33% for the Liberals is much lower than its recent score (except from Forum...). Perhaps Nanos' big swing from two weeks ago was not so much an outlier after all.

The main difference between this Campaign Research poll and others we have seen lately is the support for the Liberals in both Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Campaign measures the LPC at 38% in both regions - which still puts the Liberals in first place, but with much narrower margins.

Campaign also has a statistical tie in Ontario with the Conservatives at 37% and Liberals at 36%. In the Prairies, the CPC has a 20 point lead and in Alberta, 40 points separate the CPC and the LPC. In BC, there is a near tie at the top with the Liberals at 34% and Conservatices at 30%.

We add this Campaign Research poll to the list of federal polls of 2018:


Angus Reid also published a poll yesterday. I will delve into that throughout the day.

This surely will make the next 338Canada projection update interesting! It will be ready this Sunday, as usual. Stay tuned.


* * *

Here is Campaign Research's full report.




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.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Nanos Weekly Update: Statistical Tie Between the LPC and CPC

The Nanos weekly tracker has been updated. The swing from last week has been somewhat tamed, but we still have a statistical tie on top with the Liberals at 36% and the Conservatives at 34%.


The Conservatives are ahead comfortably in the Prairies (which include Alberta in Nanos' numbers) and are about five points above the Liberals in Ontario.

The Liberals lead by double digits in the Altlantic provinces and in Quebec.

The NDP and Liberals are tied in British Columbia.

We add this update to the list of polls (which you can find here):


As per usual, a full 338Canada projection update will be published on Sunday.

* * *

Here is Nanos' weekly report.




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, 15 December 2018

338Canada Projection Update: December 16th 2018

We add to the projection the Forum poll published last Sunday and the Nanos update (here is the full list).


You can access those projections by region:


This 338Canada Projection includes the following political parties: the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party of Canada, the Bloc québécois, and the People's Party of Canada.

Here are the regional breakdowns per party:





While it is legitimate to wonder whether last week's Nanos numbers fluctuated this drastically because of noisy data (especially the 28 point swing in Ontario between Libs and Tories), Forum's numbers were inline with what Forum has been measuring all throughout 2018.

Here are all the federal polls of 2018, with Forum's polls indicated by a black arrow:


So there is a clear trend in Forum's numbers: they tend to favour conservatives more than any other firm on the field in Canada.

That being said, I do not discard Forum's numbers entirely. However, the 338Canada model automatically gives a poll lesser weight in its calculation if it is seen as an outlier (said poll would regain its due weight if it is later confirmed by other polls).

And so here is the popular vote projection for December 16th 2018:

The most significant swing this week is the gap between the Liberals and Conservatives closing by an average of 1.6 point. The Liberals are still heavy favourites, but as you can see on the chart below, the confidence intervals are now overlapping:



Here is the seat projection. The threshold of majority at the House of Commons is 170 seats.




You can also view the interactive map of the projection by clicking the following image:




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.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Rachel Notley's NDP Is In Trouble

The Calgary based firm ThinkHQ published an Alberta poll last week and it confirmed the trends that other pollsters have measured over the better part of 2018 - at least since the merger between the PC and the Wildrose.

According to this poll, the United Conservative Party has a substantial lead over Rachel Notley's NDP:


In fact, the UCP leads by double digits in Calgary and in every other region of Alberta.

Only in Edmonton is the NDP still leading in voting intentions - but by a narrower margin than the 2015 general election results. In 2015, the NDP received over 60% of the vote in greater Edmonton and this polls only measures 47% of support for the governing party (and 36% for the UCP).

I am working on an Alberta model which should be ready this spring. To be continued.


* * *

This poll was conducted November 21st to 26th 2018 with an online panel and has a sample size of 1 102 potential Alberta voters.


Here is the ThinkHQ poll report.




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, 12 December 2018

Could PEI Elect First Green Government in Canada?

With its population of about 150k people, Prince Edward Island not only is the least populated province in Canada, but its population is smaller than 28 (!!) census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada. So naturally (but necessarily not rightly) the rest of the country usually pays little attention to PEI politics.

However, with a provincial election scheduled next fall (October 7th 2019), PEI could find itself in the spotlight of the federation right in the middle of the federal campaign.

Why? Because PEI voters could elect the first Green Party government in Canada.

A poll of PEI voters was conducted in November by Corporate Research Associates Inc. and it shows the PEI Green Party in a statistical tie with the governing PEI Liberals:


The Green Party of PEI has already two seats in PEI's Legislative Assembly. New Brunswick recently elected three MLA in last September's NB provincial election. Polls for the past few months indicate the federal Green Party has ticked up a few points in Atlantic provinces and is in a statistical tie with the federal NDP in that region.

Add all this to Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner's election to Queen's Park for the riding of Guelph last June, the three BC Green Party MLA currently holding the balance of Power in Victoria, and, obviously, Elizabeth May's own seat at the House of Commons... Are we witnessing a mild surge for green parties in Canada?

With the NDP struggling at the federal level and in many other provinces, will there eventually be talks for a convergence between those organisations, or even maybe a ...merger?

How does "Green Democratic Party" sound? I know, it's politics fiction, but I do not see how this is any more far fetched than a merger between the Reform Party/Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party in the early 2000s.

I would be curious to see how well the "Green Democrats" would poll throughout Canada.




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.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Nanos Tracker: LPC and CPC Tied (which Does Not Make Forum Right)

As we say in French: "Coup de théâtre!"

The weekly Nanos tracker was updated this afternoon and a gigantic conservative bump in Ontario transformed a comfortable liberal lead in a statistical tie between the Liberals and Conservatives. Here are the national results.

The Conservative Party of Canada ticks up seven points to 35% of respondents of the last four weeks*. This is the highest CPC measure from Nanos since last August.




Conversely, the Liberal Party of Canada drop four points and now sit at 34%, the lowest liberal level from Nanos since June.

(* The Nanos tracker polls 250 potential voters per week, so the sample is completely renewed after four weeks.)

What could have happened in the past four weeks for Nanos to witness such a swing? The regional results indicate that the Liberals have stayed the course in the Atlantic (47%) and in Québec (44%), but have dropped by double digits in Ontario.

During the same period, the Conservatives have climbed an incredible 15 points... a dramatic 28 point swing in the province of Doug Ford.


Nevertheless, I urge my readers to be use caution: it is not impossible that this poll is an outlier. We constantly have to keep in mind that polls are made of statistical samples which naturally contain noise. We will see in the next few weeks whether Nanos has detected the start of new trend or just a statistical aberration.

To be continued.

And for those who say: "Looks like Forum was right", I offer you this graph. It contains every national poll of 2018. the Forum polls are indicated with an arrow.


See a trend? Forum has published nothing but outliers on the national scene in 2018. The fact that Nanos just detected a closer horse race doesn't make Forum "more right": even an unplugged clock gives the right time twice a day.

(Or even the blind squirrel finds the occasional nut, whichever analogy you please.)

The 338Canada seat projection will be updated this Sunday (and every Sunday until the start of the campaign next fall).


* * *

Here is Nanos' weekly report.



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, 9 December 2018

338Canada Projection Update: December 9th 2018

Using polls published in the past few weeks (here is the full list), I updated the projections for all 338 federal districts.



You can access those projections by region:


This 338Canada Projection includes the following political parties: the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party of Canada, the Bloc québécois, and the People's Party of Canada.

Here are the regional breakdowns per party:


Here is the popular vote projection:




Here is the seat projection. The threshold of majority at the House of Commons is 170 seats.




You can also view the interactive map of the projection by clicking the following image:




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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Nanos Tracker Update: LPC soars in Ontario, Leads Nationally

The Nanos tracker has been updated (November 23rd update). The Liberals are stable at 40% nationally and the Conservative are back above the 30% threshold.



The NDP continues its free fall and is now at 15% nationally.

While the LPC is stable across the country, Nanos now measures a considerable gap between the Liberals and Conservative in Ontario. Indeed, in the past month, NDP support has dropped significantly in Ontario resulting in a Liberals surge.




Will it last? Only time will tell, but with the Liberals already comfortably ahead in the Atlantic and Québec, a double-digit lead in Ontario would make a Conservative victory mathematically impossible.

Obviously, we are 11 months away from the election. But Andrew Scheer and his team have to start deploying their Ontario and Québec strategy, if it exists, quickly if they hope to take power next year.

* * *

Details of the Nanos tracker here.




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, 25 November 2018

338Canada Federal Projection Update: November 25th 2018

With new polls published in the past few weeks (here is the full list), I updated the projections for all 338 federal districts. You can access those projections by region::


This 338Canada Projection includes the following political parties: the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party of Canada, the Bloc québécois and the People's Party of Canada.

Here is the popular vote projection:





Here is the seat projection. The threshold of majority at the House of Commons is 170 seats.




You can also view the interactive map of the projection by clicking the following image:






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.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Beauce: Maxime Bernier and CPC Candidate Neck and Neck

A poll of the federal district of Beauce, where Maxime Bernier hopes to win his first election as People's Party of Canada leader, has been published this morning by Mainstreet Research. Mainstreet was on the field November 10th and 11th and collected a sample of 616 Beauce voters. The margin of error is ±4%.

Here are the results among decided and leaning voters: conservative candidate Richard Lehoux (38%) and Maxime Bernier (35%) are in a statistical tie.



Unsurpringly, the Liberals, the Bloc, and the NDP will not be competitive in next year's election in Beauce. However, this Conservative stronghold now looks almost evenly split between Maxime Bernier and the Conservatives.

In 2015, Maxime Bernier won his riding of Beauce with almost 60% of the popular vote, more than 35 points ahead of the Liberals.


This poll will be taken into consideration for the next 338Canada projections, which will be published later this week. Stay tuned.

* * *

Here is the poll's full report.



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, 17 November 2018

Abacus Data Poll: Liberals Comfortably in the Lead

A new poll published this morning by Abacus Data confirms trends that have been measured by other polling firms of late, with Justin Trudeau's Liberals comfortably ahead 11 months away from the general elections. Hypothetically, should these numbers hold until October (hint: they won't), the Liberals would easily win a second majority.

This new Abacus poll was on the field from November 9th to 13th 2018 and was conducted by internet panel with 1500 Canadians.

Here are the national results. The Liberal Party of Canada receives 38% of total voting intentions, which indicates that the Liberals have been holding steady since the previous Abacus poll last August.


The Conservative Party of Canada stands at 31% nationally, three points back of its August result.

The New Democratic Party remains stable with 16% and the Green Party of Canada ticks slightly upwards at 9%.


However, it is only when we look at the regional numbers across Canada that we can see how comfortable this liberal lead really is. In Atlantic Canada, Abacus measures the LPC at 59% of support, more than 40 points (!!) ahead of the Conservatives.

In Québec, despite a modest drop for the Liberals (which could be due to normal fluctuations because of the smaller sample size), the LPC is still far ahead of their rivals with 36%.



Far behind the Liberals, Abacus measures a tight battle for second place with the Conservatives at 19%, the NDP at 17% and the Bloc québécois at 15%.



In Ontario, Trudeau's Liberals hold a ten point lead over the CPC. The NDP stands far behind at only 16%.

In the Prairies and in Alberta, the Conservatives still dominate their rivals. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the CPC stands at 40% - 17 points ahead of the Liberals. In Alberta, the CPC reigns with 59%, almost forty points ahead of the Liberals.

In British Columbia, where numerous swing districts could be decided by just a handful of points, the race is much tighter. but the Liberals still hold the lead.


Jean-Marc Léger himself tweeted last week that his firm was on the field for new federal numbers. As soon as they are published, I will update the projection for all 338 districts.


* * *

Details of the Abacus Data poll can be found here.



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.