Saturday, 30 March 2019

338 Alberta Projection Update: UCP 62, NDP 24, AP 1

There is an important election campaign going on in Alberta, a province of more than 4 million Canadians. A province, not unlike Quebec, that rightly doesn't hesitate to throw its weight around within the Confederation.

And on April 16th, Albertan voters will have to choose between two radically different candidates for Premier: Rachel Notley, whose leadership propelled the Alberta NDP to a surprise first electoral victory, and Jason Kenney, former minister of the Stephen Harper cabinet in Ottawa for several years.

So maybe somebody should warn the pollsters?

Polling firms in Canada have been MIA since the writ was drawn up on March 19th. Save for Mainstreet Research* paywalled polling tracker, there has been no publicly available polls as of this writing.

[*A word on Mainstreet Research: Albertans probably still have the memory of the Calgary mayoral election fresh on their minds, along with Mainstreet's prediction that mayor Naheed Nenshi would lose. It was one big fuck up. Mainstreet Research went through a review process with an independent panel - which I was a part of, along with polling expert Claire Durand of Université de Montréal. We made recommandations. Mainstreet made changes. People were fired.

Also, it was October 2017.

Since then, Mainstreet has correctly called the PCPO leadership race in Ontario, correctly called the Ontario general election, and made several accurate riding polls in Quebec last fall. So those who say they'll never believe Mainstreet's numbers because of Calgary: you are of course well within your rights, but you have lost sight of the big picture.

I am suspicious of all polls because of the nature of statistics and, in the case of Mainstreet, because of the risks they are willing to take. Mayoral elections and riding polls are much different animals than provincial or national polls. I for one choose to not throw the baby out with the bath water.]


Hence, because of the scarcity of data available (as opposed to the federal race), there is still high uncertainty in the Alberta vote and seat projections. Hopefully, more data will be published in the remaining 17 days of this campaign.

Here is the 338 Alberta Projection update for March 30th.



Popular Vote Projection


The United Conservative Party still leads the NDP by double digits with an average of 51.1% of voting intentions, mostly unchanged in the past week.


While Rachel Notley's NDP gained about three points in the first week of the campaign, its numbers have been mostly flat in the past 7 days, and so the NDP now stands at an average of 36.6%.

The Alberta Party has an average support of 5.9% and is projected to win only one seat, most likely Calgary-Elbow.

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



Seat Projection


With such support across Alberta, the UCP wins an average of 62.4 seats over the 250k simulations ran by the 338 model.



The NDP wins an average of 23.6 seats. The threshold for a majority at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta is 44 seats.

Here are the seat probability densities for the UCP and NDP*:



By rounding out the seat projection averages for each party, here is what the Legislative Assembly of Alberta could look like should those numbers hold all the way to the ballot boxes:






Odds of Winning the Most Seats


With such broad support, the UCP wins the most seats in 99% of all simulations.

Here is the probability density of the seat difference between the NDP and the UCP:



(*Why are there "gaps" in the graph above? The Alberta Party wins one seat in most simulations, leaving 86 for both the UCP and the NDP. When the sum of two numbers is an even number [in this case: 86], those two numbers are automatically both even or both odd. Since the difference of two odd numbers or two even numbers is always an even number, the odd number columns are much shorter - meaning less probable).



Find Your District


The 338 Alberta page has been updated. You can find your electoral district by clicking the following links:


New updates coming soon. Full federal projection update tomorrow.

Have a great Saturday. Thank you for supporting this page.




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.