Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Feeling Lost With This Week's Polls? Here's Some Help

With Forum Research publishing its latest poll numbers this morning, we now have four new polls published since last Sunday's 338 Federal projection update.

Let's take a quick look at those polls, and see where the last 338's projection stands compared to those polls.

(The complete list of federal polls is available here.)


Angus Reid Institute


The Angus Reid Institute released its numbers on Monday and they showed the Conservatives lead the Liberals by double digits.


With such numbers, the Conservatives would assuredly win a majority government.

However, this poll is a head-scratcher, especially its Quebec numbers where the Conservatives are measured in first place at 28% and the Liberals second with 26%. No other polling firm has the Conservatives in the lead in Quebec. On average in the past six months, the LPC has polled about 10-15 higher in Quebec than the Conservatives. This has "outlier" written all over it.

The other regional numbers look within the current margins though, so it would be unreasonable to just toss this poll out. Naturally, because Quebec is about 24% of Canada's population, having Quebec numbers so off compared to others will affect Angus Reid national numbers.



Campaign Research


On Sunday night, Campaign Research published its new poll, which has the Conservatives ahead by three points over the Liberals.


These numbers are fairly constant compared to when Campaign was last on the field (late April). The biggest shift is one we have seen from other pollsters: the Greens are slowly catching up to the NDP.




Forum Research


After measuring double-digit leads for the Conservatives for the better part of 2018, Forum's new numbers also show a tightening race between the Conservatives and Liberals. The Greens and NDP are tied nationally with 13% apiece.





Nanos Research


Finally, the Nanos Weekly Tracker also has the Conservatives ahead by three points over the Liberals. Nanos still has the NDP comfortably in third place.




In Conclusion



So many polls can be confusing for the uninitiated. Even political journalists can sometimes feel overwhelmed with so much data - and some of it contradictory.

Well, that's why 338Canada is here. Here are the four polls presented above with the numbers from last Sunday's projection:



Click the image to enlarge.


If there were any doubt left that Angus Reid appears to underestimate the Liberals, this graph should help.

Again, while it is not impossible that Angus Reid is correct and that every other polling firm is wrong, it is certainly not the most likely scenario.

That's why one should trust the weighted average more than any single poll, and that, above all, a political poll should always be presented with context - something several media outlets did not do when they published Angus Reid earlier this week.

Yes, La Presse, I am looking at you.

A full 338 update will be published on Sunday, as per usual.




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.