Thursday, July 16, 2015

ELECTION PREDICTION, POLLING & MISCUES

As the fog begins to lift here on the North East Avalon perhaps it is as good a time as any to have a look at the federal election forecast as we sprint to October 19th.

Politicians say the only poll that matter is election day, but the patterns of polls taken in the pre-election and election period provide a great deal of insight into voter intention which can shift dramatically.  


Polls are a snapshot in time which is why it is better to look at larger number of polls throughout the period to get a sense of what is going on, to gauge the mood. It is called a horse race for a reason! 



As the campaigns begin to ramp up, it is a dog race. 



Globe and Mail
The Globe & Mail has launched an interactive election forecasting tool that  is designed to make sense of trends and polls. The page features great analysis and info graphics. The election forecast will be updated weekly with new polls.

The news is not good for the Liberals. This tool says if an election were to happen today the there is a 50% chance the Conservatives would win the seat. There is a 49% chance the NDP would get the most seats and only a 3% chance the Liberals would get the most seats.



Election Prediction Project
The Election Prediction Project offers an interactive projection with seat-by-seat breakdowns. 

The current prediction was updated yesterday. It indicates the Conservatives will win 96 seats, the NDP 74 and the Liberals 53 with 112 seats being too close to call.







CBC - Poll Tracker
Eric Grenier's ThreeHundredEight.com federal vote and seat projector is being hosted by the CBC

The Poll Tracker is fully interactive and allows readers to track, compare and browse through all of the polling data.

The riding projector will remain on the ThreeHundredEight.com site. 



I think Canadians and journalists need to be careful not to use polls to reinforce a perception that might influence the outcome. Coverage of the horse race often eclipses coverage of the issues that voters need to consider before making a decision. 


Political polling and polling methods have become a topic of much debate over the past year with voters offering surprises on election day in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and most recently Alberta. 


In the end the poll that counts is on election day but the how the narrative is told in advance of the vote can have a significant impact on the election day poll. 







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