Post-Mortem canada 2019: Trudeau pulls a Trump, NDP vote not coming out

After what will likely not be remembered as a great election, Justin Trudeau managed to win a surprisingly strong minority. This happened with a mix of polling failure - namely the NDP vote clearly not coming out - along with an incredible vote efficiency of the Liberals. The number of ridings won by a few hundred votes is astonishing. Multiple ones in the GTA and pretty much every single close ridings in Quebec against the Bloc ultimately went red.

So like Trump, Trudeau won while losing the popular vote. With only 33% of the vote, this is one of the lowest score for a governing party in a long time. Coupled with a weaker turnout - around 65% - this means the Liberals lost a little over 1 mio votes this time around. Trudeau can pretend he won a clear mandate but I think many would disagree. With that said, the NDP will clearly not want to go back in election any time soon - they don't have money - so I suspect they'll pass whatever the Liberals want to pass.

The Conservatives won the popular vote and actually got more votes than in 2015, but that wasn't enough to beat Trudeau. The GTA is one of the reason, although it only explains a few seats - usually close races. No the real difference between the projections and the outcome is the fact the NDP vote didn't get out and was incredibly inefficient. Maybe it's strategic voting, but if that happened, it happened at the very end really. Because even the polls done on Sunday were still good for the NDP.

The weaker NDP allowed the Liberals to win quite a lot more ridings, in Atlantic Canada, the 416, etc. Coupled with the close races in Quebec where the Liberals systematically beat the Bloc, that explains why the Liberals are over 150 seats.

It's pretty shocking how a somewhat small polling mistake, coupled with incredible vote efficiency,  can make a big difference. I'm not sure what you can do. Some races could have been called better by using more strongly the Mainstreet riding polls, but they were still severely overestimating the Liberals. And looking at them, many were wrong, especially in Quebec.

Anyway, here are some numbers. The model made the correct call in 293 ridings, that's an accuracy of 87%. That's quite okay for projections models. I mean you sometimes get lucky and go over 90% but anything above 85% is perfectly decent. Using the actual vote percentages, I would have predicted 128 CPC, 139 LPC, 28 NDP, 3 Green and 38 Bloc. With the correct vote percentages, 90% of the ridings are called correctly (so 35 mistakes). 10 mistakes in Quebec, same with the polling average or the actual percentages.

This is an accuracy rate similar (actually better) than during the last Quebec election. The difference? Mistakes cancelled out in Quebec (mostly). Not tonight.

So this isn't a systematic failure of the model like in 2015 where, even with the correct percentages, I still had 60 mistakes. No the model worked this year and I didn't miss a late surge in the polls or anything (see below).

So the polls caused a gap of about 10 seats for the Liberals (or NDP). The rest is mostly the vote efficiency of the Liberals in Quebec (and a few ridings in the GTA). The fact the Liberals are just ahead of the Bloc in votes (34.2% vs 32.5%) and yet won the most seat is surprising. You'd expect the Bloc to win more seats thanks to the francophone vote (or the concentration of the Liberal vote among the English community). So clearly the Liberals got their votes out where it mattered. They won Gaspésie, Sherbrooke -this mistake annoys me as it was super close and that would have been a nice correct prediction to get- Chateauguay or Quebec with, in each case, only a few hundreds votes lead. There as well it looks similar to Trump with his numerous wins by close margins.

I count at least 10 ridings currently going Liberals by a margin of fewer than a 1000 seats. Imagine if those ridings had flipped differently. The Liberals could easily be at 147 seats, which is quite in line with what the model would project based on the percentages.

Finally, let's talk polls. They did okay. They almost all underestimated the Conservative but somehow that didn't have a big impact - mostly because they underestimated them in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The overestimation of the NDP is systematic with only two polls having the NDP within the margins of error. And even there, one of them is only because the sample size was small, thus larger MoE. The NDP's actual result is below every single poll. So clearly something didn't work for them.



Leger did spectacularly well while Ekos was, to the surprise of no one, the least accurate. As mentioned above, my average was fine. Again I didn't miss anything or introduce any bias. It's just that all the mistakes pretty much all went in one direction. Another way to put it: the Liberals took advantage of the NDP under performing and also won pretty much every single close race they were involved in.

Alright, that's it for me. As I said before, I don't think I'll make projections for another election. It's getting boring and repetitive. It's also very derivative, no matter how some might pretend otherwise. I'll leave the blog open and might write once in a while. And who knows, I might change my mind. See you!


Projections finales: une minorité et le retour du Bloc!

Note: if you want the long analysis of the projections, this post in English is for you. Si vous voulez une analyse détaillées des projections, cliquez ici mais c'est en anglais.


Le nom de ce blogue, du moins en anglais, est enfin approprié pour mes projections finales: c'est vraiment trop serré pour déterminer qui des Libéraux et Conservateurs terminera devant. Une chose semble cependant acquise: il s'agira d'une minorité.

Et la raison principale est la renaissance du Bloc Québécois. Qui l'aurait crû en 2011 alors que ce parti ne faisait élire que 4 députés et voyait la vague orange rafler tout le Québec? En 2015 le parti avait réussit à augmenter son nombre de sièges, mais c'était surtout en raison de la chute du NPD. Après tout, le Bloc avait baissé son pourcentage de vote, la 4e baisse en 4 élections.

Mais voilà, 4 ans de gouvernement Trudeau, un NPD qui revient à son niveau "normal" dans la Belle Province et un chef conservateur qui ne peut pas vraiment parler français -et quand il le fait, c'est pour devoir s'expliquer sur sa position sur l'avortement- tous cela fait en sorte que le Bloc va redevenir le premier parti au Québec. Du moins en termes de sièges.

Comment en sommes-nous arrivés ici? Regardons le graphique des intentions de vote:



On voit la montée continuelle du Bloc depuis le début de la campagne, alors que ce parti était sous les 20%. Il y a ensuite eu le débat face à face sur TVA que le chef Bloquiste, Yves-François Blanchet, a remporté. La hausse s'est ainsi accentuée. Il a aussi bien fait au 2e débat en français, ce qui n'a pas arrêté la progression. On voit une petite hausse NPD en fin de campagne, aux dépends des Verts.

En fin de campagne, le Bloc a continué sa progression en particulier en raison du déclin des Conservateurs. Les sièges PCC étaient en majorité plutôt sûrs mais ce n'est plus le cas. Si le Bloc devait battre les sondages, il ferait mal tant au PLC (Gaspésie, Abitibi, etc) qu'aux Conservateurs.

La tendance de dernière minute est aussi excellente pour le Bloc avec plusieurs sondeurs voyant le Bloc à son plus haut vers la fin. Mainstreet a le Bloc devant en termes de votes, tout comme Nanos -ce sondeur avait le PLC largemement en avance il y a juste quelques jours de cela et dans les faits, le Bloc n'est passé devant qu'aujourd'hui! Ainsi il se peut que le Bloc fasse encore mieux que les sondages et on peut facilement imaginer ce parti au-dessus des 40%. tant que son vote sortira bien sûr. Forum a ce parti carrément à 37%! Par contre Ekos ne le voit qu'à 22% mais reconnaît qu'il s'agît probablement d'une erreur (au moins ils l'avouent).

Le chef Blanchet a réussit à positionner son parti pour attirer tant les électeurs du PQ mais aussi ceux de la CAQ. La loi 21 aide beaucoup. Pour mes projections ici, j'ai aussi regardé une transposition des résultats de l'élection provinciale de 2018 sur la carte fédérale. Cela m'a convaincu qu'une vague Bloc, assez similaire à la vague CAQ, va arriver. La seule différence est que les Libéraux fédéraux ne montrent pas signe d'écroulement comme le PLQ.

Regardons la carte pour voir les possibles gains.


Si le Bloc devait finalement obtenir davantage de votes que les Libéraux -ce que la moyenne des sondages ne montrent pas, mais c'est possible- le 2e comté en Abitibi tomberait rapidement dans le bleu clair.

Ensuite regardons l'est de la province.


La Gaspésie pourrait aussi facilement virer de bord. Dans les faits, il se peut que mes projections soient fausses ici. Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup passe des Conservateurs au Bloc. Juste au nord, Beauport-Côte de Beaupré pourrait en faire de même (les données pour le PCC dans la région de Québec sont très mauvais en fin de campagne d'ailleurs).

Dans la ville de Québec, le Bloc fait deux gains, y compris Louis-Hébert, un comté qui devait être sûr pour le PLC. Il faut dire que les données des sondages dans cette région montrent un Bloc plus élevé que prévu.

Au sud la Beauce devrait faire élire le premier et unique député du PPC, Maxime Bernier. La baisse des Conservateurs vers la fin devrait aider.

Au Saguenay et Lac-Saint-Jean, ce qui était un temps une source de sièges pour les Conservateurs est maintenant au Bloc, sauf Chicoutimi et encore là, il faut espérer pour les Conservateurs que l'effet candidat local qui avait permis une énorme victoire dans la partielle soit encore là.

Allons maintenant à Montréal et dans le centre du Québec.


Le 450 va voir une vague Bloc. La Rive-Nord avait commencé en 2015, la Rive-Sud suit cette année. Ce sont des comtés NPD et Libéraux qui changent de couleur.

Sur l'île, Rosemont devrait rester NPD, l'est va retourner au Bloc. Laurier-Sainte-Marie pourrait être l'une des surprises NPD mais les sondages donnent le Bloc gagnant.

Dans le centre du Québec, les Conservateurs ont une chance dans Trois-Rivières grâce à un bon candidat local. Un sondage Mainstreet avait le candidat PCC devant mais la vague Bloc en fin de campagne fait en sorte que je prédise une victoire Bloc. Juste à côté, dans Berthier-Markinongé, la surprenante Ruth Ellen Brosseau -celle qui était allée à Las Vegas en vacances durant la campagne en 2011 et avait été réélue à ls surprise générale en 2015- va probablement perdre. Le sondage local lui donnait des chances mais c'était avant que le Bloc ne passe les 30%.

Pas sur la carte mais j'ai le NPD gagnant dans Sherbrooke. Un comté qui était allé à QS l'année passée, un comté jeune. Serré mais je suis confiant dans ma prédiction.

Donc voilà, le Bloc est de retour et avec lui les gouvernments minoritaires. À moins bien sûr que les sondages aient tort.

Bonne soirée électorale! Suivez-moi sur Twitter @2closetocall pour avoir des analyses et commentaires durant la soirée.

Final projections for Canada 2019: a minority

Note: a French article about Quebec only is available here.

After almost 10 years of writing on this blog, I finally have final projections where, wait for it, things are too close to call! I'm dead serious, there is a limit to the accuracy of polls and especially projections models and I can't make a call either way.

It hasn't happened before. There were close-ish elections, there were elections where I ultimately was wrong (BC 2013), but I never have not made a call at the end. Well, this is it. The 2019 federal elections is literally too close to call. All I can say with high confidence is that it should be a minority (or plurality, whatever terms works for you, depending on how pedantic and annoying you want to be. Heck, go with "hung parliament" if you really want to show people you have a stick up your ass).

Okay so this post will go as follow. First I'll present all the numbers and the map, for the busy people who don't have no time to read. Then I'll provide an analysis of the polls and finally of the seats. In this section, I'll illustrate as well as I can why I can't really call which party will finish first. Notice that who finishes first might not matter ultimately as Trudeau, as incumbent PM, will still be PM and can try to form a government first. Politically however, finishing first might matter.


1. Projections and map








2. The polls

There were two parts to this campaign, both in Quebec and the ROC. And no, it isn't a pre- and post-blackface. In Canada, the situation was incredibly stable -one might say boring- until the the last two weeks when the NDP started an impressive rise. It coincided with the English leaders' debate that Jagmeet Singh won. See for yourself:




It might seem unimpressive to see the NDP around 18% but given where they started from, and the fact they are down a lot in Quebec, this is actually quite a feat. 4 weeks ago I wasn't even sure the NDP would get 12 MPs and be officially recognized as a party. Today? They will likely make gains in the rest of Canada -Quebec will be brutal for them, no matter what.

Let's put this way: the NDP went from fighting for its life and existence against the Green to being in a legitimate position to hurt the Liberals and Conservatives in Ontario and BC especially. Alternatively, the Green Party, who went into this campaign with big hope and momentum, will have to settle for 4th and 3 seats in the most likely scenario. A result that is, in itself, not bad, but disastrous compared to expectations. Plus the popularity of Elizabeth May has decreased during the campaign. My guess is that they'll want to find a new leader.

The NDP appears to be doing particularly well with the 18-34 voters. The ones who voted a lot more last time around and likely helped Trudeau win a large majority. That could create some surprises in some urban environments (I have the NDP winning Sherbrooke for this reason for instance).

The fact that both the Conservatives and Liberals have been so close all campaign long and they have been dropping together for the last two weeks or so is fairly unique. It really shows how Canadians aren't excited with the political offering. Trudeau has definitely lost a lot of his charm in 2 years -back then, nobody thought he wouldn't win a second majority- mostly because of some policies and the scandals (I'd personally add his attitude). Andrew Scheer has clearly failed to convince Canadians. Running a boring, non-ambitious campaign where most of the proposals are simply going back to what Harper was doing clearly didn't work. The fact that he is himself a social conservative and wasn't very convincing at answering questions about abortion for instance didn't help either. And let's not forget all the stupid "scandals" such as whether he had a license to sell insurance! Small scandals in themselves but it distracts from the message when you keep having to defend yourself. I'm of the opinion that if the CPC has had a better leader, they'd have a shot at a majority tomorrow. Also, Scheer's French is just not good enough and his performances during the French debates were disastrous. The Tories had a good thing to try in Quebec this election, they could have made gains. Instead, they'll be lucky/happy if they escape with 9 seats tomorrow.

The story of this election, beyond the rise of the NDP at the end, was the resurgence of the Bloc Quebecois. This party has a legitimate shot at winning the most seats in Quebec tomorrow. In any case, they'll win a ton more than last time -and even more compared to the 4 seats of 2011. Yves-François Blanchet won the first debate (TVA face à face) while also doing well in the second French debate. He managed to position his party to appeal to both the PQ voters but also to the CAQ ones. By defending bill 21 everywhere, this allowed him to attract many French Quebecers. It's almost like bill 21 replaced independence, which is even better for the Bloc as support for bill 21 is much wider than for another referendum.



The rise of the Bloc means the path to a majority for Trudeau is really limited -I'd argue almost impossible but that might be too strong. Not that the Liberals are collapsing in Quebec -the rise of the Bloc is mostly driven by NDP voters coming back- but they can't expect to make the gains necessary to compensate their guaranteed losses in other provinces.

Finally, let's look at Ontario and BC. The former has been very stable while the latter saw the NDP catching up fast.




Notice the Lib-Cons gap in Ontario, very stable in average. Some polling firms (Mainstreet, Nanos, etc) have a much bigger gap and that has been the case all election long. They might be right but a site like mine has to use the average.

Finally BC with the NDP surge and the Green collapse.


First past the post will allow the Tories to really benefit from vote splitting in BC.

2.1 Riding polls

Mainstreet has been publishing a ton of riding polls, behind a paywall however. Those have, generally, been very favourable to the Liberals and really bad for the NDP. I know the ridings polled aren't necessarily representative of the province but we have enough that averaging them should at least give us a rough estimate. Doing so -and no matter if I used all the polls or just the most recent ones- shows a situation where the Liberals are much higher in Quebec and Ontario. I'm talking of the LPC being above 35% in Quebec and easily over 42% in Ontario.

If those polls are right, then a Liberal majority is indeed possible. But those polls are definitely at odds with the polling average. In Ontario, it seems to be a Mainstreet house effect with this firm having a bigger Lib-Cons gap than the average, consistently. Mainstreet also has had the NDP lower in general -most IVR polls did actually- but the effect is amplified in the riding polls.

Look, those same ridings polls were pointing to a larger Doug Ford victory and it happened. They were showing a larger CAQ victory and it happened. To a lesser extent, it did the same in Alberta. So betting on those polls isn't a bad idea. I'm not however. Mostly because they really put the NDP too low. It just doesn't seem to make sense, especially not with the NDP surge at the end. I did use these polls to make adjustments but I have not used them to influence my overall average. I was planning on doing so but I think it's too risky to put all my eggs into Mainstreet's basket. Still, it's important to be aware that there is data supporting a Liberal majority or very strong plurality.

Side note: when using those polls to adjust my own projections, I first adjusted the Mainstreet numbers for the systematic bias they had. For instance in Quebec they had the NDP around 8 points lower than expected, so if one riding poll had the NDP at 12% and I had them at 20%, then no adjustment was necessary.


2.2 Late trends?

In 2015 polls done during the weekend clearly showed a late surge for the Liberal. The same surge that ultimately gave them a large majority. I missed it 4 years ago so I was careful to look for one. But there doesn't seem to be one this time around. Nanos and Mainstreet both saw the Conservatives rising a little bit during the weekend while Ekos and Forum saw the opposite.

Some polls show the Liberals increasing their lead in Ontario in the last few days while others haven't (namely Nanos). There does seem to be a positive trend for the Bloc in Quebec. So I wouldn't be too surprised if the Bloc won over 37 seats.

At the end of the day, polls might still be wrong but I truly believe I didn't miss a late surge or anything.


3. Seats and projections

Ultimately this is what matters. There are many close races, but there always are to be fair. I didn't program my simulations this time around, so I don't have well calculated probabilities. Still, I can give you an idea of the uncertainty that exists.

3.1 How do the projections work?

My model uses the results of the 2015 election and the swing observed in the polls. It's based on the uniform swing -if the Liberals are up 2 points, they are up 2 points everywhere- with many adjustments. I take into account of the region (some are more volatile than others), whether the long-term incumbent retired or there is a star candidate as well as some other modifications based on riding polls and others. Whenever possible, I also adjusted my projections based on the within-province numbers -Leger for instance gives us the estimates for Montreal, Quebec and the rest of the province.

Also of importance, I average the polls slightly differently. Pollsters usually allocate undecided proportionally. I don't. I allocate more to the CPC and LPC as they are the big parties, while Green would get less (and PPC and others get none). In Quebec, LPC is assumed to get a bigger share, then Bloc, CPC and NDP, in this order. Given that we don't have that many undecided in most polls, it doesn't make a big difference. But I thought I'd mention it. And if you think I'm just assuming stuff, you are right. But allocating them proportionally is also an assumption. And one that is less defendable and empirically worse.


3.2 Majority possible?

Talking of a Liberal majority here, a Conservative one is borderline impossible. First of all, let's do some simple math. In the Atlantic, the Liberals will surely lose at least 5 seats and possibly 15, so let's go with the projections and pick 11. That means the Liberals are now only 3 seats above a majority (184 seats in 2015 - 11=173; A true majority is 170).

Then there is Quebec. Best case scenario for them is to lose only 5 seats. The good news is that I don't think they can collapse like the Quebec Liberals last year during the provincial election. So total losses are at 16 and no more majority.

Let's skip Ontario if you don't mind, we'll get back to it.

In the Prairies, the Liberals are significantly down. They won a couple of surprising seats last time around and I can't see them holding onto those seats. They might save a few in Winnipeg and Regina but they'll otherwise have to fight the angry Conservatives or the rising NDP. So that's a guaranteed 3 losses. That puts out total to 18 at a minimum.

Alberta could be swept. If it isn't, it'll likely be because of the NDP, not the Liberals. So that's 4 losses there, almost for sure. Total is 22.

In BC, the Tories haven't increased much but could benefit from vote splitting and make major gains. The Liberals created all a surprise last time by winning 17 seats and they'll be lucky if they limit the losses to 4 or 5. So the total is now 26.

That means they are, at best, at 184-26=158 seats in the best case scenario.

Now back to Ontario. They won 80 out of 121 last time around. They are polling BELOW their level of 2015 even in the most favourable polls to them there. So the Lib-Cons gap will be, at best, the same -thus meaning NDP and Green and PPC are higher. Also, they already won pretty much everything they could in the GTA, so even if they do increase there, the number of gains are seriously limited. They would then need to go and win seats in the Southwest of Ontario. Some riding polls from Mainstreet have shown this to be possible, including in Windsor -where the NDP should be comfortably ahead. Still, the path to a majority is really, really narrow. It requires both a polling mistake and improved vote efficiency.

Some might say that I was saying the same 4 years ago and they'd be right. My model didn't perform particularly well that night. To be fair, most projections had a bad night but mine was especially affected. Part of the reason is because I didn't see the Liberal surge at the end and actually assumed they wouldn't get a higher share of undecided. That was my mistake and I'm not making it this year. As for vote efficiency, well it's already now built into the model through the 2015 results. So it'd require this incredible vote efficiency -the Liberals won way more seats than projected even with the correct vote percentages 4 years ago- to increase. I'm very skeptical. And the sub-Ontario numbers I've seen (like from the GTA) don't indicate this to be happening.

Look, at the end of the day the Liberals are down and significantly so. They are down in every single province, including Ontario. In some (like the Atlantic provinces) they are down by close to 20 points. I just fail to understand the projections of some people -some pollsters for instance- who think the Liberals are within reach of a majority. I know our electoral system is shit but you don't win a majority with 32% of the vote!

So I don't think a majority can happen, not without major polling failures. Speaking of which, now is a good time to remind people that Canadian polls are indeed not perfect. Even by averaging them, you can still be way off. As a matter of fact, the table below shows you the empirical margins of error of Canadian polls. Read this Post to get more details.



So while we haven't had a massive polling failure at the federal level, we did have many at the provincial ones. Also, the last 18 months have seen multiple elections where the polls underestimated the right-wing option (Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, PEI, BC referendum). Will we see this again tomorrow? Not impossible, especially since advance voting seem to favour the Conservatives.

So where are the seats in play? Well you can look at the list yourself but I want to mention some races. In Quebec, there is the uncertainty regarding the Bloc. This party is right at the door of possibly winning 40 seats and more. While most of the Montreal suburbs are already projected to go light blue, there are a many battlegrounds in rural Quebec. In the east, the Bloc could wipe everything from Gaspésie to Quebec city, taking many seats from the Liberals and Tories. The second Abitibi could also go Bloc as well as a few here and there. On the other hand, don't underestimate the resistance that some local candidates might put. In Berthier-Markinongé, the NDP incumbent was polled ahead -although it was before the full rise of the Bloc- while the Conservatives might have a few strong candidates who can win on their own such as in Trois-Rivières.

I'll say this, if there is a surprise tomorrow compared to my projections, I wouldn't be shocked if it were the Bloc winning way more seats than projected.

It doesn't mean I haven't done my job here, I even used the transposed results of the 2018 Quebec election onto the federal map to see which seats could flip. It gave me essentially the same: Bloc between 30 and 40 depending on turnout and what not. If Leger is right and the Bloc is so much ahead among francophones and rural Quebec, then 40 seats is possible. However, polls in average show the Bloc actually doing better than expected around Quebec city, not rural Quebec. This could hurt the Conservatives but would not bring as many seats.

The second big source of uncertainty is the GTA. The 905 specifically as Toronto proper is likely remaining red -although we could see a few surprises from the NDP and its young vote. This is where will be decided who will finish first. There are easily 15 seats in play here with a margin of 5-10%. Turnout will be crucial. Data from Campaign Research or Léger show a GTA that is as expected given the drop of the two main parties in this province.

Beyond the GTA, we obviously have races here and there, but nothing that should be correlated with each other -beyond a general polling failure of course but we can't predict those. The GTA is where it could make the difference from 131-131 to 140-120. Politically, those two outcomes are very different but based on the info available to us right now, they are quite close.

Here are a few races I want to mention:

- In Quebec, I think the NDP could keep win more seats than projected. I have them ahead in Sherbrooke, a riding that went QS last time around. A very young riding. In Laurier-Sainte-Marie, the Mainstreet polls were horrible for the NDP but I believe they could create a surprise

- The Green will likely win 3 and nothing more. If there's going to be some really surprising Green seats -i.e: outside of Vancouver island- keep an eye on Fredericton and Thunder-Bay Superior North. Still long shot, especially the latter

- The Maritimes could have many surprises. Polls have been all over the place and it's always tricky with 4 provinces. Also PEI has riding that are very small and changes can happen more easily. I'd expect some surprises there.

- In BC, Jody Wilson-Raybould is favorite to be reelected, which could be seen as a symbol at the end of the night of the rejection of Justin Trudeau after what could well be a tough night.


Alright, this is it. I hope you enjoyed the coverage during this federal election. I was less active than usual. That will very likely be my last election. I'm getting a little bit tired of doing projections. This is ultimately a very repetitive and derivative job. So thanks for reading me!

Next to last update

Alright, busy weekend for me. So let,s go straight to the numbers. The late trend is favourable to the Liberals who have increased their lead in Ontario. At this point, the Conservatives will need the polls to be wrong to win the most seats. In any case, a minority is ultra likely.

Final projections tomorrow evening.


Projections




Map (percentages are, in order, CPC, LPC, NDP, Green and Bloc)




Riding by riding



Last look at who got its vote out already

Note: there'll be a quick projections update later this morning and then nothing until Sunday night. If you wanna know, my current projections have the Liberals at 137 seats and the CPC at 127.

You win elections by convincing people to vote for you and then actually making sure they go out and cast a ballot. While I'm not one who believes "machines" to get the vote out are the most important factor -I worked for campaigns that were clearly disorganized and yet the vote got out- I have to acknowledge that it can make a small difference.

We now got multiple polls surveying people who already voted. That is to say sampling the 4.7 mio Canadians who voted during the advance polls, a record. The 5 polls are from Mainstreet, Angus-Reid (check the detailed pdf), Ekos, Insight West (BC only) and Innovative. Firms with different methodologies and various results for the voting intentions.

In order to remove as much "house effect" (i.e the bias introduced by the specific methodology of a pollster), I took the difference between the reported votes and the voting intentions from the polls from these firms. For instance for Ekos, while 30% declared wanting to vote for the Conservatives, 37.5% declared having done so during the advance vote, thus a differential of 7.5%.

The table below presents all the results as well as a simple average.


It seems the Tories are the ones who most consistently score higher among people who have already voted. The Liberals do particularly well according to Mainstreet but it's a disaster according to Ekos (interesting that the two extremes for the LPC are from the two firms using IVR technology).

The average is influenced by the BC only numbers from Insight West of course. But even removing this poll wouldn't change the overall picture. Also, Campaign Research shows that BC is the province  -with Alberta- with the highest ratio of people who already voted over the number of people who intend to do so (40% versus 50%; remember polls always overestimate turnout because people who don't vote don't admit or straight up don't answer polls). This could matter because during the advance poll, the NDP was only starting its rise and was clearly 3rd in this province. That means it's possible many people who voted back then could have changed their mind. I don't think it's an issue major enough to cause a massive polling failure -mostly because people who vote in advance tend to be more committed anyway- but it could have a small influence and help the Tories.

As a reminder, in 2015, data shows the Liberals beat their polling numbers during the advance vote (and then went on to do the same on election day thanks to a late surge). It doesn't seem to be the case this year, unless Mainstreet is right (but if Mainstreet's numbers are right, the Liberals are also easily ahead in Ontario and could well be close to a majority).

I really hope Election Canada will release the advance turnout by riding today so that we can see where the increase is. In Quebec last year, we could clearly see the Liberal vote not coming out for instance. In BC 2 years ago, we could tell Surrey was going to flip - and it did. Surge in turnout is usually bad for incumbents.

So all in all, I don't see anything that would suggest the Liberals to beat their polling numbers. If anything, it seems the Conservatives are more likely to do so. Although it's also likely that the CPC has more very committed voters but will pick up a lot less of undecided on Monday (or NPD/Green voting strategically at the last minute).

Un regard sur le Québec (et surtout le Bloc) à 3 jours du scrutin

On est dans la dernière ligne droite. On le sait car les chefs des partis ont déjà commencé à parler de qui devrait former le gouvernement dans un scénario minoritaire, le scénario le plus probable à moins de gros mouvements en fin de semaine.

La situation au Québec est forte différente de ce qui était en début de campagne. Début septembre, Trudeau et le PLC voyaient le Québec comme la terre promise, la province qui leur permettrait de non seulement conserver le pouvoir, mais de conserver une majorité. Le Québec avait le potentiel pour fournir possiblement 50 sièges à Trudeau, permettant ainsi de compenser les pertes assurées ailleurs.

Cela ne s'est pas passé de même et nous sommes en fait aux portes d'une large victoire du Bloc.

Avant de continuer cette analyse, voici les plus récentes projections. On va avoir beaucoup de sondages cette fin de semaine, il est ainsi probable que ces chiffres changent beaucoup d'ici dimanche soir, lorsque je publierai mes projections finales. Dans l'état, je crois que ces projections sont très... temporaires.

Projections



Carte



En détails




Le Québec

Voici l'évolution des intentions de vote dans cette province



Le Bloc a commencé la campagne sous les 20% et se retrouve maintenant à 30%. Cela varie quelque peu d'une firme à l'autre, mais la moyenne a été assez stable depuis quelque temps. L'énorme sondage Léger d'hier avec plus de 3000 observations juste au Québec mettaient le Bloc et Libéraux à 31%. En moyenne cependant, le Bloc reste juste un peu en arrière du PLC.

On peut aussi voir la dégringolade des Conservateurs. Il y avait un bon coup à jouer en début de campagne mais le chef Andrew Scheer n,a de toutes évidences pas convaincu. Il faut dire que ce n'est pas facile quand son français est aussi mauvais. Cela étant dit, le sondage dans Trois-Rivières plaçait le candidat PCC en tête, ce serait une victoire un peu surprise.

On remarque aussi la remontée du NPD en fin de campagne, une remontée moins forte que dans le reste du pays. Le NPD ne devrait cependant conserver que peu de sièges (Rosemont, possiblement Berthier-Maskinongé, peutêtre Outremont et Laurier-Sainte-Marie).

La carte ressemble à cela:


Chaque formation est projetée gagnante dans 32 sièges, mais il y a une tonne de luttes serrées. Quelques points de pourcentages pourraient faire une énorme différence. Par exemple, si le Bloc devait dépasser les Libéraux (mettons Bloc à 33% et PLC à 30%), la formation d'Yves-François Blanchet pourrait alors gagner près de 40 sièges.

Le sondage Léger montre bien un PLC concentré à Montréal. Le Bloc est devant dans la plupart des régions, dont le 450.

Dans la région de Montréal, le Bloc domine en banlieues alors que les Libéraux restent dominateurs sur l'île, surtout dans l'ouest.



Sur l'île, Laurier-Sainte-Marie se dirige vers une lutte à trois (le NPD pourrait créer une petite surprise). La Rive-Nord est très acquise au Bloc et la seule lutte devraient être dans Rivières-des-Milles-Iles. La Rive-Sud a davantage de luttes incertaines.

On est pas mal proche de la carte de 2008, avec le Bloc moins dominant à Laval. Il faut dire qu'en 2008, les Libéraux n'étaient qu'à 24%, pas au-dessus de 30.


Comparé à 2015, on voit la disparition du NPD. On voit aussi à quel point la remontée du Bloc fait mal aux Libéraux.



Dans la région de Québec, c'est Conservateurs sauf dans quelques comtés.


Si les Conservateurs pensaient pouvoir faire des gains (Gagner tous les comtés n'était pas impossible il y a 1 mois de cela), ils se retrouvent plutôt en mode défense maintenant. Beauport et Montmagny sont prenables pour le Bloc. Alors que la Beauce est une lutte serrée entre Bernier et son ancien parti.

Dans le reste du Québec, le Bloc peut rêver de gagner les deux sièges en Abitibi, Sherbrooke, la Gaspésie et Jonquière.

À part dans quelques endroits (Abitibit, Sherbrooke, Gaspésie), les sièges Libéraux restant semblent relativement sûrs. Ce que je veux dire ici c'est que le Bloc a déjà repris les sièges PLC qu'il pouvait. Les gains supplémentaires pourraient provenir des Conservateurs. Certains ont évoqué une victoire du Bloc comme celle de la CAQ il ya  1 an mais la CAQ avait reçu 37% des votes et le PLQ était loin derrière. Le Bloc n'est de loin pas autant en avance selon les sondages. Mais la tendance est bonne.

Je ne pense pas que le PLC pourrait avoir une soirée aussi catastrophique que celle des Libéraux provinciaux l'automne passé. Les troupes à Trudeau vont perdre des sièges, c'est sûr, mais ils ne s'écrouleront pas. Pour le Premier Ministre, la déception est plutôt que ces résultats forceront logiquement une minorité (et le GTA décidera si c'est une minorité Libérale ou Conservatrice).

Who is leading after the advance voting?

Election Canada published the number of people who cast a ballot during the advance voting: 4.7 mio. That's a 29% increase over the 3.7mio of 2015.

Given the fact that a bigger and bigger proportion of voters opt to vote during the advance voting period, I'm not sure the +29% guarantees an increased turnout. Just as a reminder, the increase between 2011 and 2015 was from 2.1 mio to 3.7mio, a 74% increase!

My guess is that the +29% will make it such that overall turnout will be similar or slightly lower.

Anyway, two polls have been published with data regarding people who declared they voted already. The first one, from Mainstreet, has a sample of 598. That's small and I'll therefore ignore the provincial numbers and focus on the country-wide ones.

According to Mainstreet, the Liberals received 35% of the ballots while the Tories were at 34%. The NDP was at only 13.9%, the Bloc at 6.8%, green at 6.4% and the People's Party at 2.9%.

Given that my projections put the Liberals around 30-31%, we can see a good turnout among Liberals. But this is to be expected, advance voting is for committed voters and the big parties have more of those.

David Akin for Global News had an interesting piece yesterday where he showed that the Liberals would have won way fewer seats based only on advance polls in 2015. Specifically, the Liberals would only have got 163 seats. While this can be interpreted as the Liberals didn't get their vote out during advance voting last time around, we also have to remember that the Liberals surged at the end of the campaign. Therefore, during the advance polls, this party wasn't as high as it was at the end. This is particularly true in Quebec. So having the Liberals at 163 seats during the advance polls is more of an indication that their turnout was actually good. My projections during that time had the Liberals actually in second position! And yes I know my projections in 2015 were fairly off, but with the correct vote percentages, my model wasn't that off. So even if we correct for the systematic mistake my model made, I'd have had the LPC at 140 seats around October 12th 2015, not 163. So to me, the 163 is a good indication the Liberals already got their vote out early last time around.

We thus shouldn't be surprised if we see the same pattern this year. At the very least, I wouldn't take the Mainstreet poll above as a clear indication that the polls are underestimating the Liberals. (Note: I asked David Akin if he could tell me what was the percentage of votes per party during the advance polls. This info is available but it's a ton of work to gather. I'll let you know and update this piece if he accepts to share). [Update: he shared, see at the end]

The other poll is from Angus-Reid. Among the 314 respondents who had already voted, they find that 34% voted CPC, 30% for the LPC, 19% for the NDP, 7% each for the Bloc and Green and 3% for the PPC.

We could average the two polls (keeping in mind that the Mainstreet one has a bigger sample size) and get:

CPC: 34.1%
LPC: 33.3%
NDP: 15.7%
Green: 6.6%
Bloc: 6.9%
PPC: 2.9%

Couple of remarks:

- It's close. The polls indicate a super close race and those two polls aren't changing that.

- Mainstreet (and IVR polls in general) have had the NDP lower than other polls (although it has mostly converged). It's interesting to see Mainstreet having the NDP lower among people who voted already too. My feeling is that there is a very strong house effect or mode effect.

- Both the CPC and LPC are doing better than their respective polling averages. That makes sense, as we discussed previously.

- Bloc is doing well. It seems the Bloc voters are committed and got out to vote. That's not always the case with the PQ in Quebec for instance.

- Green is not doing that great. We can clearly see that many Green voters are still unsure. With the NDP surging in the last week, my guess is many Green voters might want to keep their options open.

- I'm surprised by the PPC being so high. But maybe this is a different small parties. Its voters might well be few but super committed. Still, at 2.9% already, this is pretty good.

Mainstreet and Angus-Reid polls have not really agreed with each other during this election. The AR polls in particular have had a tendency to see the Tories more ahead. Alternatively, Mainstreet ahs been consistent in showing a large LPC lead in Ontario.

So instead of averaging the published numbers, let's compare the percentages among people who have voted to the polling numbers from each firm. For instance for Mainstreet, they had the Liberals around 30% last weekend. That means that the LPC would be at +5% (35%-30%) if we compare the polls and the advance voters. This is significant.

But using Angus-Reid, the Liberals are only beating their poll numbers by 1.6% (30%-28.4%), very similar to the 1.4% of the Conservatives.

So, who is right? Probably the average between the two, especially with such small samples. So here it is:


So the CPC and LPC are clearly getting their vote out. Is the LPC doing it better? In average it seems so, but it's entirely because Mainstreet found this to be true. Angus-Reid didn't. I really hope Akin will share the numbers so that we can compare the deltas here to the ones in 2015 (maybe the Liberals are just better at this game, always).

Smaller parties are doing worse. A clear indication that many of their voters are not fully decided yet (or that they don't have the machine to get the vote out).


[Update]

So David Akin shared the numbers:




So let's see, the Liberals were around 35% in the polls back then, that means the Liberals performed at +2.6 during the advance poll. Conservative were at 31%, so that means +2 for advance polls, NDP at -2.7 and Green at -1.6%.

All in all, we see the same pattern as this year with the two big parties locking in more votes than the polls would indicate at this point.

So I see no reason to see the table above as any indication that the polls are off or the Liberals underestimated. Quite the contrary, the numbers are in line with CPC and LPC being very close to each other.

Now, let's see if there is a late momentum for any party.