2 years later, Justin Trudeau heavily favourite for re-election

I just finished the first version of the 2019 model and we have two new polls, one from Abacus and one, today, from Mainstreet Research to try it.

Also, you can find the first version of the simulator - where you can enter your own numbers - here.

Both polls show essentially the same situation: the Liberals of Justin Trudeau are clearly ahead of the Conservatives of Andrew Scheer while the NDP is a distant third, below the 20% mark. The Liberals are actually higher than in 2015 in many provinces. This is especially the case in Quebec where the party could possibly sweep the province.

Using these two polls, the model would have the following projections:

Voting intentions; Seat projections with confidence interval; Chances of winning the most seats

The probabilities are obtained using thousands of simulations where the model accounted for the uncertainty due to polls as well as the distribution of the votes. Moreover, there is a correlation across provinces (meaning that if polls underestimate the Liberals in Ontario, they'd likely underestimate it in BC as well). This correlation is really the only reason the CPC's chances are higher than 0%. See this as a scenario where the two polls would have heavily underestimated the Tories everywhere and this party would have a very efficient vote. Not impossible given the accuracy of polls, but definitely unlikely.

If the election was tomorrow, you wouldn't need a complex model to predict a Liberal victory as well as a majority. Of course, the election isn't tomorrow but in 2 years. The CPC barely experienced a post-leadership bump after the surprising victory of Scheer. With that said, the one thing going for the Tories is the fact their base appears intact. By remaining above the 30% (and around 35% in Ontario as well as close to the 20% mark in Quebec), this party is at least in a situation to be competitive. As a matter of fact, the CPC isn't doing badly, it's just that the Liberals are dominating too much for an election to be competitive at the moment.

In the eventuality that the NDP leadership would conclude in the election of a leader who could go and steal votes from the Liberals, the Conservatives could start dreaming of a win. Or at least forcing Trudeau to a minority. At this point, I think preventing another Liberal majority could already be a good outcome for the Canadian right.

The main problem for Scheer is that his path to forming the government is narrow. He needs the NDP to split the progressive vote with the Liberals. He would also need to himself propose policies and alternatives that could attract the middle class and grab some voters who went Liberals in 2015. The Khadr story was good for the base and the fundraising efforts, but had not impact on the families in the suburbs. The Mainstreet poll shows that taxes could be one area where Scheer and the Tories could have the edge (although the poll also shows how isolated or different conservative voters are compared to the rest). Abacus is showing that among centrist voters, the Liberals currently have an edge of 43-29. If Scheer wants to become Pime Minister, he'll need to improve there (and again, expect a bigger split of the left with the NDP).

Polls also show many Canadians still don't know what to think of Scheer (there are more people unsure than people who approve of him). That is never optimal but the BC NDP is currently in power and had a mostly unknown leader just a couple of months ago (note: yes, they technically lost the election but they made huge gains in the Lower Mainland thanks to a focused campaign).

As it stands, beating Trudeau won't be possible as long as the Liberals are dominating Quebec so outrageously. With the NDP back in the 10s and the Bloc still below 20%, the LPC could win north of 60 seats in la Belle Province. Coupled with the Atlantic, this is simply too big of an edge to be beaten, no matter what would happen in Ontario or BC. On the other hand, being ahead in Quebec is never a safe thing, just ask Thomas Mulcair.

Also worth pointing out, the economic growth is currently really strong (and the population is indeed feeling it, as shown in the Abacus poll), another factor going for Trudeau. But there as well, it could change by 2019.

I'll post the simulator very soon. Remember that this is very much a version 1.0 of the model. There is no regional coefficient, no adjustment for incumbency or anything like that. It'll come later. In the meantime, you'll find here below the detailed projections. I'm sure there must be some errors here and there and will be grateful if you let me know if you find one.

Detailed projections


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