May 13th 2013: Final BC projections

[Update: even though we've got three new polls today (Ekos, Angus-Reid and Ipsos), adding them to the projections doesn't change anything. Actually, even if I was to use these three polls only, the projections below would still be valid. So I won't be updating the infography or the pdf]

Given the polls, past results and the electoral system, taking account the uncertainty due to theses factors, Too Close Too Call projects that the BC NDP will win a majority government on May 14th 2013, while the BC Liberals will form the official opposition.

Adrian Dix and his party have 87% chances of winning the most seats and 86% of getting a majority. For the BC Liberals, it'd take a mix of a serious (and systematic) bias in the polls as well as some "luck" or efficiency with the electoral system in order to keep power.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the possibility of a BC Liberals surprise didn't even exist. So Christy Clark has at least succeeded in bringing her party back in a position where they not only can avoid a landslide victory of the BC NDP, but can even dream of beating it. Still, with the odds being around 13%, you have to like risk to gamble money on the BC Liberals.

If you want the riding-by-riding projections, you can find them here.

Let's take a look at each party. First, the very likely next governming party in BC, the BC NDP of Adrian Dix. After three consecutive elections won by the BC Liberals, all with smaller and smaller margins, the BC NDP is poised to come back to power. While the odds are very good for this party, let's not forget that 4 weeks ago, they were projected to win a majority 100% of the time. They even had the possibility of winning as many as 80 seats. So, did Adrian Dix make mistakes during this campaign? I wouldn't say so. I believe it's more a return to the natural order. In particular, the BC NDP didn't drop in voting intentions (a little bit, but at almost 45%, they are very close to their average of the last 6 months). What really happened are the smaller parties (Green and Conservatives) declining. The only negative point is that the BC NDP wasn't able, it seems, to benefit from some of the Green support going away, at least not looking at the net effect. It's well possible some of the Green supporters did indeed go back to the NDP, but at the same time, some NDP supporters moved to the Liberals. At the end of the day, the net effect has been a very stable NDP.

Christy Clark started this campaign with very little hope of winning it. With around a 20-points deficits, it would have taken a miracle for her to remain Premier. Still, an effective campaign and the collapse of the BC Conservatives gave her a chance. It'll likely not be enough, but she'll make sure the BC NDP is at least facing a real opposition in Victoria. And while she was projected to lose her own seat for the best part of the election, we now project that she'll indeed be back in Victoria. For how long? And will it be as the leader? We'll have to wait and see.

The BC Green party has great expectations this election. But while polls still look good (especially considering they could get a positive provincial swing despite running 24 less candidates, thus meaning that in ridings where they do have candidates, the swing is definitely positive), a decline towards the end of the campaign puts the chances of getting MLA(s) in jeopardy. Their best chance has always been with Andrew Weaver in Oak-Bay-Gordon Head but it'll take a significant "candidate-effect" for him to win. Something comparable to what Elizabeth May achieved last election. By Canadian standards, this is pretty unique. I believe the Green will be in the race but will ultimately fail. The main reason being the BC NDP polling so high on Vancouver Island and showing no sign of decline.

As for the BC Conservatives, the trend of the last year is quite disastrous. They went from being in the race to beat the BC Liberals for second place to most likely finishing last (among the four parties) with no MLA. An objectively weak campaign marked by candidates withdrawals and other controversies, along with what has been considered the weakest debate performance, all point to a bad night for this party and his leader, John Cummins. At 6-7% provincially without a full slate of candidates, the party could be in the race in some ridings around Kelowna or in the Interior, but as the Green, they should ultimately fall short. Still, they could be the party with the best provincial swing, something not rewarded (yet) with this electoral system, but something not negligeable.

Finally, let's nor forget there are a couple of independents candidates that have a real chances, including 3 incumbents (only 1 of them actually elected by running as ind. in 2009). Independents are very hard to project and I won't feel bad if my model is off in these ridings. It's honnestly more a guess than anything else.

I'll post later a short posts "by the numbers" to complete this one. Expect a lot of probabilities and, obviously, numbers.