This might be one of the easiest times I've had making final projections and an official call. It's on par with Alberta 2019 and BC 2020 in how confident I am of the winner. It'd take a monumental polling error tomorrow for Doug Ford not to get a majority.

This arrives at the end of what was a very boring campaign to follow and cover. Ford and the PC started in majority territory, dipped a tiny bit in the middle (like in 2018) and are ultimately finishing so strong that they could end up winning more seats than 4 years ago. It's pretty wild to write this when Ford was a complete disaster before Covid. Who would have thought that Ford would keep his Covid polling bump more than Trudeau? So let's take a look at the polls and the seat projections.

As always, remember that you can use the model yourself here and you can follow me on Twitter where I post a lot more updates (along with a lot of crap lol)

1. The polls

As previously mentioned, it was mostly boring. No massive swing or anything. The only entertainment came out of the daily Mainstreet numbers that were fluctuating too much (in typical 3-days rolling fashion). I seriously think rolling polls are useless and shouldn't exist. They experience wild fluctuations and drive the overall narrative way too much. Quasi unanimity of the polls towards the end, so much that you have to wonder if there isn't some herding by pollsters.

While the overall numbers were mostly stable (until the end), there were some movements in some regions. As you can see, the Liberals were gaining in Toronto and the GTA, the two regions they'd need to in order to make real gains. But it didn't last and the last minute trend is definitely favouring the PC. Online and IVR polls disagree on two regions: Toronto and the North. IVR polls have the Liberals clearly ahead in Toronto while the online polls have the PC essentially flat compared to 2018 and tied/slightly ahead of the Liberals. On the other hand, online polls have the PC with a much smaller lead over the NDP in the North. If online polls are correct, the PC will keep many of its seats in Toronto (maybe actually making gains) while falling short of gains in the North.

2. Seat projections

Here you go, the money shot.

Polling average; Seat projections with 95% confidence intervals; Chances of winning the most seats

Very little uncertainty. The chances of a PC majority are 98%!! It's not guaranteed but very close to it.

The map:

I know it's insane to see the OLP wiped out of the GTA and the PC sweeping it, but polls have given the PC a giant lead in the GTA. Leger, for instance (with a small sample, I admit), has the PC at 50% in the 905! 26 points ahead of the OLP. My guts tell me the NDP saves Brampton East but the model said otherwise. Doesn't make a big difference at the end, it's mostly symbolic.

Interactive (but slow) version here.

There obviously are many seats that are uncertain. For instance, the Green have a shot in Parry Sound -- Muskoka with a strong campaign, no Liberal candidate (bravo OLP) and the PC losing a long term incumbent. New Blue could split the right enough in some SW ridings (thinking of Cambridge where Belinda Karahalios, elected under the PC banner in 2018, is running for them). Hamilton East -- Stoney Creek could be interesting too with the former NDP MPP (long term) being kicked out of the party and running as an independent.

Overall though, there is just not a lot of uncertainty. What would it take for Ford not to win a majority? Well I posted such a scenario on Twitter the other day. Basically: polls overestimating the PC and the NDP/OLP having very efficient vote. That would mean the NDP concentrating their support around Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener and Brampton as well as keeping the North. As for the OLP, they would need to overperform in the Peel region. Possible? Yes, but unlikely.

There are two uncertainties (beside the majority/minority thingy). First one is whether the NDP will win more seats than the OLP. My simulations say the odds are at 84%. Secondly, will the Liberals regain official party status (12 seats). Chances are at 85%. So  the Liberals should at least have that, although their leader, Steven Del Duca, is unlikely to win his own riding.

Finally, maybe the real uncertainty is the size of the majority. In a perfect storm, Ford could win close to 90 seats. In this scenario, he's keeping his Toronto seats and all of the GTA (even making gains thanks to the NDP being lower). He would also make significant gains in the North. Speaking of which, polls are clearly showing a re-alignment there with the NDP in sharp decline. They might not lose their seats (yet) thanks to the large majorities they had, but the trend is clear. We also observed such trend at the federal level. The NDP is slowly but surely losing its rural, working class support. It doesn't hurt the Ontario NDP as much because they at least win some seats in Toronto, something Jagmeet Singh has been spectacularly incapable of in two elections.

Here are the detailed projections:

Final Projections Ontario 2022 by bryanbreguet on Scribd