Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ontraio Election By The Numbers: FINAL Predictions

updated June 11 6:15pm after release of Ipsos Reid final poll

Polling may still be on going, however, the day before election day ban on publication means that we know everything we're going to know from the pollsters.

The final two polls, one released by Ekos Research on June 11th, and one released by Forum Research on June 10th, show the Liberals pulling out front at the expense of the Conservatives (as per Ekos), or at the expense of the NDP (Forum Research)

Prior to tomorrow's election, we thought it would be interesting to have a look at what each pollster predicted, from their first poll of the campaign, to their last poll. Maybe that will give us some insight into the minds and hearts of the voters.

First, there's Abacus Data. Their first poll was published on May 20 and their last poll was published on June 9. What the four polls showed was a slight increase in Liberal support, a slight decrease in Conservative support, and, a slight increase in NDP support. Graphically, it looks like this

Ekos Research didn't quite see it the same way. They began the campaign with a significant Liberal lead, and, they ended the campaign with the Liberal about where they were at the beginning of the campaign, but with Conservatives slightly lower, ane with the NDP slightly higher in support.

Next comes Forum Research. Their initial poll, published May 3rd, showed the Conservatives with a lead in support, but, by June 610th, their last poll, the Liberals were on the rise gaining 3% from the Conservatives, while the NDP barely moved (up 0.5%).

If you're not confused yet, here comes Ipsos Reid. Like Forum Research, their early polling showed the Conservatives with a substantial lead, but with the Liberals and NDP almost neck and neck. In their last minute internet poll, they are showing continued decline for the Conservatives, a plateauing for the Liberals, but a surprise rise in popularity for the NDP. You will notice that they saw this spike in NDP support on May 22, with a dramatic decline a week later. Nevertheless, let's say the spike is real and there is a 28% support for the NDP, how does this change things? Not much. What the Conservatives gains from the NDP taking votes away from hotly contested Liberal / NDP ridings, they give back in hotly contested Conservative / Liberal ridings with their 4% drop since June 6. (updated 6pm June 11)

Depending on who you believe, it appears that we will have another Liberal minority government. However, if Abacus is correct, and the NDP really do have 28% support, or as Ipsos Reid is now saying, 31%, then, could the Conservatives split the left leaning vote enough to take control of the Ontario Government? Not according to my math. (updated 6pm June 11)

Despite the uncertainty, this pollster will stick with the summary math and predict a Liberal minority as follows:

We will know for sure tomorrow night. Remember to vote! It's your province and your opinion counts.

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