Saturday, June 26, 2004

Final Polls Point to Conservative Minority

The final polls are pointing clearly to a weak Conservative minority government.

I have applied a weighted average of the final campaign polls to my forecasting model. The resulting outcome is: Liberal - 103, Cons. - 116, NDP - 33, BQ - 56.

The Conservative vote is more efficiently distributed than the Liberal vote. There is also a slight age bias that helps the Conservatives. They receive a disproportionate share of their support from those over the age of 60 - voters who are much more likely to turn out. I think the Liberals need more than a 1 point lead to pull ahead of the Conservatives. They also need a slightly stronger advantage in Ontario than the 3-5 point lead in the closing polls they have.

Two caveats:

However, a handful a entirely idiosyncratic results in Conservative-Liberal results could easily reverse the outcome above. It could come from the natural advantage enjoyed by incumbents alone.

My calculation of the Ekos numbers puts the Conservatives ahead. They are new to seat prediction, but as owners of the data they ought to be able to forecast seat outcomes more accurately than myself. Perhaps there is some distribution in the data they can see that favours the Liberals that is invisible to someone extracting the regional numbers from a newspaper.

Of course, the Liberals will likely be ahead in the seat count before the B.C. results come in so we will all have to stay up late on Monday to know the final outcome. Who knows? It could our version of Florida 2000. Is the Supreme Court ready?

No comments: