Thursday, March 17, 2005

B.C. 2005 Election

The B.C. election is coming soon. It is scheduled for May 17. The campaign begins mid-April. I will post on it from time to time.

The only point I would make today is that, because it appears the B.C. Liberals are heading for re-election, brand name confusion with their federal cousins means that polls of FEDERAL party preference over the next few months are likely to be distorted by the presence in British Columbia of a provincial election campaign. Specifically, it is likely that federal Liberal support will be higher than it would otherwise (possibly the NDP too) as the federal Liberals benefit from provincial spillover. It will likely take until the end of June for that to filter out.

Three good sites for following the election are:

1. The Election Prediction Project B.C. election website: Anyone can enter their opinion on the race in each riding on this site. Most of the comments are uninteresting but occasionally you see some important on the ground observations you can’t get in the conventional media. For example, one riding likely to be competitive is Oak Bay-Gordon Head. The conflicting opinions on the site on the riding page are quite helpful in understanding the micro political climate here.

I don’t understand the process that translates the often contradictory comments into seat outcomes but the overall predictive record of the site is reasonably good.

2. The UBC election stock market site:
This site gives you the expectations of the investors. It is based on a “wisdom of crowds” or “wisdom of the market” assumption. It tells you specifically what the collective expectations of the participants are at any given moment.

3. The Nodice 2005 B.C. election page has a comprehensive round up of links and all the background information you could ask for.

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