Sunday, April 08, 2007

New SES Poll - Surprising Seat Numbers

As I often do, when a new poll comes in I apply the numbers to my seat forecasting model.

When I did this with the numbers out today in the new SES poll I was in for a surprise: despite a three point lead in the popular vote, the Conservatives actually come second to the Liberals when the polling data is converted to seats. There are a number of instances in Canadian political history of parties winning elections by taking the most seats even while finishing second in the popular vote. That is what happens here.

Poll Numbers

Liberal - 33
Conservative - 36
NDP - 16
BQ - 10
Green - 6

Seat Numbers

Liberal - 121
Conservative - 119
NDP - 18
BQ - 50

Now, this result is actually vert close, much too close to be considered conclusive. But it was true in 2006 that the Liberals had the most efficiently distributed vote. These numbers are certainly indicative of that. Crucial to the outcome is that in the poll the Conservatives are only ahead of the Liberals by six points in the SES's west region, compared to being 26 points ahead of the Liberals in the 2006 election in the west. Most of the blogosphere is focused on Quebec but its the western numbers that seem the most surprising, and one should add, implausible. It is most likely in TC's view that an election today would produce a Conservative minority government.

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