Saturday, April 09, 2011

What an economic model forecasts for the Canadian election

Economic models have had a strong record in predicting which party will win the White House in U.S. elections.  Now a model built by a couple of Canadian political scientists is making a striking forecast for Canada, suggesting Stephen Harper could lose a lot of seats.  Courtesy of Brendan Nyan's Twitter feed and the Monkey Cage:
For the upcoming election, the unemployment rate is 7.7% (average of November-December-January), the incumbent party's popularity is 38% (average of eight published polls during the month of February), and the longevity measure is equal to 63 months (logged value = 4.143). Hence, the model's forecast gives 34.4% of the vote and 114 seats out of 308 to the Conservative Party.
All such efforts should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt but it is quite at odds with both current polling and conventional wisdom. Interesting.