Monday, April 4, 2011

Projection Trends So Far in the Campaign

We are now through more than 25% of the campaign (228 hours out of 886, counting from Harper's visit to the GG at 9am ET on March 26 to the opening of the first polls at 8:30am NT on May 2), so it is now time to take a look at trends in the first quarter.

As you can see from the graph, things have been mostly flat so far. In the past couple of days, the Grits have gained a few seats at the expense of the Tories, but whether this is sustainable remains to be seen. In particular, Angus Reid and Ipsos have yet to publish horse race numbers, and their pre-campaign polls showed a huge Tory advantage in Ontario. Still, the 4-seat loss by the Tories is important in that it knocks them out of majority territory. If the election were today, I'd say there'd be a 40-45% chance of a Conservative majority.

In terms of the national popular vote, the Conservative lead grew from 12.6% in the March 26 projection to a peak of 13.6% on March 29. It was then quite flat for a few days, still reaching 13.4% on April 2. However, in the past two days, it has dropped to 12.2%. At this point, it is not possible to say whether the recent drop is just statistical noise or if it is indicative of a trend. We should have a better idea by the end of the week...

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