Latest national poll median date: October 20
Projections reflect recent polling graciously made publicly available by pollsters and media organizations. I am not a pollster, and derive no income from this blog.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank You!

Wow, over 22,500 pageviews on Election Day, and consistently over 10,000 per day during the last week of the campaign! Thank you so much for reading. Come back tomorrow for some analysis, and after that, please do check back once in a while even though there likely won't be another federal election until 2015.


Andy JS said...

Thanks for this excellent blog on Canadian politics.

This is how the Conservatives did on the night:

Anonymous said...

You were nearest as everyone was giving less than 150 to Conservative as they were not willing to accept their is a FORD NATION in Toronto

Guy said...

Interesting that outside of Quebec, the NDP added only 7 seats.

Election Watcher said...

Thanks Andy and Anon 6:27.

Guy: Good observation (though it's actually 8 relative to 2008, or 9 relative to what they held at dissolution). That's not a surprise, since the projection called for 14 gains, and the Tories ended up more than 5% higher outside Québec than polls suggested.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing us all with your analysis over the last while, it's been great to have sites such as yours. See you in four years!

Anonymous said...

Don't beat yourself up. You did better than all the others.

My final call was 163/87/43/15. From Day One I felt in my gut Harper would get his majority, and when I went over the 2008 results riding by riding results on Saturday I came up with 168, but I second guessed myself and started taking seats away from the Tories because I didn't believe what I was seeing.

Similarly in Quebec (I should have listened to you there). I simply could not allow myself to believe what the stats were telling me, and even though I knew in my belly I was wrong I started giving seats back to the Bloc.

Where we were both horrendously wrong ( me with far less excuse than you since I only live 60 miles away) was calling Central Nova for the NDP. Peter MacKay sure made us look like monumental fools having swept the riding like Gehngis Khan and the Golden Horde.

Where we can both be forgiven, I think, is in GTA where the polls were crap.

Will certainly be joining you next time. Excellent work.


Election Watcher said...

Thanks Zanna and Anon 4:37p!

Zanna: Your final call was better than all the publicly available ones that I've been tracking. Congrats! Did you get to 168 by using an explicit large vote share adjustment for the Tories, or did you somehow build a model that predicts voting day surges?

Yes, MacKay sure improved his popularity in Central Nova over the past few years. Geez...

Looking forward to have you back!

Anonymous said...


In answer to you questions, I have to say that I am not as scientific as you. I read the polls and local news stories accross the country through the eyes of someone who has worked in 22 campaigns, 10 as a campaign manager and 6 as a candidate (3 times successfully), and talk to all my contacts in different parties accross the country.

In this case the polls told me that where the Tories were in close races with the NDP I should give those to the Dippers; where Tories were in closes races with Liberals I should give those to the Tories unless I had local information to the contrary, which I did in many instances other than in Quebec. In Quebec, close Tory-Bloc races I gave to the Tories, close Bloc-NDP races I gave to the NDP except that I second guessed myself because I didn't believe my own conclusions and then gave seats back to the Bloc.

Where I should have second guessed myself but didn't was in Central Nova where my knowledge of Peter and his dad Elmer over the years should have told me he couldn't possibly be knocked off,especially when the Tories were improving their perecentage in the region. In Iggy's case I did the opposite. I deeply sensed he was going down but thought I was being stupid so gave the seat back to him.

Polls are often wrong, as you have pointed out, but they do tell a lot if you read enough of them, get to know the idiosyncracies of each pollster and temper your assessment with your own knowledge and instincts acquired over many decades.

Do you think, EW, that this election was more media driven than any other, and morevover by a lot of people who either did not know what they were talking about or had deep biases? I can't count the number of times I heard commentaters say "this is the most unpredictable election in recent history", yet from April 25th on it was the MOST predictable in that we all knew who would be government and who would be official opposition. Yet the CBC and some others talkled as if Layton was in 24 Sussex by both factand by moral imperative.

I have great respect for your work and wish you all the best.


Election Watcher said...

Zanna: Yeah, a feel for what's happening on the ground is important. I have no political contact whatsoever, so I had to rely exclusively on polls and historical results. Since you have so many contacts, may I ask you if people in the political parties knew that the polls were wrong and that Harper was in majority territory, or if they also thought that things were right on the border?

As for Ignatieff, the model would actually have give his seat to the Tories if I hadn't included a leader's effect. I think his defeat shows how effective the Tories' personal attacks about him were. It's telling that Etobicoke Centre, which went Liberal by the same margin as Etobicoke--Lakeshore in 2008, is headed for a recount while Ignatieff lost by several points.

I think this election was unpredictable in the sense that with publicly available information, it was impossible to tell whether it would be a majority or a minority, and in the case of a minority, we could well have had PM Layton. So while we knew the order of the parties, we didn't quite know who would form gov't. I'm not sure if this election was more media driven than the others - in 2006, that RCMP leak might have actually changed who won the election. But certainly the orange wave in Quebec would not have reached the proportions it did without all the polls confirming the demise of the Bloc.

Thanks again for your interest in this blog! All the best,


Anonymous said...


The answer to your question is: The Tories knew; The Liberals didn't believe and the NDP didn't know what to believe but were happy Christmas was coming twice for them.


Election Watcher said...

Thanks Zanna. I guess I was more right than I thought when I posted that the Tories were playing the media when they said that a majority was out of reach due to the NDP surge...