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.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Comparison of IRG Riding Clusters and Current Projection

In its latest release, Innovative Research Group divided the country into 14 riding clusters and provided voting intentions for each of them, based on its three summer polls, which totaled approximately 5,700 decided respondents (7,555 respondents total). That's roughly 17 decided respondents per riding. Therefore, for most clusters, these results have sample sizes roughly on par or smaller than riding polls.

Just like for riding polls, it's interesting to compare what IRG is seeing to what my model is showing. For each of the clusters, I have computed the average support for each party across the cluster's ridings. Note that these averages are NOT weighted by population.

To facilitate comparison, I am deviating from my policy of not reproducing poll results on this blog, but of course, you're highly encouraged to click through to IRG's website and see its full release (which contains traditional national and regional top line numbers) and analysis.

The numbers before party names are IRG's; the ones after are my model averages.

Main takeaways:
- The NDP is doing better than expected in LIB/CON races, and worse than expected where it actually counts for them. It's so bad that they could be at 7 seats rather than the current projection of 17.
- Crucial LIB/CON areas are near where the model sees them.
- LIBs and CONs are not winning by as much as expected in their respective strongholds - sign of discontent about both Trudeau and Scheer?
- There is no evidence that GRN support is more efficient than the model projects.

LIB-CON Atlantic (14 ridings)
39 CON 40.3
37 LIB 38.7
13 GRN 13.4
  7 NDP 4.8
IRG's numbers line up remarkably well with mine in competitive Atlantic races.

BQ (18)
28 BQ 30.0
24 LIB 29.9
22 CON 20.8
14 GRN 9.0
  7 NDP 7.5

LIB-NDP QC (27, all held by LIBs)
44 LIB 44.6
17 CON 19.9
15 BQ 16.7
12 GRN 9.0
10 NDP 7.2

NDP QC (14)
30 LIB 27.6
26 BQ 22.0
20 CON 21.5
11 NDP 16.4
10 GRN 10.1

IRG is seeing the Liberals doing slightly worse than expected (and the Greens better than expected) in the Bloc's most promising ridings, while the NDP appears to be bleeding somewhat more than expected in its remaining QC ridings to the Liberals and the Bloc. However, given the sample sizes, these could just be noise.

41 LIB 43.2
35 CON 39.0
12 NDP 8.2
  7 GRN 6.1

LIB-CON Rest of ON (34)
32 CON 39.4
39 LIB 37.9
10 NDP 9.8
15 GRN 9.8

Here, it's important to remember that IRG's blended sample has the Liberals up about 8 points in ON, while my projection average has them up about 4 points. Given this, the LIB-CON gap is roughly as expected in these competitive ON ridings - perhaps a bit better for the Liberals outside the GTA, but the difference is easily explained by noise.

This is also evidence that my recent adjustment (based on Corbett and Abacus sub-provincial breakdowns) giving the NDP a boost in the Toronto suburbs, an area that largely overlaps with IRG's LIB-CON GTA area, was not aggressive enough. This is bad news for the NDP: they have little chance of winning these seats, so those votes are needed elsewhere in ON. If this trend is further confirmed, I will increase the adjustment - it sure looks pretty robust now, with all three pollsters with ON breakdowns showing the same thing.

LIB-CON Lower Mainland (11)
33 CON 40.1
35 LIB 37.4
10 GRN 9.2
16 NDP 7.5
In BC's LIB-CON races, it's much the same story as in ON: considering that IRG's blended sample has the Tories up by 0-1 point in BC, while my average has them up by 3-4 points, these numbers are very close to expectations. And once again, the NDP appears to be having more support than expected in useless places.

LIB-CON QC and West, except Lower Mainland (19)
40 CON 41.0
33 LIB 37.6
15 NDP 8.6
  7 GRN 7.6
  2 BQ 1.7
These LIB-CON numbers are again broadly in line with model projections. Here, it's the CONs that appear to be doing a bit better than expected, but just like the LIB-CON observations above, this is easily explained by noise. And again we see the NDP doing better than expected in essentially lost areas.

LIB-NDP non-QC (26)
43 LIB 42.1
18 NDP 23.8
25 CON 21.0
12 GRN 9.9

NDP non-QC (16)
26 NDP 35.3
30 CON 28.5
28 LIB 23.8
  9 GRN 8.8

All that better-than-expected NDP support in LIB-CON seats? This is where the cost shows up: the NDP is dropping more than expected in seats where it could actually be competitive. The "NDP non-QC" cluster is the most important to watch: 12 of the 14 non-QC seats where the NDP is currently projected ahead are in this group. (The only exceptions are St. John's East and Vancouver East.) If the NDP is indeed in a 3-way tie in this group, it will likely get only around 5 of these seats, or a total of about 7 outside QC.

Three-way (14)
29 CON 36.1
25 LIB 27.6
23 NDP 19.6
13 GRN 9.3
  4 BQ 3.7
Perhaps this is where the NDP might get a surprise seat or two? Given the sample size though, this could again just be random variation.

Green (15)
30 LIB 29.1
24 CON 25.5
20 GRN 24.8
18 NDP 15.4
  3 BQ 2.2
The IRG data isn't much more encouraging for the Greens: it does not look like their support has greater concentration - and therefore greater potential to generate seats - than projected by the model. So if IRG is right, it will take a significant increase in Green fortunes to get them anywhere near official party status.

Strong CON (65)
51 CON 58.1
24 LIB 19.7
10 NDP 10.2
  8 GRN 6.9
  1 BQ 1.0

Strong LIB (32)
46 LIB 53.3
25 CON 25.1
  9 GRN 9.4
13 NDP 7.9
  3 BQ 1.3

Interestingly, both main parties are doing worse than expected in their respective strongholds. This could be a sign that neither the Liberal base nor the Conservative base likes their leader, and both may be thinking about staying home or casting a protest vote in safe ridings.

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