Minority Government Likely as Bloc Surges

The following projection is based on aggregated polling data since the Oct. 10 televised debate with an estimated sample size of more than 10,000 respondents. The Liberals continue to lead with 143 seats, followed closely by the Conservatives with 136. The New Democratic Party is projected with 24 seats, 29 for the Bloc Québécois, four seats for the Green Party, plus one seat each for an independent candidate and the People's Party. This is not intended to be a prediction of the future, but rather is an estimate of what the parliamentary seat distribution might have looked like by mid-October.

In an election campaign, where there has been little noticeable change in public opinion measures for months, the numbers emerging since last week's debates suggest that the terrain in Quebec has moved with the Bloc Quebecois continuing to rise, and taking seats that would otherwise mostly go to the Liberals. There has also been momentum toward the NDP, but it is more diffuse and it isn't clear how many additional seats it means for that party. Since public opinion frequently moves in waves, and it isn't evident that these trends have ebbed, one should await the final LISPOP projection this coming weekend to obtain a better picture of the election outcome.

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Table 1: Federal Seat projections - Oct 15 2019 (2015 election results in brackets)

  Independents
Canada 143 (184) 136 (99) 24 (44) 29 (10) 4 (1) 1 1
Atlantic 24 (32) 7 (0) 1 (0) - - - -
Quebec 37 (40) 10 (12) 1 (16) 29 (10) - 1 -
Ontario 63 (80) 46 (33) 12 (8) - - - -
Prairies / North 7 (8) 23 (18) 1 (5) - - - -
Alberta - (4) 33 (29) 1 (1) - - - -
British Columbia 12 (17) 17 (10) 8 (14) - 4 (1) - 1

Note: The "regional swing model" is more fully explained in a paper presented by Dr. Barry Kay to the 2009 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, entitled "A Regional Swing Model for Converting Canadian Popular Vote into Parliamentary Seats 1963-2008." It should be noted that the application of the model above does not make use of the "incumbency effect" described in that paper. In tests for past elections, using late campaign polls to project electoral outcomes, the model has proved to be accurate within an average of four seats per party since 1963. Readers interested in post-dictions for past federal elections dating back to 1963, for projections using pre-election polls dating back to the 1980 federal election and for three Ontario provincial elections, may contact me at [email protected].

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