Seat Redistribution Benefits the Conservatives

A blend of polls conducted in September by Environics, Harris-Decima, Nanos, Abacus and Forum Research on a blended sample of over 7000 interviews 159 seats for the Conservative Party, 113 seats for the NDP, 55 seats for the Liberals, 10 for the Bloc Québécois, and 1 seat for the Greens. It might be noted that these figures indicated a Conservative lead in national popular vote of approximately two percentage points over the NDP, and approximately 11 points over the Liberals. Followers of this website will know that the national figures don't directly influence the model used here, which is instead based upon its regional sub-components. The first table makes use of the newly proposed 338 electoral boundaries drawn from the 2011 census, but for comparative purposes a second table is presented that utilizes the old district configuration. Apart from the fact that both maps would currently indicate a Conservative minority government being formed if an election had been held in September, the other obvious conclusion is that seat changes in the new parliament would largely benefit the Conservatives. Between the two projections, the Conservatives would have had a net gain of twenty-five of those thirty new seats. 

Projected distribution of seats by party and region compared with actual election results (in brackets), released October 11, 2012

Table 1: New 338 seat distribution

  conservative ndp liberal bq
Other
Canada
159(166)
113(103)
55(34)
10(4)
1(1)
Atlantic provinces
10(14)
11(6)
11(12)
--
--
Quebec
8(5)
48(59)
12(7)
10(4)
--
Ontario
68(73)
27(22)
26(11)
--
--
Prairies & North
19(26)
10(3)
2(2)
--
--
Alberta
33(27)
1(1)
--
--
--
British Columbia
21(21)
16(12)
4(2)
--
1(1)

Table 2: Seat redistribution of 308 seats

  conservative ndp liberal bq
Other
Canada
134(166)
105(103)
57(34)
11(4)
1(1)
Atlantic provinces
10(14)
9(6)
13(12)
--
--
Quebec
6(5)
46(59)
12(7)
11(4)
--
Ontario
55(73)
25(22)
26(11)
--
--
Prairies & North
20(26)
8(3)
3(2)
--
--
Alberta
27(27)
1(1)
--
--
--
British Columbia
16(21)
16(12)
3(2)
--
1(1)

Note: The "regional swing model" is more fully explained in a paper originally prepared and presented by Dr. Barry Kay to the 1990 annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, entitled "Improving Upon the Cube Law: A Regional Swing Model for Converting Canadian Popular Vote into Parliamentary Seats". 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 bkay@wlu.ca.

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