Liberals Bounce Back from Second Scandal

The following projection is based upon a series of polls released between Sept. 26 to 30 from Ipsos, Leger, Abacus, Nanos, Innovative, Ekos and Campaign Research, producing a blended and weighted sample of more than 10,000 respondents. The Liberals currently lead with 158 seats, followed by the Conservatives with 136, the New Democratic Party with 20, the Bloc Québécois with 17,  the Green Party with five, plus one Independent and one for the People's Party. These numbers are very similar to the LISPOP projection at the end of August. 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 at the end of September.

One surprising feature of tracking public opinion during this campaign is how little change there has been, either nationally or within the various regions. The most apparent exception to that in examining seat projections has been Ontario. However, that is because the province has an inordinate number of marginal swing seats, where even a slight change in popular support can impact a number of ridings. As with the SNC-Lavalin scandal before it, the "blackface" issue seems to have a diminishing effect after just two weeks. The last pre-"blackface" projection in Ontario was based upon a seven-percentage-point Liberal lead over the Conservatives. In the next one, that lead dropped to three points, and now it is back up to six points These differences fall within the margin of sampling error. In other regions, any change has been even smaller.

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

  Independents
Canada 158 (184) 136 (99) 20 (44) 17 (10) 5 (1) 1 1
Atlantic 25 (32) 7 (0) - - - - -
Quebec 47 (40) 12 (12) 1 (16) 17 (10) - 1 -
Ontario 67 (80) 43 (33) 11 (8) - - - -
Prairies / North 7 (8) 23 (18) 1 (5) - - - -
Alberta - (4) 33 (29) 1 (1) - - - -
British Columbia 12 (17) 18 (10) 6 (14) - 5 (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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