Conservatives Slip Out of Majority Range

The following seat projection is based upon a weighted blending of polls from Nanos, Harris-Decima, Abacus and Forum Research that were drawn from March 24-29. The overall sample was approximately 6000. While the national total of seats allocated drops the Conservatives down below the magic number of 155, the real story of the past seven weeks is how stable public opinion and the polls have actually been. Throughout the last five LISPOP projections during this period, the Conservative number has varied only between 150 and 157 seats, and it is now in the middle of that range. Compared to our most recent previous projection, the only regional changes have been in Quebec and the Atlantic area. Although there are comparatively few Atlantic swing seats, the small internal samples from that region in national polls, make the public opinion numbers there somewhat more volatile, and sensitive to disproportionate influence from outlying polls. This particular set of polls produced a 1% Liberal lead in the region compared to a 7% Conservative lead in the previous projection. That was primarily the result of a poll being eliminated that had an unusually large Conservative lead. The net change however was only two seats in the region. By contrast, Ontario with a large number of swing seats hardly changed at all with the Conservatives maintaining a 10% lead over the Liberals. The other region to witness a public opinion change was Quebec where the NDP has climbed into a near tie with the Conservatives and Liberals, and positioned them to possibly take a second seat, Gatineau.

Projected distribution of seats by party and region, released March 31, 2011

  conservative liberal ndp bq
Other
Canada
153
70
34
51
--
2008 Election Results
143
77
37
49
2
Atlantic provinces
13
15
4
--
--
2008 Election Results
10
17
4
--
1
Quebec
9
13
2
51
--
2008 Election Results
10
14
1
49
1
Ontario
58
32
16
--
--
2008 Election Results
51
38
17
-- 
--
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and territories
25
3
3
--
--
2008 Election Results
23
3
5
--
--
Alberta
28
--
--
--
--
2008 Election Results
27
--
1
--
--
British Columbia
20
7
9
--
--
2008 Election Results
22
5
9
--
-- 

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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