19 October 2015

Today is Canada's 42nd General Federal (General) Election and...

...it looks like today is going to be an interesting day.



Three major parties and perhaps three smaller parties are on the ballot for today's parliamentary elections, and likely very many little splitter parties that will go absolutely nowhere. See: below.

The wiki for this is actually pretty darned good:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2015

Polling is showing that the "Liberals", which were tied with the Conservatives for a long stretch of time, have pulled into a statistically significant lead, one that is outside of the standard MoE:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_in_the_Canadeian_federal_election,_2015

To that list also goes the latest IPSOS/Reuters poll, which just came in:

http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=7031

(perhaps by the time people wake up today and read this blog posting, the IPSOS/Reuters will have been added to the wiki link.... perhaps not....)

So, the last polls in reverse chronological order back to the release date of 10/15, show the following margins for the Liberals:

+8, +8.6, +10, +3,9, +1.7, +7, +6.8, +0.4, +6.3, +8, +4, +5, +1.2, +5.9

The average of all those polls listed is: Liberals +5.5
The average of just the 10 most recent is: Liberals +6.1
I didn't take time to pull out the repeaters, but likely, it won't change the average all that much.

In fact, the Liberals have led in the last 22 polls in a row.

One of those pollsters, Angus Reid, a Canadian polling firm (the one with a +4 margin above, which I bolded), also polled the US 2012 presidential election during the Fall campaign and put out some pretty accurate results. I was impressed with this as Angus Reid had no dog in the race, was simply interested in putting out accurate data.**

The current polling is also very, very consistent. In every single one of those 22 polls:

The Liberals are in the lead.
The Conservatives are in 2nd place.
The New Democratic Party is in 3rd place.
Block Quebec and the Greens dance around each other for 4th and 5th place.
There is officially a 6th party called "Strength in Democracy", but apparently, it is barely on the radar screen.

In 2011, there were 14 other mini-splitter parties on the ballots. They went nowhere, but you can see that some of the party names are hilarious:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Canada#Results

Also: This graphic from the WIKI link at the top of the blog posting shows the progression of polling for today's election, from the beginning of August until now:




You can see the sharp upward curve for the Liberals starting on October 5th and which held for 13 days straight.

The number of seats in the Canadian House of Commons has been increased from 308 to 338, so the magic number to rule should be 170. I am not aware of a percent hurdle for a small party to get seats in the House of Commons.

The current population of Canada was estimated at 35.3 million in 2014.
35,300,00 / 338 = 104,438 consituents per seat in the House of Commons.

The Canadian Senate has 105 seats, which are appointed and not directly decided by the popular vote.

All of Canada's 10 provinces plus the Yukon territory use a plurality voting system (no absolute majority of 50.01% is required).
The Northwest Territories and Nunavut use a concensus governing model for elections.

One of the issues here is that of titles. They call themselves the Liberals, but many in Canada say that this party is actually the more Centrist party, whereas the New Democratic Party (NDP) was created out of the most hardcore of the Liberals who were dissatisfied with the direction of Liberalism in their country. I don't live there, so I don't know for sure.

I created this blog posting because it is very interesting and we should not forget: two great nations that have lived peacefully as neighbors for more than 200 years now have both held, (mostly) uninterrupted, free and fair elections the entire time. That is a point that I think we should remember. It's a tribute to flourishing Democracy in both lands.

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**Angus Reid, 2012 election:

National Angus Reid end-pollObama 51 / Romney 48, margin = Obama +3, so the poll was 1 point off to the Right, but Angus Reid was the only end pollster to nail the topline. Obama won with exactly 51.01%.

Angus Reid also put out end-polling results for Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio. It absolutely nailed the margin in WI and OH, was off slightly to the right in Florida and Pennsylvania and was off 4 points to the Right in Michigan. But it predicted the correct winner in 4 of 5 battleground states. It called a tie in FL, which is automatically a miscall. You can see the results here.

So, I look forward to seeing what happens in Canada today. And I wish the Candians good weather, a huge turnout and a fine election.

In honor of the day and our Canadian friends:




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