Philippe J. Fournier: The latest election projection shows that the two main parties are stuck, although the Conservatives remain the favorites to win the most seats
Three weeks of this five-week federal campaign are now behind us. While the first two weeks were marked by a gradual and constant decline in support for the Liberal Party (mostly in favor of the Conservatives), opinion polls from the last week seem to indicate that national figures appear to have stabilized. While the Liberals may have managed to stop the bleeding, they have not yet regained anything lost to the CPC since August 15, especially in Ontario and British Columbia. Furthermore, it seems that the Liberal Party’s dominance over Atlantic provinces has been eroding somewhat since 2015, and several districts in this region that we originally thought were safe for the Liberal Party could potentially be at stake.
No fewer than eleven polling companies have published updates over the past week (see full list here). Based on the data from these polls, here is the updated 338 Canada National Voting Projection:
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) continues to lead with an average of 35 percent support nationally. This is an average net gain of five points since the launch of this promotion. The CPC continues to dominate western Canada, is now statistically linked to the Left in Ontario and appears to be on the rise in the Atlantic provinces.
Justin Trudeau’s Left stands at an average of 31 percent, a decrease of 4 points since the start of the campaign. As we will see below, the Liberals enjoy a more effective vote than the Conservatives in the country because of their regional support, especially in Quebec and Ontario. However, a Léger poll exclusively in Quebec, published just before the TVA debate on Thursday, indicated that liberal support in the province may be more fragile than it was two weeks ago and that the Conservatives may win. We will follow these figures closely in the coming week.
The NDP sticks to the 20 percent mark nationally, roughly where the party stood at the starting line in mid-August. As for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party (PPC), it has bound (and perhaps surpassed) the greens in the polls. Given that the PPC will have candidates in 311 constituencies against only 252 for the Green Party, it is quite likely that the PPC will surpass the Greens in the popular vote in this election. We will keep an eye on Beauce as the PPC leader tries to get back in the House of Commons.
Using these voice projection numbers and their regional breakdown, we calculate the following national seat projections:
The Conservative Party has an average of 144 seats in the country against 131 seats for the Liberal Party. CPC would therefore be the favorite to win the most seats if the election had taken place today. However, this average gap of 13 seats between the two parties is far below the confidence intervals of the projection, which means that the two parties are still locked in a statistical draw.
We can visualize this significant overlap in seat projections by plotting the seat probability density curves for the two parties. Each curve is a bell-shaped distribution centered around the average of each party:
For those who look at this chart and find that these projections are very uncertain, yes, you would be right. The race is close, regional poll data is very noisy, and small variations in regional numbers can have a huge effect on each party’s seat totals. Such are the joys of first-pass entry in a multi-party system.
At the time of writing, the most likely scenario is a CPC plural. It is clear that we must emphasize that Erin O’Toole would not automatically become Prime Minister if his party won the most seats, but failed to secure a majority. In Canada, we elect parliaments, not prime ministers. Should the last seat count be very close, one would bet that Justin Trudeau would probably try to secure confidence in the house before throwing in the towel and handing over the reins to the Conservatives.
The last two weeks of this campaign will be crucial for both Justin Trudeau and Erin O’Toole, especially given that the two national Commission debates will take place this week (Wednesday 8 September in French and Thursday 9 September in English). ). Although a majority government of any color appears very unlikely at this point in the race, the 338Canada model currently counts no fewer than 52 “thrown” rides in the country.
Anyone who convincingly tells you that they know exactly how this election will proceed may suffer from excessive trust because the data available at the moment show nothing but clarity.
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Details of this projection are available on the 338Canada page. To find your home district, use this list of all 338 constituencies or use the regional links below: