04.27.2011 08:44 AM

308.com: what we had is what we’re getting?

So they say.  That’s not my read.  What do you think, best web site commenters in the known universe?

74 Comments

  1. wannabeapiper says:

    I will feel better when you are the Leader of the LPC. Do it!

  2. catherine says:

    Who knows? What puzzles me is how much better things are on the ground in my riding than in the last election. More donations, more signs, more volunteers, better responses at the door – but the polls show the opposite.

    • James Bow says:

      It’s worth noting that the polls only give us the big national picture, and they have difficulty giving you a fine-grained look of what’s happening riding-per-riding.

      It’s entirely possible that Conservative voter support is increasing significantly in ridings the Conservatives already hold, bolstering their national numbers, and leaving the hotly-contested battles in a few local hotspots to go under the radar.

  3. Leo Fleming says:

    I think the NDP surge will scare enough Ontario voters into the Conservatives’ arms to give them their majority. If you look at the polling data, a lot of the surge for the NDP is from the young. And they don’t vote. And I think a lot of voters would rather stay home than vote for the NDP – so I think their polling numbers are overinflated.

  4. will says:

    At least you didn’t trot out projectdemocracy’s home page which continues to prominent display the same fear mongering numbers it has throughout the entire campaign.

    308.com is ok, but he’s not a real number cruncher or pollster. See Pundit’sGuide for better analysis.

    Your (308’s) numbers are not accurate and this election will be a historic redrawing of the political landscape. If I’m wrong I will come back for public excoriation.

  5. James Bow says:

    308.com itself admits that its models are inherently conservative — that’s a small-c conservative, not big-C — which is to say that if a major surge did happen at the last moment, his projections wouldn’t account for that. He weights a lot of things in order to moderate the effect of outliers. As a result, the NDP are still projected to win less than ten seats on Quebec, even though the most recent poll suggest the NDP have the same level of popular support in Quebec that gave the BQ fifty.

    As for the Ontario numbers, again the model is inherently conservative, so major shifts are moderated, and it’s hard to tell beforehand what a sudden swing to the NDP will do in terms of vote splitting.

    The big question is, where’s the CPC’s gains going to come? They have little room to grow out west, and they stand to lose five seats in Quebec and possibly a few in Saskatchewan and BC. They’ll have to make up that gap as well as the gap they currently hold in order to get a slim majority. I don’t see the Conservatives grabbing any NDP strongholds in Northern Ontario, Hamilton or Windsor (the riding of Welland, maybe), and the NDP may pick off the Conservative incumbent in Oshawa, but the Conservatives already hold most of the seats of rural Ontario. If THOSE numbers are going up, those are wasted Conservative votes.

    So, it comes down to the Liberal ridings in the 905 belt region, and also the two closely fought ridings in Kitchener-Waterloo. The Conservatives have to hang on there and make their pick-ups in Peel, York and Durham. We don’t have reliable regional polls to tell us what’s going on in the GTA, but that’s where an NDP surge could do most damage in bringing a Harper majority about. The question is, will the NDPers there (who, mind you, are former Liberal voters) make this move, or will they look at their local conditions and adopt an Anybody But Harper stance, and return to the Liberal fold on May 2nd.

    That’s the race as I see it.

    • WesternGrit says:

      I agree. Very good assessment. We need to spend a lot of time in the 905, and Metro Toronto.

      • kyliep says:

        Not sure what to make of any of the numbers, including 308.com, which seems fairly comprehensive and careful, which says something, but none of the polls seems ‘authoritative’ at this point. I guess whoever comes closest to nailing those numbers on Monday night will be the standard bearer next time out.
        Agree, James, the vote splitting that will occur in the 905 and possibly even a couple of ridings in the 416. If even 5-10% of traditional Liberal voters switch to the NDP in some of those ridings, we’ll see a shift that will likely deliver a majority to the Conservatives. I’m thinking though that where the vote splitting might have the biggest impact on electing Conservatives will be in QC, where this could help them keep their current seats, slide up the middle in others.
        I’m guessing we’re going to see around 161 for the Conservatives, 55 for the NDP, 60 for the Libs, and another 30 odd for the Bloc. Hope I’m wrong, and that the EKOS projection of a diminished Conservative minority comes to pass but the bottom line is that the Conservative vote is hovering around 40, give or take a few points, and hasn’t really dropped beyond the MOE in any poll. Will happily come back here admit how wrong I was in the event it turns out differently!!

  6. Supernaut says:

    Observation 1: You never step in the same river twice.

    Observation 2:Not being a political organizer, I’m not sure as to the importance of partisan GOTV. I’m sure there are empirical examples both for and against.

    Observation 3a: The Cons believe a left-wing split is in the works, which will give them a majority.

    Observation 3b: Women are much more flexible than men in their voting intentions (as they are in most things) and decide much closer to the vote. The NDP have been targeting women big-time this week.

    Observation 3c: While broadly socially conservative. the “Very Ethnic” vote courted by the Cons doesn’t have the same fear of the socialist bogeyman as grumpy old white guys who yelp about Rae Days. They ARE however, leery of the appearance of totalitarian leanings.

    Observation 3d: Women and new Canadians are being peeled off from the Cons to the NDP, who – I suspect – are eating BOTH Lib and Con lunches, so the vote splitting where it matters – in the horse race 905 – will be a wash.

    Observation 5: I suspect the record early voting was predominantly an expression of ABC and is good for the Libs, as it happened before the orange wave began to crash in Ontario. These are people who can’t vote for Jack now.

    Observation 6: As I mentioned earlier, the discounting of campaign-as-marketing. The body politic is becoming immune.

    Observation 7: A lot of the vote for Libs/Cons comes from a negative psychological space. A lot of people (especially women and the young) want to feel GOOD about their vote.

    Observation 8: Momentum has a quality all it’s own and at this stage whoever has momentum will ride it. I suspect the Cons may be in for a fright in BC and Saskatoba.

    That’s all I got at the moment. I might very well be wrong on all of it, but hey – it’s fun to prognosticate.

    • Dan says:

      Re: Observation 2
      IMO, GOTV is the most important part of the campaign.
      All that good work identfying voters goes to watse if you can’t get them to show up at the polling stations.

      • Supernaut says:

        Not to sound naive, but don’t they kinda bring themselves for the most part?

        • Dan says:

          You’re thinking too literal of actually bringing people to the polling stations (all thought that is one aspect).
          It’s also doing follow ups with voters, making sure they know where to vote, E-Day lit drops etc.

        • Brian says:

          The majority of voters do bring themselves.

          But GOTV isn’t about pulling the majority of voters.

          It’s about pulling out the 1,000 lazy, disinterested, carless, rideless or otherwise marginal voters you wouldn’t otherwise get, in the ridings you win by, say, 550 votes.

    • Northern PoV says:

      “I suspect the record early voting was predominantly an expression of ABC ”
      Hope you are right … but my entirely unrepresentative sample says otherwise.
      (I have been tele-canvassing for the Liberal candidate in a Con-held swing riding.)
      The Con voters are determined and just as likely to use advance polls as any committed voter.

  7. artwilliams says:

    I’ll say it again. The models use previous results. That works if changes are minimal. The models break down if there are “game changing” polls like we are getting now. The polls also lag and are averaged out too. I do find it hard to believe that, given the results, the CONS are still trailing LIBS in Eglinton-Lawrence by more than 5 points. If there ever was a case of NDP bleed leading to a CON win, I would have thought that would be it.

    We’ll see on Monday.

  8. ex-Deepriverite says:

    308’s model doesn’t reflect momentum shifts. IMO two decisions have been made: the BQ will be replaced by the NDP in Quebec and the Liberal party will be replaced by the NDP in most of Canada outside Ontario. The split in Ontario will determine whether Harper gets his majority.

    Those decisions will not be reversed at this stage of the campaign.

    Guesses, not predictions, may well be better because none of the historical models will work.

    My guess?

    C 150-165; NDP 100-125; L<30; PQ<20.

    • kyliep says:

      Yep to everything you’ve said, except your NDP/Lib vote totals, which I’d put more around 60-65 each, slightly higher Bloc. Basing this on gut, analysis of what i’m reading, zero professional experience when it comes to running a political campaign.

  9. dave says:

    May and Carr, either, or both, might do ok in BC.
    The past few years what strikes me is the % of the Green support in Alberta. I doubt the Green will do well there in any single constituancy, but their support seems to maintain over time.
    People on here often mention the Toronto mayoral election as showing shifts in Toronto. I wonder if the last mayoral election in Calgary indicates any shifts in Calgary. (I can think of a couple of Calgary’s present MP’s that I would not miss.)

  10. Smith says:

    I am going for comment of the day, here Warren. Your expert feedback would be appreciated.

    a) The seat project is old and not accurately reflecting the numbers from Nanos which came out today. Note – I do not give much credit to online and IVR polls – as the methodology raises questions – something you as an experience campaigner would no doubt understand.

    b) According to the daily Nanos – Harper is at 46% in Ontario, 8% above his 2008 showing. The LPC and NDP are 25% and 26% in Ontario. 21 pts behind. That means all GTA ridings are in play (tilting heavily to CPC), as well as some in Toronto. The regional breakdown – which is what should be the key litmus test is not reflected in the projections.

    Projection – Harper majority – courtesy of Ontario. Just like your old boss, Chretien in 1997. Lot’s of Liberal soul searching to do as Harper achieves aim of wiping out the “natural governing party of Canada.” He deserves his dues and the Liberals have to figure out of they will become a left wing rump or a centrist party like the Democrats under Clinton or Labour under Blair – which defended old values of national pride, standing up for Canada, fighting terrorism, and immigrant integration – over the false god of multiculturalism. Will the LPC speak for Canada or for its ethnic vote banks? We look forward to finding out.

    Smith

    • artwilliams says:

      There are really only three ridings in Toronto where the CPC has a chance. They are Eglinton-Lawrence, York Centre and Don Valley-West. Long shots include NDP pickups in the Beaches-East York and Davenport and, in a worst case scenario, the Etobicokes (Lakeshore, Centre and North) could go CPC but the Liberal vote would REALLY have to bleed to the NDP.

      Still, you’re looking at 15-20 Toronto LIB ridings after Monday.

  11. Dan F says:

    As Eric has stated on many occasions (on twitter, and in the comments of his blog), 308 is slow to adapt to new trends. The model is designed that way, to avoid a temporary blip throwing everything off. If the NDP seat surge is real, it will be reflected by May 1. Realistically, the lack of a ground game in Quebec, combined with heavy strategic voting across the country, may hold the Cons to a minority, and the Libs to 2nd place. Every dipper in Lib held seats that I’ve spoken to still plans to vote Lib, even with the surge of their own guy in Quebec, because in most of Ontario its still a close race between Cons & Libs. The polls showing a significant drop in the Lib vote are not showing just how concentrated that drop is. In close Con/NDP ridings, I’d be surprised if we get 100 votes. Even in VolpeVille, people might not like Joe Volpe, but they *despise* Stephen Harper, and they know that a Lib vote keeps Harper from being a dictator.
    Everywhere out west where the NDP finished ahead of the Libs in the last 2 races, no doubt that the Lib vote has collapsed, but if Ralph Goodale is your MP, and your biggest motivation is stopping Stephen Harper, why wouldn’t you keep a good guy like Ralph around?
    The key for the Libs in the last few days is NOT TO PANIC! We can hold nearly all of what we’ve got, and maybe take back seats like Vaughan and Thornhill, where the anti-Con vote is nearly always higher then the Con vote. Tonight’s rally in Toronto will be criticized by the media for bringing back JC, but he’s my childhood hero, and just what is needed to energize the BASE, all those Libs who never left us, even in the depths of Dion days.
    No doubt our vote total will go down. Jack might even get more votes then Mike, but as we know all too well from past elections, votes may or may not translate into seats depending on the *efficiency* of your votes, and the Lib vote is about to get more efficient then anyone ever dreamed possible

  12. George Webb says:

    Look for the positives Warren. Harper will cut funding to CBC and we won’t have to watch Evan Solomon and his puke Martin buddies Scott Reid and David Hearle anymore.

  13. Briguyhfx says:

    I have serious doubts about translating regional polling in places that are really politically diverse into seat counts. Atlantic Canada is composed of at least five or six regions (I’d separate some of the cities and suburbs from the truly rural areas, on top of provincial divisions). Quebec can certainly be divided on a rural/urban basis, but is even more complicated than that: the regions around Ottawa, Montreal, the English Townships, and Quebec City are all quite distinct politically from one another. Ontario has distinct politics within even the GTA (905 vs 416), and certainly the north is a different beast than the south, let alone differences between cities like Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Ottawa, etc. Lumping Manitoba and Saskatchewan together feels just as lazy as lumping the Atlantic provinces together. BC has the Interior vs. Vancouver and the Island.

    I realize that smaller sample sizes create larger uncertainties when polling on finer regional levels, but I’d argue that predicting seat counts based on polls that lump together some of these “regions” is meaningless when the regions are so heterogeneous internally. The overall uncertainty on these predictions must be huge.

  14. RP. says:

    I think that in a day or two it will catch up to reality, where NDP support is around 30% and giving the Cons a run for their money.

  15. artwilliams says:

    BTW, TooCloseToCall is predicting based on the four most recent polls (NANOS, 2 EKOS and Angus) — 140 CON, LIB 65, 88 NDP and BQ 15.

    http://www.tooclosetocall.ca/2011/04/making-seat-projections-when-surge-is.html

    My gut feeling is that is more accurate than 308’s.

  16. Mike London says:

    My sense is that there is a large number of people teetering between voting NDP or Liberal. Since Layton clearly has the momentum, don’t be surprised if there are a lot of people who quietly tick NDP in the ballot box.

    308 seems like it’s about a week or more behind where we are now.

  17. Kephalos says:

    Since political polling is a loss-leader for the stats-guys, maybe it’s a possibility that the stats-guys have been bot to show sampling “results” that will scare some into voting PC or relax others into voting NDP. Another reason this is likely is that the Libs no longer have or control serious money, eh?

  18. Harith says:

    308 is run by a hack that lacks any sort of credibility.

  19. Supernaut says:

    Another observation (9): Momentum will have a big impact on how the undecided’s break. I suspect it will either react FOR the NDP surge, breaking 40/25/35 NDP/Lib/Con or polarize to either end of the spectrum, @40/20/40.

  20. Patrick says:

    The Toronto election was too close to call right up until the polls closed. What a giant head-fake that turned out to be.

    You can draw your own conclusion to that.

    My conclusion is that the strength of the left-leaning candidate in the polls lit a fire under the right leaning (and even slightly-tilting) voters. That’s just Toronto though.

  21. Political Outsider says:

    308.com is a Maginot Line trying to deal with an NDP poll blitzkrieg.

    The lesson from all the recent polls: There is a blue door and there is an orange door…

  22. harry says:

    Some of the denials here are breathless. The NDP are surging which has turned into a tsunami and that includes the ROC. Angus Reid the most accurate pollster in the last election now has the NDP breaking the psychological barrier of 30% Canadawide, and already has the NDP at 27% in Ontario witch is within 3% of the Liberals there. This election race is far from over. As far as the seat projection sites are concerned, sites like 308.com don’t even have a track record at all in federal politics. Electionalmanac.com is presenting projecting 103 seats for the NDP, and that is before last nite’s Angus Reid poll. For an excellent analysis of the seat projection sites read what Alice Funke has to say at http://www.punditsguide.ca/2011/04/rubber-hits-the-road-for-parties-and-seat-projectors/#comments. Like Warren, Alice is someone who does know what she is talking about. My only question is who will be relacing Harper when he fails to win a majority now, for what is it, the fourth time?

  23. Cath says:

    I also believe that this time there’s an underdog popularity mobilizing the Layton forces that will move the youth to him and away from Ignatieff – who by all counts is still in his lecturing professor mode. Among the left or those Liberals who also don’t identify with Mr. Ignatieff joining the wave of popularity will be their choice – having nothing at all to do with issues, or platforms…..just following along as is human nature.

  24. Patricia Morfee says:

    I am just a senior citizen that has not voted yet. I am waiting for the actual election day on May 2. 2011. If I were just stumbling onto this website for the first time, I would be so depressed about the comments made here. I am not an insider to any political party as you all seem to be. I must say your hubris is breathtaking as to what is going to happen before it happens. I probably won’t be visiting this website again because as an ordinary voter, I have nothing to con tribute to your so called knowledge about what is going to happen. I will be voting Liberal because for all it is worth, Michael Ignatieff has impressed me the most. I may also add that my husband leans NDP left and has been impressed by Michael Ignatieff as well. So fire away as I am sure you will.

  25. Poll averages only work for trends between elections. During elections, numbers move and you have to read the momentum every few days. Old polls are irrelevent unless you’re looking at an outlier.

  26. jack says:

    The one thing you see is a great desire for an option other than Harper. This could have a polarzing effect and leave some voters in limbo but Harper must see that there is a great desire to not have him in power, especially in Quebec. Should he get a majority or a minority, that will have to be pondered by the Cons.

  27. harry says:

    Can you say Prime Minister Jack Layton?

    Cons – 34%, down 2%
    NDP – yes that correct, 31%, within 3% of first place
    Libs – 22%
    I don’t know what the margin of error is but statistically the NDP now might be tied for first place

    http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/grits_set_to_lose_longheld_bastions_in_montreal_and_toronto_to_ndp_dramatic_new_forum_research_survey_says_04-27-2011

    • wilson says:

      from that hilltimes poll:
      Conservatives 137 seats, the NDP 108 seats if an election were held today, 60 for the Liberals and only (3) three seats for the Bloc Québécois

      3 seats for the Bloc?
      Separatists will not vanish into thin air, poof they are gone….not

      • The Doctor says:

        That does seem quite unlikely. Although I guess that, historically speaking, Quebec does do these massive shifts in loyalty in federal elections every decade or two (e.g., from Liberal Red to Mulroney Blue, and then from Mulroney Blue to BQ).

        • MattMcD says:

          Youth movement in it’s largest form? One generation had enough of the Liberals that they moved en masse to the Blue camp. They became disillusioned with the Tories and decided to throw their support behind a party that wanted to do something for Quebec. Now their children are grown up and able to vote and are asking why they should vote for a party that above all else wants to secede from Canada when they could vote for someone who might actually do something for them?

          Would be nice. At the end of the day the BQ and the NDP are pretty similar in their platforms once you get over the leaving Canada bit.

  28. What would it take for Harper to entice 13 or so members of a decimated and now 3rd place Liberal party to cross the floor and put him over the top?

    • Philip says:

      Harper leaving the country and taking up a consular appointment in sunny Uzbekastan would be a nice start. This isn’t politics as normal anymore. This is anyone but Harper.

    • kyliep says:

      strong possibility, sean. would depend on which Lib MPs are elected. if the NDP-Libs were to ultimately merge, which I don’t think would be an immediate consequence but one possible outcome within the next year or so (perhaps longer if Harper gets the big M), then i’m sure there are a dozen who would switch to the Conservatives.

  29. harry says:

    That Forum poll is now dated and so are its seat projections
    Let’s move into the present situation of this orange crush, or tsunami, whatever you want to call it, and discuss what is currently going on – could the unthinkable happen, could Layton actually win a majority government?

    • Namesake says:

      um, you might want to actually read it, harry: it was done only last night; and does put the NDP way up at 30%, now

  30. jack says:

    I must admit the trends in this election are fun to watch. Especially with regard to the MSM. These so called journalists and experts like coyne, hebert, etc. etc. are not experts at all. They hold opinions that are no better than anyone else on this forum. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. If they were journalists they would have seen the underpinnngs of the Bloc’s demise or the NDP surge, etc. If anything, this should show these types that its time to start doing journalism and not opining on some event because you have an anonymous senior level contact. The polls and these “journalists” are mere posers for science and educated, well researched news. I doubt if it will change much after the election, but maybe some editors somewhere will take heed and start trying to stop the gotcha reporting and gossip and turn to real reporting. Well a guy can dream can’t he?

    • Supernaut says:

      This is an immensely sensible and insightful comment. On a related note: I expect the G&M to come out against Jack in the next day or two (probably for Harper), with an even 50/50 on The Star coming out for Jack/Mischa.

    • Jack, you are absolutely right on target. While I value the opinions of experienced journalists who study politics and have years of experience to draw upon, there can be a dangerous self-inflation of egos that occasionally distorts their writing. Bottom-line: If you can string a few paragraphs together in a highly entertaining way and makes some sense en route, you can get published somewhere. Exhibit A would be the Globe’s Margaret Wente. She is a highly talented writer. She can pack more punch into 650 words than anyone else in the business. But her opinions are of no greater worth than any of the voices on this blog. There is very little about the Conservatives that I like, but their refusal to dance like trained bears for the media is fun to watch. But Harper’s refusal to take no more than 5 questions a day is obviously overkill. Most media pundits are not as important as they think they are.

  31. harry says:

    Has anyone seen the latest Nanos Leadership Index showing Layton rocketing to the top, and Harper taking a major hit.
    http://www.nanosresearch.com/election2011/20110426-LeadershipE.pdf
    It does indeded look like Layton is moving in on minority government territory now – but with this incredible support for something diffrent in Ottawa, could this orange wave propel the NDP into a majority government?

    • Michael says:

      Well, no one predicted that Bob Rae would become premier of Ontario with an NDP majority. On election night I am sure Bob was more surprised than anyone. So you never know.

    • Political Outsider says:

      Short answer: Yes

      As the noted political philosopher Richard Pryor once said, “When you’re on fire, people get out of your way.”

  32. j.kerr says:

    Excuse my ignorance but…
    The seat count on the http://www.threehundredeight.blogspot.com/ website, quoted by Warren, adds up to 307 seats. I have noticed this for a few days. There are 308 seats up for grabs, no?
    Why is one seat missing?
    Sorry if this is not the correct place to ask this dumb question, but I can’t get beyond this apparent anomaly.

    Thanks jkerr

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