10.15.2015 03:36 PM

Election 42: now I am completely confused


  1. Luke says:

    I just look at the aggregators (Grenier / threehundredeight.com, Brequet / tooclosetocall.ca). I tend to buy this as the best approximation of whatever the polls have to say, the value of which is always disputable.

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      Everyone talks about poll “volatility” but the Nanos numbers for Oct. 14 are VERY close to where the national polling was one year ago.

      Kudos to anyone who can explain why no first-tier media (just iPolitics.ca, thinkpol.ca, and then nationalobserver.com) have picked up on yesterday’s story about strategic guru Lynton Crosby “ditching” Harper’s losing campaign (with his consulting partner being in denial about whether they are now or ever were involved).

    • Lou Nickols says:

      The aggregators use others poll . Nanos , Forum etc… If those polls are incorrect then the Greniers summarizations will be also .. The Foum isclearly a flawed pollster, as stated by none other than W.Kinsella.. Also suspect as it has consistently put the LIBS ahead or much higher than any other pollster , and its daily poll gives its results too much weight in Greniers formula..he pollsters have found and use a method to manipulate the Greniers out there.. Also , Leger “national” poll , this time favoring the tories admitted that it “overweighted” , intentionally , the Quebec numbers…The polls ers are rogue

      • Luke says:

        Yes, if the inputs are no good, neither is the model. AKA garbage in, garbage out.

        However, my thought process is that I don’t particularly believe in one pollster or another, but on balance I figure they all have some reason for doing what they do, so perhaps the aggregate result is the least biased way to look at it. I think there is a case to be made for using these different inputs, as they are independent of one another and thus provide multiple assessments of the same phenomenon (vote intention) as captured by varied methods that presumably have their own benefits and drawbacks. Besides, ThreeHundredEight and TooCloseToCall themselves do things differently and thus get different aggregate answers for vote intention and (the more dubious) seat projections. Thus, between these two aggregators synthesis of the available data, my expectation is that the true answer, if anywhere in the mess of polls, is somewhere between those two syntheses. Even still, I don’t consider any of it much better than a vaguely numerically validated guess.

        And I hate reading the blurbs the individual pollsters write about their latest numbers, whether Nanos or Ekos or whatever. Because they (as in the case of EKOS recently) go on about what stuff might mean when most of the time all the changes are within their own margin of error anyway. That is to say, they are reporting numbers that show no significant change from the previous batch, but write about it as though its worth interpreting beyond that. There is no sense in getting confused or bent out of shape about the result. It’s essentially the same as last time.

  2. Luke says:

    Also, wouldn’t everything in EKOS surveys over the past few days be within the error margin anyway?

  3. W the K - No, not Warren says:

    The Ford Effect, no doubt.

  4. Gpeter says:

    Dead cat bounce?

  5. Darren H says:

    Hahahaha I think everyone is sick of polls. The only one that matters is the one with results Oct 20th by Elections Canada.

    BTW Justin should not have mentioned the M word the other day. NPD voters who might consider voting Liberal want an LPC majority only slightly more than a CPC majority which is slightly more than no fucking way.

  6. Matt says:

    You ain’t the only one.

    The pollster CAN all be wrong.

    The CAN’T all be right.

    Many, if not ALL will have some ‘splainin to do October 20th.

  7. David Bronaugh says:

    Put error bars on the graph. Suddenly, you will be much less confused.

  8. Justin says:

    It’s becoming ever more evident that the only poll that counts is election day. I mean the bullshit that they come up with, likely voters, motivated voters, progressive voters, fucking values voters. It’s enough to make your head spin!

  9. Kaiser Helmets 'n Motorbikes says:

    Maybe Jesus Trudeau just jumped the shark.

  10. Kelly says:

    Not sure what Ekos’ numbers mean. Harper has been hammering the fear button very hard in select areas the last few days but I expect the Liberals will hammer back hard on things like Mark Towhey’s claims (In his just released book) that he heard Rob Ford threaten to put three bullets into someone’s head and was ready to call 911 and why Harper still pals around with him. That is different than a scandal. Harper is already downplaying the rally the Fords planned for him on Saturday — the first night of the AL championships. Then there is the story that APTN broke about the Cons getting $5,000 before last election from an apparent “Drug Banker” who has fled the country on handgun charges. These associations go beyond “scandal” into raw criminality. A certain brand of cretin will support Rob Ford because they think he is a fun loving irreverent regular guy who likes to party and hates the “elites”. Instead he is the sort of “old stock” Canadian for whom Harper seems to think laws don’t apply.

  11. DougM says:

    Isn’t obvious? After all the articles about “shy Tories” conservatives are finally answering EKOS’ phone calls!

  12. Danny Aldham says:

    Well, it ain’t over till the Fat Lady sings. (Missing you Yogi B!)
    I want someone in the media to ask Harper what they are asking Trudeau and Mulcair ie. In a minority, would you support the Liberals or NDP. Cause if they come in second, isn’t that a real question?
    And as much as people think the NDP and Libs will form a team, a lasting majority for either lays in toasting the other.

    Personally, I am looking for this to be over. As a libertarian leaning person, this has not been the rights finest hour.

    • Matt says:

      The rwason nobody is asking is because if the Liberals or NDP get a minority everyone assumes Harper will be gone.

      • Cory says:

        We’ve also already seen what Harper would as opposition leader under a Liberal minority (2004-2006).

        • Matt says:

          Things are different now. I know people who are CPC voters who, despite continuing to vote for the CPC are starting to tire of Harper. This was confirmed by Jennifer Ditchburn on CBC The National’s At Issue panel last night. She mentioned she spent the day up in several “battleground” ridings in the GTA talking to random people about the election. She said she was shocked by two things:

          1) The high number of people who said they’ll be/have already voted CPC

          2) The number of those people who said they did/will do so even though they don’t like Harper.

          Whatever the outcome, this is Harper’s last campaign. If by some miracle the CPC get a majority, I predict he steps down July 2nd 2017.

          • Vancouverois says:

            Yes, I agree with that. If he gets a majority he’ll step down soon after Canada’s 150th birthday to give his successor time to rebrand the party (or he should).

          • Cory says:

            Interesting. Those findings go against the wishful thinking narrative that the CPC will fall apart without Harper as leader.

          • Vancouverois says:

            Cory: I expect that kind of thinking is a side effect of Harper Derangement Syndrome. HDS sufferers are fixated on the idea that Harper is Sauron, and they assume that once he’s been struck down, Mordor and its orc hordes will collapse around him.

            They seem emotionally and/or intellectually incapable of recognizing that there are actual principles that a Conservative party represents (however much they may stray from these principles in the quest for power, and Lord knows that’s happened more than once over the past decade — especially in the past few weeks), and that those principles will continue to motivate people after the defeat of any one leader.

            It’s true that there’s always the potential for infighting, and maybe even a split of the kind we saw in the 90s between Progressive Conservatives and Reformers. However, they’ve been down that road before, and it didn’t turn out so well. I doubt any of them are eager to go through all that again.

            Perhaps a split is more likely if the new government actually goes ahead with its promise to change FPTP, and installs some form of PR voting. I doubt that will happen any time soon, though.

  13. Ron Waller says:

    EKOS was way out in left-field last election predicting an NDP minority government. This election it looks like they are trying to shore up their math by introducing a right-wing bias. I’m guessing a prerequisite to being a pollster is having failed high school math. (Like a prerequisite to being an economist is being a failure at applied mathematics.)

    Funny how captivated people can become with election polls despite realizing how wildly inaccurate they’ve become.

    I’ve been predicting a Liberal majority from the start, given the way our third-world fourth estate meddles in elections and how the ABC hysteria is polarizing voters much more than usual. Voters will back one horse to beat Harper and it was certain to be the Liberal horse.

    The surprise fake majority will be Prince Charming’s: fitting given his fake progressive platform. Cameron’s surprise 37% “majority” in the UK was a different story. He was running on a second term. Horse-race pseudo-democracies in Canada and the UK tend to give a first-term government another term. Not that the people elect to give them absolute corrupt power. One must live in a democracy to get government that represents an actual majority of voters.

    • Matt says:

      Where do you come up with this stuff? Ekos DID NOT predict an NDP minority in 2011:

      CPC 33.9% – 138 seats
      Libs 21% – 41 seats
      NDP 31.2% – 113 seats
      Bloc 6.4% – 15 seats

  14. !o! says:

    One poll swing on a sample size of LPC and LPC -> CPC (more likely, but I wouldn’t call it likely, at least not to the extent that EKOS is showing).

    I think it’s overwhelmingly likely to be mostly statistical jitter, but its not inconceivable that there may be something interesting happening.

    • !o! says:

      I don’t know what happened to my comment, but the internet ate half of what I typed. . . I don’t want to retype it.

      The conclusion stands though!

  15. Maps Onburt says:

    Next we’ll have the Green Party ahead. I suspect that people don’t want to give a majority to any of them. Any time any of them start looking like they are in that territory, they get swatted back down.

  16. The Observer says:

    I predicted this precise thing in the threads below. Not confusing at all. The CPC dip was under sampling during long weekend. The artificial horserace is systemic and due to not employing a likely voter model (which over samples young left-leaning voters who will never go to the polls – a big chunk of the 40% who don’t vote).

    Ask a Angus Reid about his BC prediction and his over sampling the young vote.

    The approximate percentage of those who will vote (not “registered voters”) for the CPC is 38.1. With the splits that will be good for a strong minority, slight majority.

  17. SF Thomas says:

    Ekos’ polling for most of this election has been weird in one way or another. They seemed to under-poll the Liberals, and now NDP when both were in third place, they had the Greens at 8% when everyone else had them at 4 or 5%, they had the NDP way lower in Quebec last week than most other pollsters etc. It seemed like they finally got in line with the norm a few days ago and are now back to being odd.

  18. The Observer says:

    Also note the last drastic dip was the September long weekend.

  19. Eric Weiss says:

    Polls are only accurate if it shows your team winning.

  20. Brent Crofts says:

    Yup. Join the club 🙂

  21. Steve T says:

    I think this election has proven, more than most, that polls are dodgy at best, and completely inaccurate at worst. The Nanos poll this morning had the Libs at 37%, and the CPC at 29%. Then again, look at the margin of error in the poll you posted: +/- 3%. So basically, the difference between being the governing party and not even being the official opposition.

    I for one am quite pleased that Monday will be a big unknown. If they stopped conducting polls today, and remained silent for the weekend, that would be a blessing.

  22. Michael Bluth says:

    Wow that’s close. All about ground game at this point.

    I always love the second choice numbers. 62% of Conservative voters don’t have a second choice. Ridiculous.

    • Maps Onburt says:

      What second choice do Conservatives have? Trudeau who is promising to run $10B deficits when the economy is in growth mode or Muclair who wants to tax the growth out of our Corporations and double tax dividend payments? Or perhaps Lizzie Green who wants to shut down the economy by taxing oil back underground. There really isn’t a good second choice.

      • Michael Bluth says:

        I always read Frank Graves’ analysis. He is a good analyst and no fan of the Conservatives.

        The second choice numbers are fascinating. 62% of Conservative voters don’t have a second choice. That’s a committed base and should be taken into account. GOTV is critical for taking advantage of that commitment.

        I agree events with the Fords have helped the Conservative numbers and will continue to do so. Good analysis WK!

        These results don’t capture the impact from the Gagnier resignation. It doesn’t have to be huge. Two points? A point each to the NDP and Conservatives? That could make a big, big difference come voting day.

        • Bluegreenblogger says:

          Fords may help in Etobicoke, but they will hurt a lot elsewhere. Will they help enough to save Opitz and Trottier? Possibly. Will they cost votes in Rosedale? probably.

  23. Tim White says:

    Well there you go. It ain’t over til it’s over. Quebec is huge. If The Liberals do alright there, and the Ontario numbers are correct, some will be declaring for the Liberals before the polls close in Manitoba. Tip from an older fellow, don’t watch this election with friends of other political persuasions, especially if drinking is involved.

    • Matt says:

      Careful with the regional breakdowns.

      HUGE margins of error due to much smaller sample sizes.

      Even Ekos cautions about the regional numbers.

    • Ridiculosity says:

      Tim, I agree. The only way to watch the election results is with friends and, most definitely, drinking should be involved.

      Why? Wine or beer or even single malt scotch is so much cheaper than therapy.

  24. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    If the blue line gets over the red one — and stays there for three days, I will be seriously concerned. Shades of the last three days of Nanos in 2011 would be a nightmare. Hope Harper has a big smile at the “That Family rally”!

    • Matt says:

      Technically, with the marging of errer, they belu team could already be over the red team.

      Or the red team could be 5 ahead.

  25. Al in Cranbrook says:

    People waking up to the utter implausibility of PM Justin Trudeau?

    I certainly hope and pray so!

    I think it was “Observer” who predicted this reversal.

    Still think the BC poll numbers are out to lunch! Greens at 15%??? Yeah, right, uh huh.

  26. Lou Nickols says:

    Just now confused ?? Ekos is the best bet , just look at their PDf,s …Well documented .. I will be glad when its over though , tired of politicians of all stripes calling others liars , thieves and degenerates while giving amnesty to those in their own parties for the same crime , when its over I will need a long , long , hot shower an a brain enema .. In Quebec the NDP supposedly gained 10 points in 3 days, its a crap shoot at best..yikes

  27. My advice to remain sane: ignore polls! I’m knocking on doors and working phones every day and I have yet to meet a single person who will base their vote on a poll. Canadians know they’re bullshit. I mean, don’t get me wrong, polls can be very accurate if they’re state of the art. But during a campaign, we all know what it’s all about. Ballots will be counted on Monday. After that we can discuss!

  28. MississaugaPeter says:

    Jennifer Ditchburn maybe nailed it.

    People are telling her they will vote CONS in spite of Harper as leader. So depending on what and how the question is asked, different results. As a result, you have “shy Tories” who really are “embarrassed Tories” who may or may not answer poll calls. NOT ONE POLL tells you how many people were called and hung up or refused to answer, and NOT ONE POLL can tell you how those folks would have voted.

    1. Trudeau talking majority
    2. Trudeau co-chair quits when his involvement with group Quebecers are against become public
    3. What is Friday’s gift to Harper

    Re: Fords. How quick everyone forgets (except WK):
    Tory 40%, Ford 34%, Chow 23%

    Record turnout (60%) and the crazy family gets just 6% less than Tory!

    If that 34% are motivated to vote on Monday, Harper retains all the seats in Toronto that he got in 2011.

    And no, Ford is not disliked more across Canada. The reality is that the rest of Canada has a certain dislike for the “centre of the universe” and loves the Fords for giving them another reason to mock Toronto.

    Note: people across Canada refer to the Blue Jays as Canada’s team, not Toronto’s team, for a reason.

  29. Duane Booth says:

    Hmmm, let’s see. Labour Day weekend, pollsters call and CPC down to 27 or do, NDP way ahead. After holiday weekend, CPC rebounds. Thanksgiving Weekend, pollsters poll (and on the Sunday when most families have their festivities) and CPC sinking, Liberals heading to majority. After holiday weekend, CPC rebounds. Maybe, just maybe CPC voters tend to have better things to do on their long weekends than take surveys!

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Could be that. And it could be that the younger set, never hesitate to share, while us older farts are more reserved and not as forthcoming.

  30. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Ipsos sheds some light that’s significant…


    Quote: “Presented with a list of eleven possible issues, a majority (58%) of voters said that ‘the performance of Canada’s economy’ is ‘absolutely critical’ in determining who they will vote for (down 2 points since the middle of September), making this far and away the dominant issue driving vote choice. In second position is ‘reducing the taxes that I pay’ (44%, +6 points), followed closely by ‘the specific economic plan presented by each Party’ (41%, unchanged) in third place.”

    First up, the economy, far and away. Second place, taxes. Third, each party’s plan.

    I’d suggest that the Libs severely overplayed their hand, promising kabillions in spending, pretty much like drunken sailors, which also doesn’t tie in well with taxes paid to cover it all.

    Conversely, in 2011 Harper promised a return to balanced budgets post-2008 crash by the next election, and he delivered the goods…without raising taxes at all, or cutting transfers to the provinces. So, we’ve just got our house back in order…and now the Libs want to blow it up and start all over again.

    A lot of people may have toyed with casting a vote somewhere else, first the NDP, and then the Liberals, for whatever reasons doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day what matters the most to most voters is electing a responsible government that has a realistic approach to managing the affairs of state.

    Now we’re down to the short strokes, when push actually comes to shove. And all the toying with alternatives gets weighed against reality…primarily by those whom have the most to lose, and an actual stake in the game, such as a career, bills to pay, a family to raise, a mortgage to pay off, and investments set aside for the long run, including their retirement. Real life exigencies the 18 to 34 crowd for the most part can’t yet relate to.

    Besides that, Trudeau wins, and on Oct. 20th he starts making plans to…

    Pull out of the fight against ISIS. Run off to the Paris Climate bash and sign away some sovereignty with whatever is thrown in front of them. Run off to the UN and sign away some more sovereignty regarding firearms. Eliminate the F-35 outright from contention for our DND. And who really knows for sure what their plans are for the TPP…particularly if they’re in cahoots with the NDP to hold onto power?

    In essence, the last days of a campaign are for a great many a time for a reality check. And this regard, Trudeau loses, and Harper wins. I think this has a lot to do with the massive turnout in advance polls. There’s a certain psychology involved that equates getting that ballot in the box sooner than later, the better things will turn out. And the vast majority of those going out of their way to endure those long lineups were in the over 50 category. Votes locked in!

    There was a certain casualness in the air…right up until it started to look like Trudeau could actually…GULP…win this thing.

    That could turn into a considerable amount of motivation for those whom otherwise had taken this election a tad lightly.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Anecdotally: Last week at work, 6 of us over coffee. I mentioned that we could wake up on Oct. 20 to PM Justin Trudeau. Almost everyone laughed out loud, as in, no bloody way!

      Nobody was laughing this morning.

      A week ago, a great many…including some on this forum…thought Harper was going to win, one way or the other. Only question was, how big?

      Which is to say, a great many didn’t believe Trudeau could actually win.

      Again, this could well turn out to be the motivation (meaning, kick in the ass) to get a lot of otherwise complacent voters out to a poll on Monday. And it’s safe bet they won’t be voting NDP to block.

      • chuckercanuck says:


        All the polls are telling us the Harper era is over and Tuesday begins Trudeau, part deux. Ain’t nothing we can do about it: this Trudeau-mania is all in Ontario – a beautiful but bizarre place where grown ups are ready to swallow the world’s biggest placebo.

        Let’s give Justin credit: he did a fine job during this campaign. Part of his winning strategy has been to shut up and not share any deep thoughts with us. Part has been outclassing both Mulcair and Duceppe on the stump and in the debates. Part has been a cleverly engineered platform that makes people think he’ll be a big lefty.

        But he’ll scrap almost all his promises by Wednesday morning. There won’t be legalized pot. He won’t back out of the ISIS mission. In fact, our foreign policy won’t change at all except a few phony things – he’ll go to Paris and sign a climate treaty but he’ll ignore its commitments as soon as he is back home. He already told us that despite his criticisms, he plans to be all Harper-y with Putin.

        When you think about it, if Harper does resign, not only will I wear black for a month, but the Liberals could work with the Conservatives to craft a stable, 2-year minority. They let Trudeau run his deficits (for infrastructure) and he agress to scrap his tax hikes and dismantling of the TFSAs, income splitting, etc.

        And the Dippers will go crazy: they got out leftied by this guy, lost all their voters to him and he will deliver what will end up being a continuation of the Harper era.

        • The Doctor says:

          I agree with you that I could definitely see him chickening out on full legalization of pot. I believe he’s already basically punted it by saying he’ll “carefully study” it first. Perhaps that’s what Chretien really did with the GST – “carefully studied” getting rid of it. . .

  31. UFP Ambassador says:

    I heard some story lately where a Blue team pulled out a late game come-from-behind victory…can anyone confirm what that was all about?

  32. BJL says:


    Why doesnèt anyone mention the other class, not the rich, and not the middle class, but the poor, the downtrodden, the class that does not get mentioned by anyone. I just cannot figure out why no one talks about this rather huge, but supposedly insignificant group of voting Canadians. They cannot even give it a name nor do they mention them. Why do they not count and why do they not merit some degree of appreciation for getting tax breaks. I do not understand why they have been left out of the discussion.

  33. The Observer says:

    And as I predicted Nanos has Liberal lead shrinking by almost two points in a single day (on a three day rolling means a 6 pt shift in one day) closing out the election. The “sudden CPC surge” just prior to the vote is nothing of the sort. Nanos knows his “registered voter” model, where he counts everyone, materially oversampled left leaning non voters.

    All along there was the unstated knowledge that the Lib party was not doing as well as their polls show, and now they have to restore their cred.

    See my posts below where I predicted this days ago.

  34. Lance says:

    This fluid movement is not surprising. Nothing is more concerting to a Conservative voter than the thought of another Trudeau in 24 Sussex Drive. For the ones that were wavering or contemplating staying home, it will be interesting to see what this talk of a Trudeau majority does for their motivation. This kind of a motivator came at the perfect time for the Conservatives, neither too early or too late.

  35. Mark says:

    Looking at that graph, it’s interesting to see that the Liberal gains in the first week of October were almost all at the expense of the NDP (solidifying of the ABC vote?), but in this last week the eb and flow of Conservative numbers has come and gone and come again, moving in the opposite direction of BOTH Liberal and NDP support.

    Ford Nation has always seemed to pull in a weird assortment of supporters from across party lines (even if the majority are Con supporters). I think despite all tragedy and scandal there is an everyman populist appeal to the Fords (though I’ve never quite understood it’s resilience). I myself doubt that the Fords can have much of an effect in Toronto/Ontario, but they never cease to surprise…

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