Thursday, October 9, 2008

The advance polls

The data is out on the advance polls and the vote is down. Not dramatically across the whole nation, but deeper in some provinces than others.

Here in BC it is down a total of 14%. But once again, not everywhere.

In Victoria the advance vote is only down a tiny amount.

Saanich Gulf Islands it is up a tiny amount.

In Esquimalt Juan de Fuca, it is way down.

Advance polls are a good measure of how strong the ground campaigns are in a riding.

So, given the fact that the Liberals in the Victoria riding is running a weak ground campaign and the NDP is not quite as strong as last time, does this mean the Conservatives have picked up more vote?

As I read the tea leaves in various ridings across the country, the only trend I can make out is that the advance vote is up in the marginal ridings where the Conservatives either just won or just lost the election last time.

One thing I have noted in this election is that all the campaigns are having trouble getting enough volunteers this time. Signs on lawns are way down. In general the ground campaign is the weakest I have ever seen. As far as I can see, the only party that has a moderately strong get out the vote campaign is the Conservatives.

So, who is not getting people out to the advance polls? I am of the opinion that it is the Liberals that are the weakest on getting out the vote. Based on the tea leaves, I am estimating the Conservative GOTV campaign will be worth a net extra 150 000 votes on election day.

The one region where the advance polling went up was in Quebec. The rise seems to be in areas that are strongly ADQ - I have no idea what it means for the election but it is not good for the Liberals.

Based on the advance polls and the nature of this election, I see the voter turn out dropping even further than before. I am expecting only about 14 500 000 votes.

The drop in turn out and the weaker on the ground campaign favours the Conservatives in most of Canada, the NDP in core areas and the Bloc in the non-anglo and non-bleu parts of Quebec.

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