Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Angus Reid Strategies Poll Results

The Headline result is:

  • Liberals - 43%
  • NDP - 37%
  • Greens - 13%
  • Conservatives 4%
  • Others - 3%

Angus Reid Strategies does a very different polling than other companies. They use people that have self selected to be to be Angus Reid forum panelists. They randomly select 800 people from this set and then adjust their results to reflect the population of BC. This is a new way to do things and is seen with some suspicion by many people in politics, I personally think it is valid if done correctly and I believe that Angus Reid Strategies seeks to be as accurate as possible.

The further breakdowns in the report are very hard for me to work with for a host of reasons.

  1. I do not know how many people out of the 800 stated they would not be voting, it should be about 300. This means I do not know what the margin of error is for decided voters in the poll.
  2. I have no idea how large the regional samples were, so I can not evaluate their relative accuracy.
  3. They do not provide data on how many people said they were absolutely certain to vote on May 12th. The numbers for the Greens look suspiciously high, they should have the largest drop.
  4. I do not know what the questions were that they asked
  5. I would like to see a lot more details on who responded and how they corrected the data. The more correction, the more the error in the results increase. If I could better understand how the data was developed I could do an analysis of it that I have comfort with.

The poll is clearly good news for the NDP, they are much closer than other polls have show and Campbell is clearly less popular than in the Mustel or Ipsos Reid polls.

If these results were to hold through to election day, it would indicate the Liberals winning 53 - 57 seats and the NDP 28 - 32. Though take those numbers with a grain of salt.

The difference between the Ipsos Reid poll and the Angus Reid Strategies does not mean anyone has a problem with their methodology. The headline results are ballpark within the same range, certainly not dramatically wrong.

So where does this leave us? I am only working with the headline results at the moment because of my issues with how ARS reports their results.

  • Liberals - 44.5% -1.3% from 2005
  • NDP - 36% -5.5% from 2005
  • Greens - 14% +4.8% from 2005
  • Others - 5.5% +2.0% from
I suspect that the Green and Other numbers will fall, but nearly as far as many people assume. I am also not at all convinced that there will be any strong move of people from the Greens to the NDP. The Greens polled in the same range last time as they are doing now, but they did so even in the polls were the NDP polled at close to what they got on election day.

Where do I think we will end up on election day? Now I am really predicting:

  • Liberals - 46.2%
  • NDP - 39.3%
  • Greens - 11.5%
  • Conservatives - 2.0% (based on 20 candidates)
  • BC Refed - 0.8% (based on 60 candidates)
  • Independents - 1.3%
  • The rest - 0.5%

So what does this mean for seats? More on that later.
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