It is really hard to say if the advance polling can tell us anything about what the turnout of the by-elections will look like, but here are the figures and some discussion on what they could mean.
Riding 2012 2011 2012 as a percentage
turnout turnout of 2011 turnout
Victoria 6,445 10,002 64.43%
Durham 5,171 8,404 61.53%
Calgary Centre 2,740 6,754 40.57%
What strikes me as interesting is how low the advance voter turnout was in Calgary Centre. I see Calgary Centre as the most competitive race going but it has the lowest advance polling by any measure.
When I did my calculations of voter turnouts for the by-elections by looking at the previous 40 what I found was that the typical by-election had a bit better than half the turn out of the previous general election. Having a competitive race tended to boost by-election turn out, which is why I surprised to see Calgary Centre with the lowest advance vote.
I think it Calgary it means no one has been able to mobilize their supporters to go out and vote which I would read as weakness mainly for the Conservatives. I almost have to wonder if the CPC was down about 2,000 votes from where they should have been after the advance polls?
I am not sure if the Victoria turn out is an indication we will see closer to 39,000 vote as opposed to the 37,000 that I thought we would have, I do not know what to make of the advance turn out numbers. I suspect the advance vote was mainly NDP with some Conservatives as these are the two parties that were best prepared for the election campaign.