Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What if the Angus Reid Strategy Numbers are right?

The spread in the poll is in the range of the popular vote in 1996, though the NDP was half a point higher in that election and the Liberals marginally lower.

Would we see a 1996 election result given the current polling numbers from ARS? I think that result would be highly unlikely.

Likely Outcome and Range of Outcomes
  • Liberals - 46 (43-51)
  • NDP - 38 (34 - 41)
  • Ind - 1 (0-1)
If the Liberals were to lose all eight of the closest races, they would still have a bare majority, but the probability of such an outcome is remote. But why could it happen in 1996 and not now?

The 1996 election was fought under boundaries based on population data from 1986, so ten years of population shifts had occurred and this made a wrong winner situation easier to achieve.The 2009 election is being fought under a new set of boundaries that are based on population data not quite three years old.

Even if the NDP and Liberals were to get the exact same popular vote as in 1996, there is no realistic senario that would replicate the 1996 election result. For the NDP to win in this election, they will need to surpass the Liberals in popular vote.

If you want to play around with the numbers and assumptions and see where you get to, I highly recommend the UBC ESM Voter Migration Matrix.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fallacy with your analysis is that you assume that the 1996 election being fought on 1986 boundaries was more out of whack with an even distribution of voters than the 2009/2008 version. That is simply not so. The Liberals opted, for reasons that escape everyone, to redistrict boundaries and allow for numerous small ridings in the far north and Kootenays, some of which are only 1/3 the voters of the largest ridings. Things are more uneven now than they were in 1996.
Further, as all analyses of what they did conclude, they have bulked up Liberal votes in a minority of ridings, leaving a majority of ridings competitive with the NDP. So the 1996 scenario is entirely plausible.
Will it happen? Who knows at this stage. But one need only look at the swath of ridings from the Premier's own in Vancouver Point Grey across to Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge through to Mission, across the Fraser River in Surrey and even the two Delta ridings to know that this election will be decided in the suburbs of Vancouver -- all of which are closely fought.