Archive for the 'Dion' Category

If the Tories don’t get a majority, thank the Bloc not the Grits, Greens or NDP

Having just finished a massive update to the Paulitics National Polling Resource, the Provincial/Regional Polling Resource, and the Seat Projection Meta-Analysis, there is one fact that has become abundantly clear:

If the Conservatives don’t get a majority, we should thank Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Québecois, not the Dion Liberals, the May Greens, or Layton’s NDP.  Of all of the data uploaded this evening, the astonishing rise of the Bloc in Quebec (pictured below) is perhaps the most impressive.

Because of the Bloc’s rise, the Conservatives have dropped 10% in Quebec since September 13th.  In other words, 1 in 3 Tory supporters in Québec have abandoned that party since September 13th.

La Presse joins Paulitics in predicting an NDP victory in Outremont

Just over two months ago, I used a variety of polling data and financial data from all of the parties to suggest that an NDP victory in the upcoming Outremont by-election was very likely.  In the 4 simulations I ran, the NDP won 3 of them and only lost the 4th just barely.

Yesterday, the francophone newspaper La Presse released the first and only poll which asked voters in the riding of Outremont who they were voting for.

The poll confirmed — kind of — the predictions I made in early July.  It matched the order in which I suggested the parties would finish — NDP then Liberal then Bloc then Tories.  Although my analysis had the race as being much closer than the La Presse poll suggests it will be.

Either way, it’s going to be an interesting race and, if Dion can pull off an 11th hour stay of execution for the Liberals, then, at the very least, La Presse can join me in eating humble pie and I won’t have to eat it alone.

What do politics and monkey shit fights have in common?

harper-bush-monkey.pngIt’s been my experience that Marxists are a peculiar bunch.  Peculiar not in a bad way necessarily, but just peculiar nonetheless.  Most of the orthodox Marxists I’ve met want people to get engaged in politics; want people to get interested in politics and social movements; but we just don’t want people to be interested in what I suppose can be termed the ‘pop culture’ elements of politics at all.

You know what I mean by this.  It’s the part of politics that would be more on the monkey-shit-fight end of the spectrum of intellectual stimulation as opposed to an-evening-reading-Proust end of the spectrum.

It’s Polls as opposed to policy.

It’s Cults of Personality as opposed to principle.

It’s Idiotic right-wing conspiracy theories as opposed to ideas.

For the most part, I couldn’t agree more with my fellow comrades, and, as those of you who read this blog regularly know, I do enjoy (and, in fact, thrive off of) the more cerebral elements in politics.

But that said, the fact of the matter is that sometimes, regardless of how cerebral we may think ourselves, a political “monkey shit fight” is just plain fun to watch!  Sometimes you don’t want a steak, sometimes you just want a bag of potato chips.  And for those of us who run in left-wing circles, it’s been my experience that we tend take flak for this as being somehow less progressive or less committed to revolutionary change.

For years now I’ve been trying to reconcile these two things — intellectual, progressive, socialist political discussion, and pop-culture politics like polls and image politics — in my mind.  But it wasn’t until the other day, during one of my now frequent stints bashing Ron Paul die hards who believe their own spam that I came to a realization.

I realized that, just as I don’t necessarily need to root for one group of monkeys in a monkey shit fight in order to be entertained and captivated by the spectacle, so too can I be captivated by things like polls without really caring which one of the capitalist parties is winning and which one is losing.

So what do politics and monkey shit fights have in common?  Well, with the way politics is structured in North America where there is no real genuine choice — they’re both similar insofar as the results will largely be the same regardless of which group wins at either competition.

But it doesn’t make us any less progressive to nevertheless enjoy the fight.

Tories tank in the East, NDP hits 1 year high nationally

cons-atlantic.pngWhat’s that loud “thwack” sound you’re hearing?  Why, it’s the Tories collapsing badly in Atlantic Canada from their once impressive showing.

Using the highly accurate technique used in the polling industry known as the ‘rolling average’ (the concept of which is familiar to anybody who’s visited the Paulitics Polling Resource), it is obvious that the Conservatives are in trouble in Atlantic Canada.

Now, before I show you the actual graph of rolling averages for every poll conducted in Atlantic Canada in the past six months, do keep in mind that the technique of rolling averages, by definition, makes huge swings in popular support less marked.  Thus, both spikes and drops in support tend to be flattened and appear less dramatic.

So, with that, let’s look at the rolling averages for Atlantic Canada courtesy of the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Polling Resource.

2007-07-25-atlantic.png

So, on the 28th of March of this year, the Conservatives were at roughly 37% in support in Atlantic Canada, which was an improvement over their 34.7% showing in the last federal election.  However, since then, the Conservatives have dropped 12.4% — not in an individual poll, but in the rolling average of polls.

Put another way: Take 3 Atlantic Canadians who voted Tory in the last election.  Now take one of them away and dress him in either NDP orange or Green and what’s left is how many Atlantic Canadians polls suggest would vote Tory in the next election.

Moreover, at the national level, we see declining support for both the Liberals and the Conservatives as demonstrated here (in fact the combined Liberal & Conservative parties’ rolling average has never, in the past 12 months of rolling averages, been lower than it currently is: 62.4%).

So take these two phenomena together and we have very bad news for the two mainstream, uber-capitalist parties; very good news for the three smaller, less capitalistic parties; and even worse news for Peter MacKay.

————————-

See also:

Data suggests the NDP may win the Outremont by-election

A Proposal for Greens & the NDP: A “300″ Strategy

Data suggests the NDP may win the Outremont by-election

A combination of polling data and monetary data suggests that the chances of the NDP winning the upcoming Outremont by-election and gaining a Quebec MP are good.  However, regardless of who wins, I would bet money on this being a close race and the data seems to validate this bet.

I’ll briefly explain the data and how I came to these conclusions.

I started off with the local results in the Outremont riding from the 2006 General Election.

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

2006 Outremont results:

35.18%

29.01%

17.20%

12.73%

4.82%

From that, we can take current provincial polling data, courtesy of the Paulitics Provincial Polling Resource and compare that with the provincial results in 2006 to get a ratio describing the relative increase or decrease of each party.  This ratio will later be multiplied through the 2006 Outremont results to get the first set of data.

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

Current polls @ prov. level

21.40%

35.40%

13.40%

22.00%

6.80%

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

2006 Quebec results:

20.70%

42.10%

7.50%

24.60%

4.00%

increase/decrease (ratio)

1.03

0.84

1.79

0.89

1.70

We’ll come back to that ratio later.

But for now, let’s move on to the monetary data portion of the analysis.

We know what the cash spending limit for this particular riding is from elections Canada and we know the financial statements of the candidates from the last election (note: the previous link was working earlier today, but seems to be down now.  There is an alternate, and less pretty source of the same data here).

From this, we get:

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

Cash spent: 2006 election

$69,816.11

$63,590.41

$26,625.29

$73,991.17

$572.33

cost per 1% of vote

$1,987.36

$2,207.23

$1,554.31

$5,762.55

$119.48

Spending limit:

$74,512.38

$74,512.38

$74,512.38

$74,512.38

$74,512.38

Raw vote potential

37.5%

33.8%

47.9%

12.9%

insuf. samp.

vote potential

28.8%

26.0%

36.9%

9.9%

insuf. samp.

I don’t think too many people would be willing to take just the polling data or just the financial data to come up with any sort of prediction.  So, I figured that the best way to come up with some sort of reliable prediction-worthy data, it would be suitable to take the pro-rated vote potential calculated from the financial data and then average that with the pro-rated vote potential calculated form the polling data (using the ratio calculated above).

I’ve run this calculation using 4 different scenarios so nobody can accuse me of bias (not that I’d vote for any of these parties if I had my first choice). 

In scenario #1, I haven’t weighted anything and I’ve assumed that the Green Party will not want to invest significant financial resources into this by-election and thus, I’ve listed their cash pro-rate as equal to their vote pro-rate.

Scenario #1

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

vote pro-rate (raw)

36.3

24.2

30.6

11.5

8.1

vote pro-rate

32.8%

21.9%

27.6%

10.4%

7.4%

cash pro-rate (raw)

28.8

26.0

36.9

9.9

8.1

cash pro-rate

26.3%

23.7%

33.6%

9.1%

7.4%

predicted results:

29.5%

22.8%

30.6%

9.7%

7.4%

Elected:

x

The result is an NDP victory, although by the slightest of margins.

In scenario #2, I haven’t weighted anything but I’ve assumed that the Greens will throw a significant portion of financial resources at this by-election.  So I’ve listed their cash pro-rate as equal to the highest cash pro-rate of all of the other parties.

Scenario #2

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

vote pro-rate (raw)

36.3

24.2

30.6

11.5

8.1

vote pro-rate

32.8%

21.9%

27.6%

10.4%

7.4%

cash pro-rate (raw)

28.8

26.0

36.9

9.9

36.9

cash pro-rate

20.8%

18.7%

26.6%

7.2%

26.6%

predicted results:

26.8%

20.3%

27.1%

8.8%

17.0%

Elected:

x

 The result is still an NDP victory, but by even smaller margins than before.

In scenario #3, I’ve assumed that the Greens will be middle of the road with their finances and won’t go as spartan as they did in the last election, but won’t go all out either.  I’ve also assumed for this scenario that polls matter more than cash on hand and have weighted to 2x its normal unweighted value.

Scenario #3

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

vote pro-rate (raw)

36.3

24.2

30.6

11.5

8.1

vote pro-rate

32.8%

21.9%

27.6%

10.4%

7.4%

cash pro-rate (raw)

28.8

26.0

36.9

9.9

22.5

cash pro-rate

23.2%

20.9%

29.7%

8.0%

18.1%

predicted results:

29.0%

21.5%

28.5%

9.4%

11.7%

Elected:

x

The result is a bare Libearl victory.

Finally, in scenario #4, I’ve assumed the same thing about the Greens as in #3, but this time I’ve assumed that cash on hand for the candidates matters more than polls and have weighted it by 2x.

Scenario #4

Lib

Bloc

NDP

Con

Green

vote pro-rate (raw)

36.3

24.2

30.6

11.5

8.1

vote pro-rate

32.8%

21.9%

27.6%

10.4%

7.4%

cash pro-rate (raw)

28.8

26.0

36.9

9.9

29.7

cash pro-rate

22.0%

19.8%

28.1%

7.6%

22.6%

predicted results:

26.3%

20.6%

27.9%

8.7%

16.5%

Elected:

x

The result is an NDP win and by wider margins than before.

Now, keep in mind, there are any number of factors which can’t be calculated mathematically which will undoubtedly play a part in this by-election.

For starters, there’s no way of accounting for the fact that the NDP has a star candidate in this race.  This data assumes that the candidate is of little-to-no importance whatsoever.

Second, polls suggest that Dion may not be as much of an asset to the Liberal candidate in this election as Layton or Harper might be.

But, on the other hand, the Globe and Mail suggests that Mulcair’s leftist credentials are being questioned by NDP activists (I know, I was shocked too — who thought the NDP still had leftist credentials??) which could in turn cause a ‘get out the vote’ (GOTV) problem.

Either way, the only thing I’m willing to place money on right now is that it’s not going to be a blow out.  But I will say one thing:  The NDP’s chances are certainly good seeing as how they won 3 out of the 4 scenarios I ran.

Polling resource & political images updated

I know I’ve been AWOL for a while, but rest assured, it’s purely because I’ve been in the process of working over 43 hours per week and trying to set up a new apartment.  Rest assured, that I haven’t gone anywhere and that Paulitics will be back to its former glory in the near future.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve greatly expanded the data on the provincial breakdown section of the Paulitics Polling Resource.  The Polling Resource now features a 6 month history of poll results at the provincial level as well as providing the ever famous Paulitics rolling five poll graphs.  Take a look at it and let me know what everybody thinks.

I’ve also done a large update to the Political Images resource, for those interested.

graphs showing party support by province

I have recently decided to expand the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Polling Resource to include a long-term graph showing a rolling poll average for each province (or region).  Here is the preliminary data for all provincial/regional polls conducted by all polling firms in the past 6 months.   The graphs are rolling averages so, unlike here, it is actually possible to see a clear picture of what’s happening.

Here are the trends in party support for the past six month for Ontario, Quebec, BC, Alberta, Atlantic Canada and the Prairies.

trend-on.png

trend-qc.png

trend-bc.png

trend-ab.png

trend-atlantic.png

trend-prairies.png

Paulitics Polling Resource: Tories’ surge halted

With the latest Decima poll released earlier this week, there’s now evidence to suggest that any momentum towards recovery which the Tories had enjoyed only a few weeks ago, is now gone.

The Tories began their slow slide down from the 38% range in the Paulitics Polling Resource around April of this year.  However right when their rolling average trend line slammed into the comparatively stagnant Liberal rolling average trend line, they bounced back from just over 32% back up to 36%.

It is this latest rebound which has effectively been halted and the Tories are now dropping faster or at least as fast as any party has dropped in the polls in the past 12 months.  The only two other instances of parties dropping approximately this fast in the polls in the last 12 months have been: 

(1) The New Democrats between November 13 and December 13 2006 who dropped 18% to 12% in rolling averages; and

(2) The Liberals between mid-December 2006 and early March 2007 who dropped 10 points from 38% to 28%.

Now this does not mean that the Tories are in a crisis or anything.  Their rate of decent may be greater at this point than either the Liberals or the New Democrats’ lines were in these two previous times, but the Tories’ fall hasn’t been going on for very long.

Long and short of it is:  Things are definitely interesting, but I wouldn’t want to put money on what will happen by the end of the summer let alone next week.

With this latest poll (and the Leger poll which I hadn’t previously included in my master list), the Paulitics Polling Resource now stands like this:

2007-06-16-results.jpg
For National Results and long term trends in party support, click here.

For a breakdown of party support at the provincial and regional level, click here.

Paulitics Polling Resource: Quebec highly unstable

Even before Gilles Duceppe’s recent flip flop over departing the federal scene and making a run for the PQ and then chosing to stay put, the Paulitics polling resource demonstrates that Quebec was already the province with by far the most instability in terms of public opinion.  Thus, Quebec provincial politics are sure to remain very interesting in the near future.

At the national level, the Paulitics Polling Resource shows the NDP and the Liberals with momentum while the Conservatives are still in decline, albeit slower than before.

Also of interest is the fact that the most popular party in Canada at this time can only count on the support of 1/3 of Canadians.

The Paulitics Polling Resource has the parties tracking as follows:

2007-05-13-results.jpg

For the Paulitics Polling Resource and long-term federal trend lines, click here

For the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Polling Resource, click here

At the provincial level, we see high instability in Quebec even before Duceppe’s recent gaffe.  Based on the most recent polling, the Paulitics Provincial/Regional breakdown shows that voter migration is by far the greatest in Quebec with more than 1 in 5 Quebecois having changed their vote preference since the last election.

The following chart demonstrates party support instability in each of the provinces and regions tracked in the Polling Resource:

QC

22.3%

BC

13.8%

Atlantic

12.0%

Prairies

11.5%

ON

10.7%

Alberta

1.5%

As discussed here, the NDP are up impressive amounts in Quebec, and the Liberals and the Conservatives are experiencing highly irregular pollinging numbers.  So it seems as though Quebec is up for grabs for just about any party.

The question is, what effect, if any, Gilles Duceppe’s recent flip flop will have on this highly unstable situation.


Resources:

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