Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ontario election 2011 prediction (mid July edition)

A few days ago, Ipsos-Reid released a poll for the upcoming Ontario election that indicated the following:

Tories: 42%
Liberals: 31%
NDP: 22%
Greens: 5%

These numbers are slightly better for the Liberals than the Forum Research poll I discussed in my last prediction. This Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted over a month, beginning in early June while the Forum Research poll was held on one weekend in later June. This could explain the difference, but any ideas I come up with would be pure speculation.

Anyways, I realized that if I want to keep up with these polls, I have to use at least some mathematical methodology. At least until we have a better idea of what's happening in each local riding. This is why I am going to use a swingometre to help me with things for the time being. The swingometre is a tool used more in British and Australian elections to look at how swings in votes can result in seat changes. Because we use the same electoral system, we can use it here too. One problem with it is that it assumes a uniform swing to one party, which is never the case. But it will aid me for the time being, as I am not sure how local races will be affected at the moment.

 The Swingometre, explained

Here, I have two graphs. One shows the races that were Liberal vs. PC in the 2007 election and the other shows Liberal vs. NDP races. I included one seat where the NDP was a strong third in the lower graph as well. Each dot represents a seat. At the 0 mark in the middle are the results of the last election. If we move to the right of the mark, we assume a swing from the Liberals (to the Tories in the top graph and the NDP in the lower graph). The further right it goes, the more of those red dots will turn either blue or orange. I have not included a NDP vs. Tory graph, as there was only one race between those two parties. Also, there was one Tory vs. Green race that was not included.

The numbers represent the % swing. That is basically the average increase in support for one party compared to the average decrease of the other party. The Liberals won the last election by 10.6% of the vote. Therefore it would require a 5.3% swing to the Tories (the Liberals decrease their vote by 5.3% and the Tories increase it by 5.3% resulting in a tie). As you can see from the chart, this would only give the Tories 7 more seats, not enough to win the election. They need 28 seats to get a majority. This would require a swing of about 8.5% to the Tories, meaning that they could theoretically win the popular vote and still lose the election.

Luckily for the Tories, the latest Ipsos-Reid poll gives about an 11% swing to the Tories, which would give them 39 additional seats, well into majority territory. The poll also gives an 8% swing from the Liberals to the NDP, which translates to 9 additional NDP seats.

My new mid-July prediction will not be following the swingometre at verbatim. I still know enough about local voting habits to know that even with an 11% swing, certain seats will not fall. Also, some seats may fall which would require a greater than average swing.

Liberal vs. PC seats
The following is a list of Liberal held seats where the Tories finished 2nd in the last election, showing the swing the Tories need in order to pick up the riding. It also shows which party holds the seat federally which will help show us how realistic it is for that riding to vote Tory.

Riding Swing required (%) Federal Party
Nipissing 0.7 Conservative*
Barrie 1.5 Conservative
Kitchener--Conestoga 2.4 Conservative
Eglinton--Lawrence 2.7 Conservative
Ancaster--Dundas--Flaborough--Westdale 3.4 Conservative
Lambton--Kent--Middlesex 3.5 Conservative
Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry 5.1 Conservative
Don Valley West 5.4 Conservative
London--Fanshawe 5.6 NDP
Oak Ridges--Markham 6.1 Conservative
Mississauga South 6.1 Conservative
Brampton West 6.3 Conservative
Willowdale 6.3 Conservative
Richmond Hill 6.5 Conservative
Prince Edward--Hastings 6.8 Conservative
Northumberland--Quinte West 7.1 Conservative
Scarborough--Guildwood 7.3 Liberal
Ajax--Pickering 7.4 Conservative
Mississauga--Erindale 7.4 Conservative
Perth--Wellington 7.4 Conservative
Oakville 7.4 Conservative
Etobicoke--Lakeshore 7.7 Conservative
Huron--Bruce 7.7 Conservative
Etobicoke Centre 7.9 Conservative
Niagara Falls 8.2 Conservative
Guelph 8.2 Liberal
York Centre 8.2 Conservative
Pickering--Scarborough East 8.5 Conservative
Bramalea--Gore--Malton 8.8 Conservative
St. Catharines 9.2 Conservative
Ottawa--Orleans 9.2 Conservative
Elgin--Middlesex--London 9.3 Conservative
Ottawa West--Nepean 9.4 Conservative
Brampton--Springdale 10.0 Conservative
Brant 10.1 Conservative
Kitchener Centre 10.2 Conservative
Ottawa South 10.2 Liberal
Scarborough Southwest 10.3 NDP
St. Paul's 10.4 Liberal
Peterborough 11.0 Conservative
Essex 11.5 Conservative
Chatham-Kent--Essex 11.6 Conservative
London North Centre 11.7 Conservative
Mississauga--Streetsville 11.8 Conservative
Kingston and the Islands 12.5 Liberal
Toronto Centre 13.8 Liberal
London West 14.1 Conservative
Mississauga--Brampton South 14.2 Liberal
Scarborough Centre 14.3 Conservative
Ottawa--Vanier 14.3 Liberal
Don Valley East 15.3 Conservative
Markham--Unionville 16.3 Liberal
Scarborough--Agincourt 16.4 Liberal
Glengarry--Prescott--Russell 16.7 Conservative
Etobicoke North 16.9 Liberal
Mississauga East--Cooksville 17.9 Conservative
Vaughan 21.6 Conservative
Scarborough--Rouge River 25.3 NDP
*Nipissing is part of the Nipissing--Timiskaming federal riding, which has different borders.

As you can see from this chart, even the "safest" provincial Liberal seats are not that safe at all. Their three "safest" seats are held by different parties in federal parliament.

Liberal vs. NDP seats
The following is a list of Liberal seats where the NDP finished 2nd in the last election. I have also included London--Fanshawe, where the NDP was a close third place.
Riding Swing required (%) Federal Party
Thunder Bay--Atikokan 0.1 NDP*
York South--Weston 0.7 NDP
Timiskaming--Cochrane 1.2 N/A*
Hamilton Mountain 1.9 NDP
Ottawa Centre 2.0 NDP
Davenport 2.7 NDP
Algoma--Manitoulin 2.8 NDP*
Thunder Bay--Superior North 4.3 NDP*
London--Fanshawe 6.2 NDP
Windsor West 12.3 NDP
Windsor--Tecumseh 12.9 NDP
York West 13.4 Liberal
Sudbury 15.8 NDP*
Sault Ste. Marie 16.9 Conservative*


  1. Did we lose Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock?

  2. If by "we" you mean the Liberals, then yes. As you can see from the map, the riding is blue.