Sunday, March 31, 2019

Alberta "Projection"

I've made a "projection" map.

This is based largely on riding math; but, there are some important caveats.

This shows, basically, the largest number of ridings that can be won by the Alberta Party. These 5 ridings have "interesting" candidates in them, and, if the party wins 5 seats, it will be these 5. Beyond that, at this time, I can't see any way the Alberta Party wins 6 or more seats.

As such I've simply decided that these 8 seats will be won by their smaller parties without using any polling data.

Beyond that, I've also simply decided the UCP wins 45 seats, as this is a "narrow majority". One to be the speaker, and 44 other members, compared to 42 for the opposition. As such the NDP needs 34.

This is not based on any polling math. It's simply what a "Narrow UCP" majority looks like where the "Smaller parties do well".

Regardless, as a possible outcome - that the UCP could win a narrow majority - I wanted to share this.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Is the UCP really doing that well in Edmonton?

No, and I hope to show why.

First off let me present to you my Alberta Map

It is not done. I need to, for example, add a colour for the Alberta Party, as the Greens are not going to take Calgary Elbow. And it is not showing a projection yet; it is simply showing the basic results from last time. These results have been slightly modified however and don't perfectly match the combined WR+PC vote for the UCP. Sadly when my HDD died in October I lost all my data, but found a datasource I'd made in July. I thus need to reconstruct what I was working on and try to remember where I was in the process.

Regardless I want to introduce you, quickly, to Census Metropolitan Areas.

This is what statistics canada considers a "city". These definitions can seem nonsensical to the observer.

For example the Toronto CMA is often thought of as equal to the "Greater Toronto Area". Despite that, the Toronto CMA does not include Whitby, or Burlington, two areas often included in the GTA, while it does include Orangeville, an area often thought of as too far away and rural to be part of the GTA.

The same is true in Alberta for Edmonton and Calgary. To help, I've added darker boundaries to the map to show where the CMA boundaries are. Note: these are not where the exact boundaries are, the boundaries cut ridings in half often; instead, these are ridings where half or more of the voters are within the CMA.

Calgary does not look so bad but Edmonton is a mess!

Lets get some numbers. Now I caution you again that my numbers are modified already. The PC+WR vote will not equal the UCP vote; but it will come close, within a few percentage points.

For the actual municipalities of Edmonton and Calgary the popular vote balance between the top two parties is 53.6%-37.0% and 40.8%-49.5% respectively. For the CMAs however, we get 50.8%-41.7% ad 39.5%-51.5%. Both become more UCP friendly, Edmonton by a larger margin.

If the UCP and NDP were tied in the Edmonton CMA, the NDP would still have a 7 point lead within the municipality of Edmonton.

Lastly, I want to note the population shares.

In 2016 (the last census) Alberta had a population of 4.067 million.
The Edmonton CMA had 1.321 million and the Calgary CMA had 1.392 million. This left 1.354 million in the "rural areas".

In the same year, Edmonton the municipality had 0.933 million while Calgary had 1.239 million, leaving 1.895 million in "rural areas"

If you use rounding, you get ratios of 1.3-1.4-1.4 for the CMAs, and 0.9-1.2-1.9 for the Municipalities.

So, now that we've established that any poll of the Edmonton CMA will have the UCP higher than in any poll of Edmonton as a Municipality, lets find out if the pollsters are using CMA or Municipal boundaries for their poll "regions". We will look at these 4 polls.

Only ThinkHQ explicitly say, so, how are we going to find out?


Angus Reid has the weights, of 201-214-390, which when rounded, are 2-2-4. This is much closer to our Municipal ratio. Angus Reid has a strong NDP lead in Edmonton.

Ipsos has the weights of 296-311-293, or rounded to 3-3-3, which is much closer to our CMA number, Ipsos has the UCP and NDP neck and neck in Edmonton.

Mainstreet has the weights of 338-474-348 which rounds to 3-5-3, which is... weird to say the least, but more closely matches our CMAs, have Edmonton neck and neck.

ThinkHQ which claims to use the CMAs has weighting of 377-417-401 which rounds to 4-4-4 which does match our CMAs; has the NDP with a strong lead in the Edmonton CMA.

TLDR: The NDP is leading in "Edmonton" if "Edmonton" means "The City" and not "The CMA"

Thursday, March 28, 2019

PEI and Green areas of strength

A friend asked me earlier why the Green Party does better in the central portion of PEI. There are many reasons for this. I thought I'd go over them in today's post.

First, note this map:

Also, check some PEI soil data

Why does this matter?

If you dig into soil data, you'll start to see patterns. For example, areas where the soils are "harder" to farm, such as have had a tendency to back more right-wing candidates, as seen here

This has not been examined academically, and perhaps this is over-simplified, but my theory is that if you go to work every day, that if only hard work produces results, and that hard work does produce results, you are going to be more liable to think hard work always produces results, and less liable to believe that luck and randomness play roles in success. Compare with if you farm areas with good soils, where bad harvests will be determined by weather, cop disease, infestations, and other things far more "random" than "hard work".

The areas on the PEI map at the top are areas that are still wooded. Generally this is because they are not as productive at being farmland. This is, again, an oversimplification, but it should be noted that the central portion of PEI is more productive agriculturally than the eastern or western ends.


you can drive to Charlottetown in about an hour from most of the Island. This is not true west of Summerside. It is even worse in the western portion of Prince county (places like Tignish, Alberton, and O'Leary) where such a drive would take even longer. West Prince has its own more insular political culture from that of the Island as a whole, and while they most certainly have voted for Conservatives in the past, and even for an NDP MLA, they have historically favoured the Liberal party. Having returned 13 non-Liberal MLAs in general elections in the past 100 years vs 52 Liberals.

Kings County meanwhile, is much more "rural" than the rest of the Island on the whole and even has a noticeably lower human footprint. It is thus harder to convince those in an already "green" area, that things need to be more "green"


Peter Bevan-Baker, the party leader, lives in this 'central region' of PEI, who has ran for the Malpeque federal riding in the past. His dental practice in Hampton is located nearly halfway between Charlottetown and Summerside on PEI's southern coast. Simple natural friend networks would mean people there know him best.

Those factors, plus the fact that the Greens have been building up their support in the area, as, in large part, the area is more easily accessible than either the west or the east (due to literally being centrally located) help explain why rural areas between Charlottetown and Summerside support the Green Party more than those areas on the fringes.

Why are the Greens so strong in Charlottetown and Summerside?

That's a much simpler question to answer; urban voters, and their typical preference for progressive style policies. If anyone is going to give change a chance, it will be voters in urban areas.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

PEI: re-balanced, plus additional maps

I've re-balanced the riding data to reflect the current crop of candidates, which has changed things slightly. I've also included 3 additional maps showing what could happen.

(Note the purple is for Bush Dumville, Independent, in District 14)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

PEI headed to the polls on April 23rd

Having found a second error on my map, I've decided to make a new post!

The proper map is here

To help clarify that this is, in fact, the accurate map, I've included the actual numbers I'm working with:

You will notice that the Green result in district 26 is 0%. This is because this uses transposed results (thank you Kyle Hutton for those) and the Greens had 0 votes in the area.

I will be making adjustments to this so that a more realistic base is used - for example, places NDP star candidates ran in the last election do not have star candidates this time, and vice versa in other areas. - For now, however, I will stick with this so I can get the projection out in a timely manner.

PEI goes to the polls

Reports are that the writ for the PEI election will be dropped tonight (within the hour it seems) for an election roughly a month from now.

I wanted to quickly update my projection, which is as follows:

my spreadsheet was literally mis-aligned. It is not districts 9 and 20 the greens are just barely winning, its districts 10 and 21. It is not 8 and 4 they could win, its 9 and 5 they could win.

This is 11 Greens, and 8 for both the Liberals and Tories.

It's possible districts 5 and 9 will go Green as well, but that would still not quite be a Majority.

If the polls are right, we are looking at a minority government, no matter who wins, and given the small sample sizes, PEI's penchant for voting based on local issues, and the natural imbalance built into FPTP, nearly anything is truly possible this election. It would not surprise be if the Greens took 20 seats, and it would not surprise me if they took only 1. The same is true for the other parties, except, for them, I could see a total wipeout. Even the NDP could win a seat, or two!!

Regardless, my current projection, is for a Green Minority.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Israel Polls - all party data

We now have 3 polls with all party data; including one that has Gesher meeting the threshold. A 4th poll has all parties except the Arab List meeting the mark; but mathematically, Gesher's 4 seats can be assigned to fill in that gap for the purposes of averaging.

The results are as follows:

(comparison to last projection)

31 - Blue & White (-1)
28 - Likud (-1)
9 - Labour
8 - Arab Opposition (+1)
7 - UTJ
6 - Union (-1)
6 - Right
5 - Meretz (-1)
5 - Shas (-1)
4 - Zehut
4 - Kulanu
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu
4 - Arab List

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

General updates; Alberta, PEI, and more.

Israel: The trend noted in my last post, that of Blue and White falling to Likud levels or below continues. Likud itself may even be up by a seat or two. We've also finally had some polls where all parties that might make the threshold, have made the threshold. Two of them in fact. I will include the averages of such polls in my next Israel post.

Spain: The right is inching ever closer to the magic number needed for a majority, and the current trends suggest they'll reach it shortly.

Italy: The bottom has fallen out from under M5S and they've dropped to PD levels. This comes as Lega numbers are stable, causing a drop for the combined support for the governing parties. The main impact of this trend is the increasing likelihood that in the next election, the League and its jr ally, the various Conservative parties (Berlusconi leads the main one) could win a majority.

Ukraine: Zelensky will make the second round according to all polling, the only question is who joins him. Tymoshenko seems most likely, but Poroshenko may end up doing so instead, and there's even a extraordinarily slim chance Boyko could. Regardless of who does, Zelensky looks set to win the second round as well.

Alberta: The election has been called in the province and will take place on April 16th. I will, of course, be covering the election in depth. Current polls, which are a few days hold, have the UCP with a 10 to 20 point lead; but given recent scandals and the tendency of the NDP to jump in Alberta polls at a writ drop, I would not be surprised to see the NDP and UCP tied, or near tied, in polls that come out in the next few days. What really matters is how the other parties will do, as the only reasonable way the NDP wins this election is if the smaller parties have a larger share of the vote.

PEI: No official election call yet, but yes, I'm keeping an eye on things. I grew up on PEI, and understand some of the nuances of its politics. Polls by their nature can be inaccurate in such a small place. Regardless, polls show that the Greens are leading. PEI has never had more than 3 members of the legislature at any one time that have sat outside the Government and Official Opposition caucuses; now is one such time as there are two Green members and one Independent. It is all but certain that each of the 3 parties will elect at least 4 MLAs in the election, making a first for PEI. It's also likely that the winning party, whomever that turns out to be, will have under 50% of the seats, also something that has never happened on PEI (1890 saw the two parties tie in seat count, meaning each took 50% of the seats) Once there is an official call, I will start regular updates about PEI.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Israel updates

A number of things have happened since my last update. The arab list parties were banned, then unbanned. Yisrael Beiteinu is back above the threshold. Zehut seems to be staying above the threshold. Labour has pushed to third. And Blue & White is losing its lead.

Changes from last projection shown in brackets.

32 - Blue & White (-3)
29 - Likud (-1)
9 - Labour (+2)
7 - Arab Opposition (-2)
7 - UTJ (+-0)
7 - Union (+1)
6 - Right (+-0)
6 - Meretz (+-0)
6 - Shas (+1)
4 - Kulanu (-1) [see below]
4 - Arab List (+-0) [see below]
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu (+4) [see below]
4 - Zehut (+4) [see below]

you will notice this adds up to more than 120. This is because the parties that are, on average, making the threshold, will get 4 seats if they do so, but we've yet to have a poll where all 4 of these parties have met the threshold, and, since deadline day, only one poll where all 4 have failed to make the threshold. As such there is a lot of "mix and match" going on, and this seemed like the best way to present that data at this time.

The changes we are seeing are due to more voters looking at other options on the left. Meretz has polled as high as 8 in some recent polls, and Labour as high as 10. 

The end result of this, in terms of coalition formation, may be that the parties that do or do not make the threshold will have a huge role to play in who the next Prime Minister is.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Summary of upcoming elections

March 31: Ukraine, President

Given the polls, two of these three people will make it to the final round: Zelensky, Tymoshenko, Poroshenko - the only question is which two, and polls over the next week or two should help clear that up.

April 9: Israel, Parliament

There has been some interesting movement in the polls, that I plan to detail in a post later this week.

April 14: Finland, Parliament

Need some additional polling for any conclusions, but PS seems to be on the way up.

April 17: Indonesia, Parliament and President

The Incumbent President seems on the way to re-election easily. In Parliament, PDI-P is up in the polls from the last election, while Golkar is down. Gerindra is up, and Demokrat is down. The main result of this is to strengthen the leading party in both the Pro-Widodo and Pro-Prabowo camps, with Gerindra (right wing, Prabowo) and PDI-P (left wing, Widodo) now the two leading parties according to the polls. Widodo and his allies are expected to win roughly 62-38.

April 28: Spain, Parliament

The polls are fairly consistent in saying that the right-wing alliance will be able to win 160-170 seats; while the left is closer to 145-155. The 'problem' is that 176 seats are needed for a majority and neither side has that. This could leave the regional parties as kingmakers; the only problem here is that national vs regional power squabbles is what caused the government to collapse in the first place.

May 8: South Africa, Parliament

Polls are scarce in South Africa, but suggest that while ANC will retain their majority, EFF may end up doubling in size, but that DA is likely to remain the largest opposition party.

May 18: (maybe) Australia, Parliament

In order for Australia to hold a 'traditional' election of the House and half the Senate, they'd have to do it on May 18th. However, should the government decide, it could simply hold only the half-Senate elections on this date, and hold off until November for house elections (which polls suggest they would lose)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Update - Change in Spain, Israel, and more

Japan: the old Democratic Party has managed to snatch up another upper house member, breaking the tie with the CDP for second place in that chamber. Elections are coming up in July for that chamber where, unless the polls are very wrong, the CDP will solidify a second place.

Italy: M5S seems to be rushing to meet PD in the polls with a recent Noto poll on March 5th suggested only a single point separates them.

Ukraine: No new polls yet; but some minor Presidential candidates have dropped to endorsed various others. The top three seem to continue to be Poroshenko the incumbent, Zelensky, who wants to negotiate directly with Russia to end the donbass situation, and Tymoshenko, who wants Ukraine to join NATO and the EU. Boyko is 4th in most polls, and is famous for being called a russian puppet, and for physically assaulting someone after being called a russian puppet. Boyko's polling makes it unlikely he would be in any runoff between the final two. The election takes place at the end of this month. I will be posting more about it before then.

South Africa: Polling does suggest EFF is going to do better in the next election; but also suggests DA is going to retain its second spot.

and in the big two

Spain: Vox has been polling better and better while Podemos has been falling in the polls; it is now to the point that Vox is overtaking Podemos in some polls. With Podemos falling, they no longer are expected to win enough seats to push PSOE over the edge into a majority; however Vox, even when combined with C's and PP, also do not have a majority, keeping both the obvious left and obvious right alliances outside of majority territory. That being said, a grand coalition of PSOE and PP would have a majority easily.

Israel: Yisrael Beiteinu has fallen too far below the threshold too often to be considered by me a "party that will win seats". As such I am projecting them to take 0 seats from this election. On the flip side, Zehut, the Libertarian Party, has been inching towards the threshold and has even managed to pass it in a TNS/Kan poll. I'm still not counting them among the seat winners, but if trends continue, I may have to.

Projection thus updated to:

35 - Blue & White
30 - Likud
9 - Arab Opposition
7 - Labour
7 - UTJ
6 - Union
6 - Right
6 - Meretz
5 - Shas
5 - Kulanu
4 - Arab List

Sunday, March 3, 2019

General update - everything is stable

Polls in Israel are relatively stable. They are relatively stable in Spain. Even in Japan they are stable; note that Japanese polling is "weird" and you need to know how to read it.

In fact they are "stable" in every country I follow.

Stable, however, is relative.

South Africa, Denmark, Finland, and Portugal, have ALL seen very recent moves in the polls; but in each case, we need more polls but we can declare that significant.

Germany, Poland, and Italy all have poll movements that continue in the same direction that I've already noted.

In short, a key reason for the lack of updates it simply that there is nothing to update. Everything is quiet right now.

That being said here is what I'm keeping my eye on

1 - Is Yisrael Beiteinu's dropping below the threshold temporary (will end in a week or two) or permanent (will continue to the election)

2 - Is the current trend in Spain, of both the Left and Right having just below what is needed for a majority, temporary or permanent?

3 - How far will the SPD rise in Germany now that's it surpassed the Greens?

4 - When will M5S fall below PD, or, will it stop before it even reaches that level; if it does fall below them does M5S vanish?

5 - Is the recent poll in South Africa legit (indicative of a trend) or a one off (not indicative of a trend)

6 - How high will the new party in Poland get?

7 - Is PS's rise in Finland legit or a one off?

8 - Is the drop in the People's Party in Denmark legit or a one off?

And If these things are permanent and/or legit, I'd want to know why (IE I will do some research and tell you why)

For now however, all I have are questions.