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OUR FINAL WORDS AND A FEW MORE NUMBERS – May 1, 2011

EKOS SEAT PROJECTION

“Prediction is very hard, especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra

These seat projections are based on EKOS’ opinion polling. The projections are based on national, regional, and, in some cases, sub-regional polling projected onto the results of the last election. They do not pretend to predict individual ridings.

[OTTAWA – May 1, 2011] As we conclude Campaign 41 and await the public judgement, a few final comments are in order. Despite a bewildering array of contradictory evidence from the earlier polls it now appears that what was previously thought unimaginable has now become a point of consensus. The final estimates of party support including today’s final sample are 33.9 points for the Conservatives, 31.2 for the NDP, 21.0 for the Liberals, 6.4 for the Bloc, and 6.0 for the Green Party.

When we adjust this based on an index which predicts the most likely to vote we arrive at 34.0 points for the Conservatives, 31.6 for the NDP, 20.8 for the Liberals, 6.4 for the Bloc, and 5.9 for the Green Party.

As shocking as those numbers would have seemed just a few weeks ago, they are now more or less stable and undoubtedly accurate. The only real question remaining, and frankly this is more a matter of anecdotal curiosity at this stage, is how these translate into the new seat distribution in Canada’s next parliament. Recognising the vagaries of sampling error, vote splitting and other factors, we are going to provide an estimate at the national level which is couched around a somewhat arbitrary band of uncertainty.

After the ballots are counted tomorrow, we expect to see the following:
1) CPC: 130 to 146 seats
2) NDP: 103 to 123 seats
3) LPC: 36 to 46 seats
4) BQ: 10 to 20 seats
5) GP: 1 seat

For those who would prefer a point estimate, just take the midpoint of the zones (e.g. 138 seats in the case of the Conservative Party).

Along with other Canadians, we will await the conclusion of what has been the most exciting electoral race in recent history. If the results resemble our forecast, we are in for another tumultuous period as the powers that be and public opinion try and decide what governing relationships this will actually mean.

Click here for the full report: final_seat_projection_may_1

38 comments to OUR FINAL WORDS AND A FEW MORE NUMBERS – May 1, 2011

  • Alex

    You know, if you take the midpoint of each of those, the Conservatives end up with 138, the NDP with 113, the Liberals with 41, and the Greens with 1. Assuming we want to keep the Bloc out of a possible coalition, then that one Green seat might be pivotal because 113+41+1 = 155 (a bare majority). Obviously it’s all hypothetical, but it sure would be something for Elizabeth May to hold the balance of power in a coalition parliament. Given the way this election has gone, I can definitely say I’ve seen stranger things.

  • Tony Dewar

    I don’t think your numbers take into account how many of us only use cell phones. Or the fact that the Liberals have received more money in donations this election than the last 3 put together or that every single Liberal rally has been completely packed. If your numbers are off by a large amount will you stop polling elections? Are you able to factor in the percentage of cell phone users that you have not surveyed and if so have you? I guess we will see tomorrow but if the numbers are as wrong as i suspect i hope you pollsters lose a huge amount of cash for wrongly informing the public. If the numbers are as you say or close then keep up the good work.

  • Julio

    PC 115
    Lib 90
    NDP 66
    Bloc 32
    Ind 1
    Gree 1

  • I am hoping that these stats are not accurate. A NDP led coalition could change Canada as we know it. Look what happened to the province of Toronto under the leadership of Bob Rae. The province was almost bankrupted. I guess time will tell the story!

  • Erik Swanson

    History is about to be made tomorrow.
    This is so exciting!

  • Julie Hunter

    What percentage of voters do you estimate are not represented by your poll due to exclusive cell phone use?

  • Peter Flaherty

    A good and fascinating seat projection. But I’m going out on a limb and predicting that Jack Layton and the NDP will actually win more seats than the Conservatives. Why is it assumed that vote splitting, especially in Ontario, will automatically benefit Harper?

  • wevers

    If the Harper government is defeated, even with a minority “win” that would make my old heart bounce in joy.

    The shehanigans and mean manipulations of imformation, the below the belt negative advertising, the contempt of parliament and the misleading budgeting of war planes and the tough on crime policies will or would have made our lives miserable.

    Times will still be tough, but at least we might be governed by a more emphatic body politic.

  • todd

    Manitoba has a NDP gov and a balanced budget, strong economy. N.S has an NDP gov as well. The other parties have been in power with both negative and positive results. We should give the NDP a chance, they are for the average guy, which the majority of us are.

  • Cam

    I think this is a strong indication that the Conservative caucus need to seriously reconsider if they want the esrstwhile Reform party representing them. It would be refreshing if there was a rebalancing within the Conservative party to realign away from the Reform agenda as it’s been represented by Harper.

  • Matt M

    @Matt Johnson “province of Toronto”, WTF?!?!

    Looks like they’re will actually be a reason to watch election coverage tonight!

  • Cezar

    We must change the electoral system.

    I can’t understand why we don’t have a second vote between the first 2 candidates in the ridings where the first candidate have less than 50%. It would be no need for swap.
    For instance now, most of the cons who “win” without a majority would not pass a second round of vote against the second ranked candidate of the fist round.
    The actual system is only half-democratic. It seem we forgot what democracy means, that the majority should decide.

    The democracy is not about “wining” it’s about “MAJORITY”. Normally, for a party being in the first place with less than 50% of the votes doesn’t mean much. It only means they have more chances to be part of a coalition who represents a majority, nothing more.
    But Harper tries to manipulate us all by sustaining that 4 > 3 + 2. Because he knows he can’t be part of a coalition.

    Why nobody asks how to change the electoral system? It would be very easy with only 2 things:
    1. A second round of vote between the first 2 candidates in the ridings where the first candidate had less than 50% after the first round (this will ensure all elected candidates were voted by more than 50% of the voters in the end).
    2. If there is no party with more than 50% of the seats, the PM should be elected by the Parliament. No need for GG here. (this will ensure the PM have the backing of more than 50% of the members of Parliament)

    This would be a truly democratic electoral system, like in some other countries.
    Having an old democracy doesn’t necessary mean having a good electoral system.

  • Number Cruncher

    With those numbers, I created a program in to see how likely the combined Liberals and NDP seats will be more than the Conservatives.

    After a million simulations …

    99.55% LIB + NDP > CON
    0.20% LIB + NDP = CON (1 in 500)
    0.25% LIB + NDP 129+17xCON%

    Hopefully, the EKO numbers are accurate and the NDP and liberals can bridge their differences and get rid of the conseratives.

  • joey

    The first thing that the ndp, liberal, and green party have to do is tackle electoral reform. Laws that were drafted were made in the 1800’s when 80% of the popl’n lived in rural ridings and 20% in urban. Those figures are in reverse now. And we need to get to some kind of proportional representation. Right now rural voters have 2.2 votes per person and the city fold only have 0.8 votes per person.

    No wonder the country folks who tend to vote for the dictatorial conservaties can get them into power.

  • Number Cruncher

    Oops, even if NDP+LIB > CON, I don’t think they can form a coalition unless they have a majority. So I did some more calculations.

    46% NDP+LIB+GRN(1) = 155+
    38% NDP+LIB = 155+

    Thus, there is a 38% NDP+LIB can win a majority and 46% that NDP+LIB+GRN can.

  • Brian

    todd, I respect your opinion, however a lot of Ontarians remember an NDP government in Ontario that ran us far into debt. I do respect Layton for his ideas, but there is a HUGE cost involved in what he’s proposing and that money has to come from somewhere. As for those who have been complaining about manipulations of information and below the adevrtizing in the campaign, you obviosly are confused with the adds you have been watching because there has been more of that with the Liberals and NDP that the Conservatives. Most of there adds have been pretty calm. They could have done a lot with regards to the Liberal record (Martin , Chretien, Etc…) if the wanted to bash.

  • MO

    As much as I like the idea I can’t see the NDP over 100. If they are then I hope the Libs are over 50 and an agreement to work together in some fashion can be done without the Bloc.

  • Kevin Longfield

    If your projection is accurate, the only possible outcome is a Conservative minority government with the NDP forming the official opposition. This means that the Conservative’s third attempt at a majority will fall short, this time with fewer seats.
    This is a very bad scenario for the Conservatives; worse, I would argue, than for the Liberals. Why? It would mean that their support has peaked, and in coming elections a new dynamic would be in place. In this dynamic, the NDP would be seen as the government-in-waiting, and the alternative would be the Liberals, unless this election puts them in Kim Campbell territory. The Conservatives will be soul-searching, and possibly searching for a new leader (anyone on the horizon?). The Liberals, on the other hand, show signs of emerging from the wilderness.

  • Paul Kennedy

    I am expecting a Conservative result of 140 seats or less and with that I would be well pleased. Good luck to the NDP. Harper performed in his campaign as his party has governed; the less said the better. Ignatieff’s nadir was failing to condemn the story about Layton’s massage. In any case, I’ve appreciated Ekos’ blog and am hoping that they will prove to be more accurate than their colleagues. Should Layton find himself governing this country within six months, I might begin to take some pride in this country.

  • Some of you still cling to the outdated view that former Reform Party members will cause the sky to fall. In the real world of the twenty-first century … the sky has not fallen, in fact we have done very well relative to the rest of the world through the recession. It seems there are essentially 2 types of voter: the givers and the takers. The takers, who now outnumber the givers, have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads as Jack Layton’s surge occurs. In reality, the takers will bankrupt the givers and we’ll all sink into bankruptcy if Layton has a major influence in the way our country runs. His own background is one of living on the public purse for decades, and in subsidized housing.

  • Willy

    If the NDP were to have the gains predicted here, it may very well come down to the youth (>25) vote. Historically low (i think around 37% last election) if this number were to climb to at or above National average, it is very possible to see the orange wave crest at 100 seats. Still expect to see a Conservative minority at somewhere between 130 and 140 seats, as they seem to have a solid base of entrenched voters (polls steady at between 36 and 41 throughout the last few years) but if Ontario can somehow be convinced of NDP and switch the left vote from Lib, then this thing will be quite exciting. Maybe we see an increase in voter turnout a la the 2008 American election, with similarly historic results.

  • Kevin Aubie

    Tonight is the beginning of the end of right wing rule in Canada,
    the beginning of the end of Canadian facism and the beginning of the end of Stephen Harper.

    I look forward to his parliamentary demotion. I will take such delight in seeing such an unethical politician removed from office.

    Bye bye Bush jr.

  • VoteNOTCons

    I saw a very telling poll awhile back. It showed that 20% of Canadians have no interst in politics. I wish another poll was done to see if this number has actually dropped. If you think of the 20% who area interested, they are all committed to all the parties in someway. This leaves 80% of the population to decide on a government that they really know nothing or little of proof is in in one of these replies: i.e. province of Toronto? Many are still thinking there is a PC party federally? Some believe the Tories run surpluses, etc. I know voting is not mandatory here, considering the knowledge people have of parties, that is a good thing, nor is their a test to see if you are of sound mind to be given a ballot. In a possible tight race between majority and minority, every riding is in play, every vote is in play, and this may all be decided on mistruths and hyperbole. The ABC or strategic voting that maybe going through peoples minds may or may not work today. Will everyone go out and vote, I hope so. Will we have a Harper majority government, I hope not. Will we have a Harper/Bloc coalition government, I would expect that would be a just ending to a government that warned against one. After all, saying the Liberals would TAX income trusts if they were elected and Harper doing exactly that himself, shows what he warns against is what he wants for himself.

  • Plynnk

    Why are we not angrier and more frightened by the way the conservatives comport themselves? Quite apart from their appalling decisions – among them, to continue to sell the carcinogenic asbestos to third world countries when it is banned in Canada, and to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood – their stranglehold on political dissent, barring the door at rallies and events to anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them, is reminiscent of fascist governments. Canadians: please don’t give see thugs a majority!

  • Dave Lindhorst

    I don’t see why people are so concerned an NDP government would over spend. We just had the largest deficit in the history of our country under the Conservatives. I for one am tired of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. At least with the NDP (whom I have never voted for in a federal election) we have a chance at change and I have not been happy with the last 10 governments in this country.

  • Janice

    This election will bring Canada into the modern age politically. Even without proportional representation (which Layton should have at the top of his priority list), European politics is often shaped by a Conservative – Social Democrat dualism. Liberals and Green Parties can then be king makers. With PR systems, Greens are and have been both junior and most recently in some German states, senior coalition partners. Won’t it be nice to have Canada get out of the childish sandbox politics and into the real world of grown-up cooperative politics.

  • Derek

    Joey, rural people may have more votes than urban people but that is because largely rural Maritimers, and Northerners, and somewhat rural Quebec. I welcome some kind of reform where Albertans, British Columbians and Ontarians would have the ability to vote in more “dictatorial” Conservative representatives.

  • Hamish Wilson

    Well, we will see how this turns out, but I am for one hoping that these results are fairly accurate and we will not see a Conservative majority. Regardless, the rise of the NDP I do not see going away and we may finally have real change in government. It will be also interesting to see if the NDP can finally allow Quebec to actually contribute something real to national policy again. And I am saying that as a rural Albertan. Whatever happens, this should be interesting.

  • Marc W

    If these predictions hold it will be a grand day for the nation. For the few concerned about NDP economic record in ON remember that the deep global recession during the early 90’s was an unfortunate and unavoidable circumstance..one that the NDP dealt with bravely.

    Rae had the backbone to take on public unions ,negotiated many successful employee buyouts of reprobate corporations, resolved the Sunday shopping question, established the Environmental Bill of Rights, established the Rouge Park, strenghened education, initated positive planning reforms etc.

    The best result would be an NDP majority.

  • Al

    Brilliant work Mr. Graves. It is good to see that you’ll finally get some recognition for your fantastically accurate polling. Breathtaking!

    Al

  • PJ

    Ekos polling was quite discrepant from the election results — almost 10% underestimation of the Tory vote. Nanos was closest, similar to the last election.

  • torgerl

    Nice work EKOS. Wow, bang on. NOT

  • Kenq

    Your poll was in error by substantially more than the margin of error.

  • Gi Sung Nam

    Come on, Franky. Your poll is way off!!! You were laughing at the Compass polls, but look who’s laughing now.

  • Ekos has traditionally been low on the Conservative results, and this time around was no exception. In 2008, Ekos missed the Tory numbers by 3%, so I took their final prediction, boosted the CPC numbers by 3% in each region, and reduced each of the other three parties by 1%.

    My prediction, based on mapping the changes in support to each riding in eachbgeographic area was:

    (Actual election results in parentheses)

    Conservative: 159 (167)
    New Democrat: 114 (102)
    Liberal: 29 (34)
    Bloc: 6 (4)
    Green: 0 (1)

    Given the margin of error of the methodology, and also given the fact that boosting CPC support by 3% was an educated guess, I think I was pretty close. Also, I checked my individual riding predictions, and found I was right 81% of the time!

    Can I call it, or can I call it? ;)

  • I went to bed May 1st feeling excited about voting day and really believing that for the first time in my life we might get an NDP government, although I voted Liberal in my riding because my vote was ABC.
    I was so dissappointed I cried.

  • TheVorlon

    Your poll was very wrong.

    Why?

  • Frank, thanx for your seat projections during the campaign. We’ve added all 14 2011 model results to the 2004/2006/2008 Scoreboard @ http://www.trendlines.ca/free/elections/Canada/electcanada.htm