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Tightening BC Race Sees NDP with Narrow but Significant Lead with Likely Voters

[Ottawa – May 13, 2013] – As the British Columbia provincial election draws to a close, we see a considerably narrower race as voters head to the polls. We have created a model of most likely voters and the results are shown below. This model basically removes those who did not vote in the 2009 BC Election, as well as those who did the 2011 federal election, as our research has shown that these individuals tend to continue to not vote. We have also excluded those who could not recall where their polling station is located (for similar reasons).

Based on these adjustments, we see the NDP with a 6-point lead over the Liberals (40.5 to 34.5). The Greens, meanwhile, receive 13.0 per cent, the BC Conservatives are sitting at 9.3 per cent, and “other” are at 2.7 per cent.

This group of “Likely Voters” is drawn from a larger sample of all eligible voters. Looking at all eligible voters, the margin is somewhat closer at 4.6 per cent in favour of the NDP.

In looking at whether one actually shows up at the polling station, it is interesting to note that both the NDP (92.4 per cent) and Liberals (90.7 per cent) are very likely to know where their polling station is located (for all other parties, the numbers are in the lows 70s). Also, when we look at ‘enthusiasm’, we see a huge advantage for the NDP. About 70 per cent of all NDP supporters are very enthusiastic about their choice, a number which drops to around 40 per cent for all other parties. This suggests a possible turnout advantage for the NDP.

Finally, the demographics show the Liberals have a very large gender split and have large overrepresentations of males, non-Canadian born, and college educated. NDP representation is more demographically balanced and the Green Party does very well with the university educated.

Given these results, it is very difficult to predict a seat forecast or even whether we will be looking at a majority or minority government on May 14th. It does appear, however, that the NDP will win the popular vote and will most likely form government. This result, however, is by no means certain.

In the aftermath, we will provide further analysis of some of the techniques that we applied to this race. These include some methods for eliminating random and mischievous respondents from the sample and testing to optimize the proper number of callbacks. We also collected some external benchmarks of representativeness to gauge the correspondence of the sample to the broader population.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (May 13, 2013)

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