EVIDENCE POINTS TO LONG MONDAY NIGHT NAIL-BITER
[Ottawa – October 17, 2015] We have upped our game in trying to discern the winner of what is shaping up to be a historically important federal election. We have run parallel HD-IVR and live interviewer surveys. We have significantly increased the sample size in the home stretch. We have double- and triple-checked the sample diagnostics. We have even done formal experiments with different ballot questions. Despite all of this, we still see the final outcome as very fuzzy.
Nothing is much different in this more richly resourced polling of the last couple of days. At 33.7 points, the Liberals remain statistically tied with the Conservatives who are just a fraction of a point behind at 33.3 points. At 21.9 points, the NDP is not a serious contender for the lead, but is still likely to be a major player in the next Parliament. Our two-day roll looks like our three-day roll and everything is moving within the margin of errors. At this stage, we believe that either the Liberals or the Conservatives will achieve a slender minority.
The demographic and regional variations are modest but worth noting. Quebec seems to be a pretty tight and newly fluid three- (and maybe four-) way race with the NDP holding a modest advantage. Ontario is leaning Liberal, but there are a plethora of virtually tied contests (particularly in the 905 region) that are uncertain at this stage. British Columbia is once again an uninterpretable mix of three and, in some cases, four parties.
We will be offering a seat projection tomorrow based on what we believe to be perhaps the strongest riding prediction model extant at this time.
The winner will hinge on turnout and, while predicting who will show up is a notoriously challenging task, we can offer the following predictions:
- Overall turnout will be higher than in 2011 and the higher the overall turnout, the poorer the prospects for Stephen Harper (advantage centre-left).
- The Conservatives have a highly engaged voter base and they had a slight lead in the advance polls. Older Canada is leaning strongly Conservative, they are going to vote and there are more of them than in 2011 (advantage Conservatives).
- The cellphone-only population looks like they will show up this time. Cellphone-only households make up a much bigger share of the voter population this time out and they continue to be less supportive of the Conservative Party. They have told us that they are more engaged and certain to vote than in 2011 and they appeared to show impressive participation in the advance polls (advantage centre-left).
This study involved a blended sample collected using two separate methodologies: Computer Assisted Live Interviews (CATI) and EKOS’ proprietary High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-IVR™) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households.
The figures in this report are based on a two-day rolling sample. Each day, a new day’s worth of interviewing is added and the oldest day is dropped. The field dates for this survey are October 15-16, 2015. In total, a random sample of 1,537 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey (1,105 by HD-IVR, 432 by live interviewer). The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as region, sex, age, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, region, and educational attainment to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.
Click here for the full report: Full Report (October 17, 2015)