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EKOS Seat Projection

Special thanks go to Earl Washburn who was the principal investigator in creating this seat forecast.

[Ottawa – June 7, 2018] It’s that time again, it’s election day! And as we did in the last federal election, we are going to be bold and once again do a seat-by-seat prediction of today’s provincial election in Ontario. In our 2015 forecast, we got more seats correct than any publicly available projection model or prediction, and we are hoping to replicate that again for this election. However, predicting elections is often a fool’s game and if polling is wildly off, we will be too.

This election brings forth a whole new dynamic to doing seat predictions, as we haven’t seen the NDP this competitive in Ontario since 1990, and we haven’t seen the Liberals polling this low since the 1920s. All this to say, some of our predictions below are not done with the greatest amount of confidence, but we think our experience in this field will at least get us in the ball park of the actual results.

After crunching the numbers, it looks clear that the Progressive Conservatives will win a majority government. They have a narrow lead in the popular vote and, thanks to a beneficial vote distribution, will in all likelihood win a large majority of the seats. Our numbers show the Tory vote is strong in the rural parts of Ontario and in the seat-rich 905 region, where Liberal and NDP vote splits will allow the PCs to win many seats with just 40-50 per cent of the vote. Much of the NDP vote looks to be inefficient, as they will get 20-30 per cent of the vote in many of the ridings, losing most of them. Much of the NDP vote will also be concentrated in urban areas across the province and in most of Northern Ontario, areas where the Tories will receive very few votes.

For the Liberals, it is likely that their vote share will be the lowest since the 1920s, and perhaps the lowest ever. Their seat share may also be their lowest ever, and they are at risk of losing official seat status at Queen’s Park. Our prediction has them winning five seats but, in reality, they could win a few more than that. It is hard to predict which Liberal incumbents have enough personal popularity to fend off their PC and NDP opponents. There may be a few surprises in this department on election night.

In making this prediction, the hardest seats to predict were mostly concentrated in two regions: Brampton and Scarborough, areas with five and six seats, respectively. Both suburbs have a high visible minority population that may be attracted to Ford’s brand of populism or the NDP’s brand of social democracy. Both regions are usually swept by the Liberals (which has traditionally made predictions there quite easy) but, unless we are missing something, this will clearly not be the case this time. Scarborough is a notorious swing area and backed Ford in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election. However, there is evidence that both the NDP and Liberals are competitive there. In Brampton, which has a high South Asian population, it is possible that the coattails of federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will help sweep the party across the city. However, our numbers show a close race between the PCs and the NDP there. An important caveat for both regions is that the response rate among these would-be voters tends to be lower than the general population, so picking up on how they will vote will be very tricky.

Our final projected seat tallies are as follows:

PC

NDP

LIBERAL

GREEN

OTHER

73

45

5

1

0

Riding-by-riding forecasts:

We have provided footnotes in races that we think will be seats to watch on election night.

NORTHERN ONTARIO

FORECAST

Algoma—Manitoulin

NDP

Kenora—Rainy River(1)

PC

Kiiwetinoong

NDP

Mushkegowuk—James Bay

NDP

Nickel Belt

NDP

Nipissing

PC

Sault Ste. Marie(2)

PC

Sudbury

NDP

Thunder Bay—Atikokan(3)

NDP

Thunder Bay—Superior North(4)

NDP

Timiskaming—Cochrane

NDP

Timmins

NDP

  1. With NDP MPP Sarah Campbell not running for re-election, former Tory MP Greg Rickford takes on NDP challenger Glen Archer. Rickford won Kenora against the orange wave in 2011 and can do it again in what might be the only NDP seat to go down tonight.
  2. PC MPP Ross Romano is taking on NDP challenger Michele McCleave-Kennedy. Romano won the seat in a by-election last June and has secured the endorsement of the United Steelworkers, which should help him win re-election.
  3. Liberal MPP Bill Mauro faces a tough challenge from NDP candidate Judith Monteith-Farrell. Mauro is very popular, but with the Liberals polling at 10% in the North, the Liberals will be hard-pressed to retain this seat.
  4. Liberal MPP Michael Gravelle is facing a tough challenge from the NDP in Lise Vaugeois. Again, with the Liberals polling so poorly in the north, it will be hard for Gravelle to win.

SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO

FORECAST

Chatham-Kent—Leamington(5)

PC

Elgin—Middlesex—London

PC

Essex

NDP

Huron—Bruce

PC

Lambton—Kent—Middlesex

PC

London—Fanshawe

NDP

London North Centre(6)

NDP

London West(7)

NDP

Oxford

PC

Perth—Wellington

PC

Sarnia—Lambton(8)

PC

Windsor—Tecumseh

NDP

Windsor West

NDP

  1. PC MPP Rick Nicholls is facing a tough challenge from NDP candidate Jordan McGrail. Our internal polling shows this as a dead head, but with Nicholls having the edge.
  2. With Liberal MPP Deb Matthews not running for re-election, this seat has opened up for a race between former Conservative MP Susan Truppe and NDP candidate Terence Kernaghan. It looks like Kernaghan has the edge here.
  3. NDP incumbent Peggy Sattler is facing off against controversial PC candidate Andrew Lawton in this normal Liberal-PC swing riding. Sattler’s popularity should be the key to winning re-election.
  4. PC incumbent Bob Bailey is facing a steep challenge from NDP candidate Kathy Alexander. This riding has been fools’ gold for the NDP in recent elections and may prove so again this time.

GRAND RIVER VALLEY

FORECAST

Brantford—Brant(9)

NDP

Cambridge(10)

NDP

Guelph(11)

GREEN

Haldimand—Norfolk

PC

Kitchener Centre

NDP

Kitchener—Conestoga(12)

NDP

Kitchener South—Hespeler(13)

NDP

Waterloo

NDP

Wellington—Halton Hills

PC

  1. With Liberal MPP Dave Levac not running for re-election, this seat will be a free-for-all between NDP candidate Alex Felsky and PC candidate Will Bourma. Our internals show Felsky is on top.
  2. Liberal MPP Kathryn McGarry will be facing a challenge from both the PCs in Belinda Karahalios and the New Democrats in Marjorie Knight. It’s hard to ignore the large lead the NDP has in this region. They should pick this one up.
  3. Liberal MPP Liz Sandals is not running for re-election, opening this seat up for a real horse race. The Liberals don’t have a shot here, but Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is running in this seat. The Greens have put all of their eggs into this one basket, and should consolidate enough of the Liberal and progressive vote to come out on top against PC candidate Ray Gerraro and NDP candidate Aggie Mlynarz.
  4. There has been a lot of controversy and confusion in this riding. Former PC MPP Michael Harris is not running for re-election after being embroiled in a scandal. Running for the PCs is another man named Mike Harris (Jr), the son of former Premier Mike Harris. Confused yet? Mike Harris Jr is facing some heat of his own and faces off against NDP candidate Kelly Dick. Our numbers show Dick in the lead.
  5. This seat looks to be a 3-way fight between Liberal Surekha Shenoy, Tory Amy Fee, and NDP Fitz Vanderpool, a former pro boxer. With the NDP way ahead in the region, they should win this seat which has flown under the radar.

HAMILTON / NIAGARA

FORECAST

Flamborough—Glanbrook

PC

Hamilton Centre

NDP

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

NDP

Hamilton Mountain

NDP

Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas(14)

NDP

Niagara Centre

NDP

Niagara Falls

NDP

Niagara West

PC

St. Catharines(15)

NDP

  1. Liberal incumbent Ted McMeekin faces off against PC challenger Ben Levitt and NDP candidate Sandy Shaw. Our numbers show Shaw is ahead.
  2. Long time Liberal MPP Jim Bradley may have finally met his match in this election against challengers Sandie Bellows of the PCs and Jennie Stevens of the NDP. Our numbers show Stevens in the lead.

GEORGIAN BAY

FORECAST

Barrie—Innisfil

PC

Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte

PC

Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound

PC

Dufferin—Caledon

PC

Parry Sound—Muskoka

PC

Simcoe—Grey

PC

Simcoe North

PC

York—Simcoe

PC

HALTON / PEEL

FORECAST

Brampton Centre(16)

NDP

Brampton East

NDP

Brampton North(17)

PC

Brampton South

PC

Brampton West(18)

PC

Burlington

PC

Milton

PC

Mississauga Centre

PC

Mississauga East—Cooksville

PC

Mississauga—Erin Mills

PC

Mississauga—Lakeshore

PC

Mississauga—Malton

PC

Mississauga—Streetsville

PC

Oakville

PC

Oakville North—Burlington

PC

  1. In this open race, PC candidate Harjit Jaswal takes on NDP candidate Sara Singh. Brampton is pretty hard to poll, but we think Singh will win in a squeaker.
  2. Liberal MPP Harinder Malhi faces PC candidate Ripudaman Dhillon and NDP candidate Kevin Yarde. It is possible that Malhi and Yarde split the anti-PC vote and let Dhillon win.
  3. Liberal MPP Vic Dhillon faces PC candidate Amarjot Sandhu and NDP candidate Jagroop Singh. Again, Dhillon may split the anti-PC vote with Singh and allow Sandhu to win.

YORK / DURHAM

FORECAST

Ajax

PC

Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill

PC

Durham(19)

NDP

King—Vaughan

PC

Markham—Stouffville

PC

Markham—Thornhill

PC

Markham—Unionville

PC

Newmarket—Aurora

PC

Oshawa

NDP

Pickering—Uxbridge

PC

Richmond Hill

PC

Thornhill

PC

Vaughan—Woodbridge

PC

Whitby(20)

PC

  1. Liberal MPP Granville Anderson takes on PC MPP Lindsey Park and NDP MPP Joel Usher. Our numbers show Usher has the lead.
  2. PC MPP Lorne Coe faces a surprising challenge from NDP candidate Niki Lundquist. This may be the surprise of the night as our numbers have shown the NDP ahead here. However, the Tories have seen a bump in the polls in the last few days which should just be enough to win this seat.

OUTER TORONTO

FORECAST

Don Valley East(21)

LIBERAL

Don Valley North

PC

Etobicoke Centre

PC

Etobicoke North

PC

Etobicoke—Lakeshore(22)

PC

Humber River—Back Creek(23)

NDP

Scarborough Centre(24)

PC

Scarborough North

PC

Scarborough Southwest

NDP

Scarborough—Agincourt

PC

Scarborough—Guildwood(25)

PC

Scarborough—Rouge Park

PC

Willowdale

PC

York Centre

PC

  1. Liberal MPP Michael Coteau faces a challenge from PC candidate and city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong and NDP candidate Khalid Ahmed. Coteau had the highest share of the vote for any Liberal in outer Toronto in 2014, so he may be their last MPP standing in the region.
  2. Liberal MPP Peter Milczyn takes on PC candidate Christine Hogarth and NDP candidate Phil Trotter. Hogarth should come up the middle as Milczyn and Trotter split the vote.
  3. Liberal MPP Mario Sergio is retiring, leaving this normally safe Liberal seat open to a 3-way race. Denana Sgro (daughter of MP Judy Sgro) is the Liberal candidate and is taking on the PC’s Cyma Musarat and the NDP’s Tom Rakocevic. This is a tough race to call, but it could go NDP, as Rakocevic builds on his impressive 2014 run.
  4. Liberal MPP Brad Duguid is retiring and leaving this seat open to a three way fight between Liberal candidate Mazhar Shafiq, PC candidate Christina Mitas and NDP candidate Zeyd Bismilla. This is a very tough call, but we think the PCs may have the edge due to Ford’s popularity in Scarborough.
  5. Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter is taking on PC candidate Roshan Nallarantnam, who is currently under police investigation. This fact will make the riding close, but may not sway enough voters for this riding to stay red. It will be close though, and Hunter may benefit from a near non-existent NDP campaign.

CENTRAL TORONTO

FORECAST

Beaches—East York

NDP

Davenport

NDP

Don Valley West(26)

LIBERAL

Eglinton—Lawrence(27)

PC

Parkdale—High Park

NDP

Spadina—Fort York(28)

NDP

Toronto Centre(29)

NDP

Toronto—St. Paul’s(30)

LIBERAL

Toronto—Danforth

NDP

University—Rosedale(31)

NDP

York South—Weston(32)

NDP

  1. Can Premier Kathleen Wynne win her own riding? We think she can, but she’s facing a tough fight from PC candidate Jon Kieran.
  2. Liberal MPP Michael Colle takes on PC candidate Robin Martin in what looks to be a close race. The NDP surge may take away too many votes from Colle, allowing Martin to win this seat that is not that favourable to Fordnation.
  3. This riding will be a strict Liberal-NDP fight between incumbent Grit MPP Han Dong and NDP challenger Chris Glover. We’re seeing the NDP wave come on strong in central Toronto, and this seat will be swept up.
  4. This riding has never gone NDP before, but looks to be a slam dunk for the NDP’s Suze Morrison who is facing off against Liberal David Morris.
  5. St. Paul’s is often considered one of the safest Liberal seats in the province, but this time it’s an open seat, and could be a three-way race between the Liberal’s Jess Spindler, the PC’s Andrew Kirsch, and the NDP’s Jill Andrew. We’re seeing the Liberals hold on to this one.
  6. Some suggest this open seat is a three-way race, but we’re seeing the NDP’s Jessica Bell winning this against the Liberal’s Jo-Ann Davis. Perhaps the Tories can finish second if the Liberals fall to rock bottom here.
  7. This riding is usually a Liberal-NDP race, but Ford is popular here, making this seat a three-way fight between Liberal incumbent Laura Albanese, PC candidate Mark DeMontis, and the NDP’s Faisal Hassan. We feel the NDP has the narrow edge here.

EAST & CENTRAL ONTARIO

FORECAST

Bay of Quinte

PC

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell

PC

Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock

PC

Hastings—Lennox and Addington

PC

Kingston and the Islands(33)

NDP

Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston

PC

Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

PC

Northumberland—Peterborough South

PC

Peterborough—Kawartha(34)

NDP

Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke

PC

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry

PC

  1. Liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala is facing a tough challenge against the NDP’s Ian Arthur. This should be super close, but it looks like Arthur has the edge.
  2. This bellwether riding has voted for the leading party in the province since 1977, but this year we expect that might change. Our numbers show Liberal MPP Jeff Leal trailing the NDP’s Sean Conway and the PC’s Dave Smith.

OTTAWA

FORECAST

Carleton

PC

Kanata—Carleton

PC

Nepean

PC

Orléans

PC

Ottawa Centre(35)

NDP

Ottawa South(36)

LIBERAL

Ottawa—Vanier

LIBERAL

Ottawa West—Nepean(37)

PC

  1. Popular Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi is facing the challenge of his political life against NDP candidate Joel Harden, who has faced controversy for being an open socialist. That shouldn’t hurt him in this progressive-leaning riding. It looks like Harden should take this.
  2. For the first time ever, both the polls and pundits think that it will be a three-way race in this riding between Liberal MPP John Fraser, PC candidate and former city councillor Karin Howard, and NDP challenger Eleanor Fast. Polls are usually wrong when it comes to this riding though, so we’ll go with our gut and predict a Liberal win.
  3. Also for the first time ever, this riding looks to be a three-way race between Liberal MPP Bob Chiarelli, PC candidate Jeremy Roberts, and NDP candidate Chandra Pasma. This riding is often a bellwether, though, so the Roberts should come up the middle and win this seat.

13 comments to EKOS Seat Projection

  • Mike

    The labels on “East & Central Ontario” and “Central Toronto” are reversed.

  • NotFrom Toronto

    That’s quite the ego Toronto has developed. Now its calling itself Central Ontario.

  • sterling b Campbell

    As a former Liberal MPP from Sudbury who experienced first hand the change in political fortunes I’m saddened but realizing that the best before date can lead to a much needed revitalization.

  • Jax

    RE: Ottawa South projection. Just curious what went into that “gut” feeling? E.g. was it the gut feeling of one person or a team? I live in that riding and it feels so uncertain.

    • Earl Washburn

      Hello, I live in Ottawa South… it has gone Liberal for a long time both provincially and federally and it survived conservative majority governments before. But also, I know from experience that polling in the riding usually over estimates conservative support, and since it is so close, I figure that means the Liberals are ahead. The only caveat is with the NDP doing so much better than they normally do in the riding, it may make things a bit trickier to predict. We’ll see!

  • IM

    It is quite surprising that Southern and Northern Ontario is doubling down on their leftist vote. You would think they would notice how leftist policies, high energy costs, high taxes and high regulations have gutted the manufacturing economy there.

    I think we could see some surprises in southwest, particularly Essex and London.

  • Steve Burton

    Congratulations EKOS… It looks like you nailed it pretty closely… You said

    PCs NDP Liberals Green Other
    73 45 5 1 0

    It looks reality is: (with a few more to go):
    75 39 7 1. 0

    Of course with Wynne resigning her seat will be up for grabs again and perhaps the NDP can swing it next time.

  • Richard T

    Congratulations on an insightful and surprisingly close set of predictions. I volunteered for Robin Martin in Eglinton Lawrence and I did honestly think we would win since as you said Ford was anathema to the eastern part of the riding.

    • Richard T

      Robin Martin is a gem of a candidate and worked tirelessly for years. She deserved this. Her mother died penniless last year and Robin had to help her with her hydro bills the last few years.

  • Matt

    Stupid question:

    Would there be any way to figure out what the seat distribution would have looked like under the old electoral boundries?

    Just curious to see what those results would look like.

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