Is the NDP collapsing just as election season begins?
It's a little like waiting for the other shoe to drop. If the precise timing of dropping that shoe was being debated in media and political circles and was being strategized about in the back rooms and the corridors of power in ottawa stephanie plan a researcher of canadian politics at the university of ottawa believes leaves the liberals want voters to settle down after heading back to work following summer vacations so the prime minister might not drop the writ until closer to september fifteenth deadline short of the timeframe the shorter sorted a sprint the faster he can get messaging and his team out there it might seem as if the past few months have been an endless cycle of polls and and predictions and reaction to them and people scratching their chins and wondering what it all means but really we haven't even started yet as soon as the writ drops the polls will come daily and they will come from everywhere. Some of those polls will be bang on some of them absolutely will not be that will will apply equally to analysis of them so rather than try to dig into which polls or good and which are bad and who's got it right. We will take a more scientific approach when factor all of those numbers together what stands out what is just noise leaving out these screaming weekly headlines what has actually shifted in the canadian political landscape the summer and if you happen to be a normal person with a job and a life outside of the election bubble. What do you really need to pay attention to over the next couple of months. I'm jordan heath rawlings and this is the big story for leif j -fornia models canada's elections at three thirty eight candidate dot com and mcclain's dot c._a. Okay so felipe. We talk to you way back in like eight pro. What what have you seen shift in your projection model since then yeah well actually plenty <hes> within the last time we talked together jordan <hes> do the conservatives were way ahead because mostly because of the eleven story and jodie wilson bulte just announced that she would be an independent tentative as well <hes> along with jane field and so back in april and may the the conservatives held a four to six point lead on average and uphold and they were heading to a victory and then well summer happened never happened and it seems like the conservatives wasted an opportunity especially you know -tario in quebec to grow their base into <hes> to to inflate their the numbers but we have seen several polls from professional firms and just read lazy episodes and all these guys <hes> we're on the field this summer and they showed <hes> especially antero <hes> the the liberals gaining ground back and conservative sniffing <hes> and so right now in the popular vote projection we have a statistical mystical tie but just go by means of most likely liberal win because there's so many votes concentrated conservative in alberta ah but it inflates their <hes> their their popular vote number but it does not increase their seat count <hes> and so right now. I would say that the most likely scenario r._e._o. Would be <hes> liberal morality of probably a minority but it could also be majority <hes> and so where the forty nine how quickly can those things change range because <hes> you know we're all wary of polls a couple of months out of the election and to your point they just they just changed over a couple of months even when you're working with the <hes> the compilation of all the polls that are taken. How fast do those things tend to move. Well we again. We have to be careful and i know there's a lot of public mistrust about polling <hes> i would attribute that to <hes> not really understanding. What do pose do not predict the future. They're snapshots the president and <hes> usually of the recent past and so what the numbers that we have right now indicate that yes just notion is the favorite to win the election in by not that much but that's right now and so you know next week there's going to be the first debate the most likely the first debate two of the season hosted by mclane <hes> and you know it would only take one bad performance by or one really good performance by into sheer or jagmeet singh or as a bit me too who <hes> completely turned around when you're dealing with a compilation of polls like that and you know to your point you mentioned one debate. That's coming next week. How do you go about attributing. What's driving that for instance. I'm thinking <hes> <hes> of the recent s._n._c. land ethics report or maybe the liberals highlighting highlighting andrew shears past comments on gay marriage. Can you drill down into your data and try to model. What's it's driving up well. That's a very good question. Jordan and i have to tell you that insci- usually when you want to see the effect of a variable you change only lee one variable and you keep everything confident in social science and political polling that's always possible and so i'm always very very cautious <hes> to attribute causing effects to to <hes> events and pulling because we really do not know for sure <hes> you know the exception was maybe the essence eboni story because they occupied so many media cycles last winter and we saw the liberals <hes> dropping support for eight consecutive weeks after group the <hes> the story was out and so that was pretty straightforward <hes> causing effect but <hes> there the <hes> excavation report it came out on august four things i believe and we've had six or seven national goals a that was on the field they were on the field after that date and we have not seen a dent in in conservative and the liberal supports due to that it takes report so it doesn't seem to have any effect india about the well the gay marriage and social issues in the abortion story. Brooklyn story was a big story in quebec. I'm not sure how big it wasn't kinda because we've had polls on the subject lately last year pulled the canadians under under views on abortion and for instance quebec eighty five percent of bekker's feel that the abortion issue is close that issue is done and so there is is no ground to be made. There is no votes to be gained for the conservatives. <hes> you know touring the country talking about abortion but there's plenty of grounds to be made by the liberals talking about the conservatives talking about abortion rights and so so the straightforward called an effect. I'm very careful with that. Let that's for sure that the past few weeks have not been good friend. Who's here i think for him. He has a lot of time to <hes> to get get back up. One of the reasons we like talking. Hugh is because you're you're not focused just on the national polls although those play you know those play a role in voting intentions. What have you seen recently in the regional polls. <hes> that really stands out to you when you're putting into your model. There's been some very interesting local numbers. I would start with my home province. If you don't mind <hes> in quebec with was really interesting is that when the instead of story occurred in henry voting intentions in cuba it was the only place in china where voting intentions pretty much remained stable walk the liberal gain didn't gain but it didn't really lose either <hes> and we started conservative plan but a few points but it was you know at the expense of the fact that there's still a lot of undecided and it was always within the margin of error but in quebec devoting attention is reading move except for the book the big low who <hes> you know they they had a new leader and so again a few points but outside of that we saw we saw changes in canada. Canada was all liberal was already for years ago <hes> but when we look at the numbers now well liberals are still in front but it's not dominating lead like it wasn't two thousand fifteen and so they should lose a few the in that region especially in new brunswick but again you know and i know it's a it's a not shea but unfair you well on -tario has the most seats you can has the highest population and so it's gonna be a battleground especially in the suburbs of toronto. The nine five area has about thirty districts and <hes>. I took my numbers. Just this sunday out of those thirty districts nineteen are either toss ups or leaning and so so def the election action right there. You know it's a it's a new one <hes> fourteen sikh-majority in two thousand fourteen and nineteen puff up seats in the in the nine. Oh five so if let's say conservatives do a little better than we think and the win most of those <hes> you could see well a very diminished a liberal <hes> in government or you could see the rose host outright losing power so every every <hes> always on the table alberta saskatchewan did not move much <hes>. We know that the conservatives are very popular here. <hes> i had a few <hes> readers from alberto saying well. We wanna know we're looking. Curative wins thirty three seats or thirty four so radius question right now. That's the question right now and i'll verte finally if we go out with british prime yeah <hes> well the rural parts of the of the should be mostly conservative <hes> vancouver. We'll be a battle between the liberals and the ep would degrees. Maybe playing spoilers <hes> and the vancouver island should be very interesting not necessarily for who who gets to win power <hes> but <hes> the green party well their you know their numbers are really good on vancouver island in dr seven districts there so they should be in good position mm to make few games there. What surprised me most was the m._v._p. Numbers <hes> the m._v._p. Antonio is down in quebec is getting wiped out <hes>. It's not doing well on twenty canada and so when we look at the counter the m._v._p. They won forty four seats for years ago and now they would be lucky to get a third of that right now. Really how it's it's. It's <hes> it's you know in the numbers could be wrong by a few points and of course i wouldn't adjust when new numbers but right now. It's really looking good i was. I was told by a reader that really notice that right now. The block is expected to win more seats than the m._v._p. That was my next question is is you mentioned the block a little bit and you mentioned mentioned the surprising performance <hes> by the greens especially out west the last time we talked <hes> people were flocking to the greens or at least more than they had been because <hes> <hes> climate change was an issue that was clearly rising in the polls has that continued where are they right now and and how much of a spoiler could they play well. That's a very good the question the the green party well the search that they had been spring weather mother search but it was a real surge we saw them go from five to six percents all the way to ten to twelve percents but but it's stalled there <hes> they seem to have hit the ceiling and their numbers <hes> and i. I can't really tell you why other than the fact that's right now. Since since the <hes> the vote <hes> projections so close in canada at some point those voters will maybe they okay so if we if we vote green maybe we'll real happening electing a conservative or liberal government and so they'll have to take a decision because of our voting system you know the first-past-the-post. You have to make a decision if you vote both for third party then have a chance to win. You're writing. You may have a worse option. <hes> in your mind of course <hes> nothing which one is worse when it better but if we look at the the regionals for you the the green party of canada well we know that there are doing well and be as i mentioned around the sixteen to seventeen percent percent on average n._b._c. and elsewhere in the country well there at the <hes> the ten percent threshold pretty much everywhere <hes> eight percents albert seven percents something breweries thirteen percent antics <hes> so that enough to win new seats outside of vancouver island. I am not too sure the numbers don't suggest that's-that's let's <hes> let's say for instance we take fredericton <hes> there should be a very close race between the liberals and the conservative <hes>. Let's say they split that in the middle with maybe twenty eight to thirty percent each yes we could see a green party just go in between and and and and squeaker victory there <hes> expert green surge well then percent is good for their sender but it doesn't win you and you see what are the chances and maybe i shouldn't the asking scientist for to speculate on the chances but if the end ep claps continues and the green stay where they are. What are we talking about in terms of balance of power when you say one of the likely scenarios is a minority government. Well allow me to take to put on my <hes> political the analyst hat for a second <hes>. Let's say we have a minority liberal government and let's say as you said the collapses to. Maybe maybe ten or twelve well. I is it possible for jackie sing to remain m._v._p. Leader if you leave the party to the worst result in twenty five years well i if you hold the balance of power well. He could make a case that he should pay <hes> but <hes> it's gonna be very hard if those numbers translate into ballot boxes on october twenty first for the m._v._p. Maybe i do not see how jackie remains dp leader and so <laughter> for the green party well. They're expected to win five or six seats <hes> so ah delivered to hold about power the liberals would have to be very close to that the majority so you know. We have not seen coalition coalition in this country since piano. I did it in nineteen seventy three. I was not alive and i'm pretty darn sure that you're gonna live either and so sure culture of coalition is is ingrained in in the <hes> in the political science in canada so we'll have to wait and see but <hes> <hes> <hes> if let's say for instance with the greens and the m._v._p. Say we will support your government but we want. Electoral reform will liberals do right <hes>. That's that's. That's a fair question but if i were to liberal though just tell them well. No that's not happening and who you're going to support the conservative. They don't want to like roll <hes> reform either so they would have during the m._v._p. Would have much for by way of course if they could win. Maybe forty or fifty seats but if they're just winning a dozen and then give them let fewer bugging chips the rid is expected to be dropped in a week or less are so what changes when that happens in terms of your modeling and the work you're doing oh except that i will not sleep for the next six weeks <hes> ride. I told that on my wife weld it's gonna be fun to see you sometime time later just over but <hes> i expect a polling companies to <hes> to be on the field heavily right from the get go to see where where can stand and early in the campaign <hes> we expect a bullying firms like main street to have a daily tracker <hes> that i will follow <hes> and so i'm gonna follow maybe seven to eight maybe nine polling firms and so every day we will have new numbers i we will have to be careful to not confuse north for signal because they will be a lot of noise for sure and i'm going to be very interested to see of the debates had an attack because again four years ago you may remember we had a triple tie on top of voting intentions with multiple komo carrot stephen harper interesting for the longest time and when did numbers really started to move it was after the french debate on september twenty four so the campaign was already six or seven weeks long <hes> and we had the first debate and it was really good he had low expectations and it was really good and and from that point the end ep slowly shedded support and the liberals cruise to majority and so i'm i will be looking forward to those before and after numbers members of the of the debate for people who are going to be sort of casually following the election at least it's at least in the early weeks of the campaign. What would you suggest that they really keep an eye on because they're going to be inundated with them and it's gonna be really hard to pull out. You know what's important and what's not because i have a feeling there's a lot of noise. Oh yeah oh yeah absolutely and you may have noticed that how <hes> liberal candidate suddenly found videos event do sheer. You're saying you know we're about education gay marriage and and so there does doesn't to the public and it's fair game. I mean you know as you say those things. Just the liberals are waiting for the campaign to begin to just unleash on the conservative <hes> and the conservatives. I am sure we'll do the same for the liberal what bolsheviks also look at well. I don't wanna preach my own choir. I don't want to toot my own horn but you know if you follow only one or two polling firms you may not get the whole story and so that's why i build my website where i i all the polls and i i you know deconstruct them by regions i rate them and to explain to people what <hes> the noise is and what the uncertainty of nudges and eric because i so many comments that i have online are but injury was supposed to win and like well well yes she would've she did win. Pose measure the <hes> the popular vote so we have to remember that <hes> making a sikh projection is is really complicated and has high uncertainty <hes> d- totals that i will project on october twentieth may be different from the total that <hes> there are that are elected on the next day but you have to look at the big picture for instance in alberta <hes> in mid april. My model correctly identified eighty two out of eighty eighty seven winners which i think is great. You know i was really happy with this result. I missed only five five districts but what happened. People from those by district says well you don't. I know what you're talking about. Both bills are wrong. They were they were ninety four percent right and <hes> it's it's so we have to manage expectation. <hes> there is uncertain eighteen those numbers <hes> there's noise. That's entirely natural that the nature of bowling if you really want to have a full will noise well. That's called a new election and we can't have them every year or every week. That doesn't make sense so i you know i try to the same way i tell my students i teach my students about the scientific method i teach my students about what is uncertainty and what the fluctuations in the data. You will see a lot of noise in the data. That's my website. Is there so how frequently yeah i know you're doing weekly ones right now <hes> at mcleans and also at three thirty eight canada dot com. Will you be continuing weekly through the election or upping the frequency well number. I started daily so <hes> you're really not sleeping beeping here. No i <hes> i think a few rebels and lots of caffeine in my veins but no seriously <hes> yeah since there was the there will be so much data available <hes> as soon as it comes out. I take a look at it. See if it's serious if it's from a from renowned announce firm if the data is reliable and so i think uh put it in my motto and the every evening updated website so i invite you <hes> our listeners to go to three thirty eight ten dot com to find their districts. Every district has a very high uncertainty but <hes> if you look at the great <hes> the picture if if you look at your province or even the whole country while the tea reduces it's about maybe plus or minus four percent or a for the main party we will keep an eye on thank you very much philippe. My pleasure jordan philippe. Jay is an election monitor and a professor. He does his work at three thirty eight canada canada dot com and mcclain's dot c._a. Now is the big story you want more. At the big story podcast you can also find are brother and sister shows news on frequency podcast network dot com. You may know that this weekend marks the opening of teff in toronto and if you are feeling movies this time of year head on over and check out someone someone else's movie hosted by norm wilner. I promise to has your favorite films buried somewhere and it's backed cadillac claire bizarre does the lead producer of the big story ryan in clarkin stephanie phillips or our associate producers and nielsen is our digital editor and i'm jordan youth rawlings. Thanks for listening have a great weekend. We'll talk monday <music>.