Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Ontario Election

When the Ontario election was called I believed that it was Tim Hudak's to lose.

Up to this point it appears he is doing just that.

The sense that the people of Ontario want a change is palpable.  It was not just evident in the recent polls saying as much it was evident in many other ways as well.  So it is unexpected that such a sentiment has not become evident by manifesting itself as ever decreasing support for the Ontario Liberals.  In fact, all of the polls that have been published in the last couple of weeks show the Liberals gaining strength not losing it.  Even Ipsos, which has consistently indicated that the PCPO leads the OLP has shown that lead shrink from a substantial one to one that is within the margin of error.  Other polls that showed the Liberals leading are indicating they are holding steady or even increasing the gap.

Incidentally, that is how you interpret the polls.  Ignore the actual estimates as they are all over the place due to different polling methodologies.  Instead look at the delta between polls from the same company to discern a trend.  When you do that you see what I described above.

This is remarkable with only 10 days left in the campaign.  Some would say that the reason is the voters are not paying attention but considering the desire for change that seems apparent that should not matter.  If a pollster calls me and asks me who I am going to vote for and I happen to be one of those people who want change I have a perfect opportunity to tell someone what kind of change I am looking for.  If 75% of Ontarians are indicating they want change it stands to reason that a pollster is going to have a proportional number of respondents who feel that way in their polling sample.  Therefore, we should be seeing that manifest itself in the horse race numbers by now.

That has not happened yet so either the high desire for change that polls have been indicating since before the election call are wrong or people are looking at what kind of change is available and not liking it.  That is not without precedent in the recent past, as the recent BC election demonstrates.

There are still 10 days before e-day so we could see that shift yet but it is interesting that it has not yet happened and that in fact there may be some evidence that the opposite is happening


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