Ontario Polling Thread - started May 20, 2014

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Pogo Pogo's picture

Just by memory, but the in the election after the Accord, didn't the NDP edge out the PC in seats (if not votes).


Pogo wrote:

Just by memory, but the in the election after the Accord, didn't the NDP edge out the PC in seats (if not votes).

Woops. Thanks for the correction. The NDP came in 2nd place in 1987 in seats and votes cast.

I'll corrected the above post.


Here’s a historical perspective of how the ONDP did in the 2014 election:

Year:  Leader:  % of the vote:  Place 

2014: Horwath: 23.7%: 3rd place.

2011: Horwath: 22.7%: 3rd place.

2007: Hampton: 16.8:% 3rd place.

2004: Hampton: 14.7%: 3rd place.

1999: Hampton: 12.6%: 3rd place.

1995: Rae: 20.6%: 3rd place.

1990: Rae: 37.6%: 1st place - Form majority government.

1987: Rae: 25.7%: 2nd place.

1985: Rae: 23.8%: 3rd place.

1981: Cassidy: 21.1%: 3rd place.

1977: Lewis: 28.0%: 3rd place.

1975: Lewis: 28.9%: 2nd place seats: 3rd place votes.

1971: Lewis: 27.1%: 3rd place.

1967: MacDonald: 25.9%: 3rd place.

1963: MacDonald: 15.5%: 3rd place.

In the 15 elections in the last 51 years, the ONDP has usually hovered around the 25% mark plus or minus 3 percentage points.. Over that time on average the NDP has garnered 23% of the vote. Interestingly, 7 of the elections prior to 2014 had a better result for the NDP than the 2014 election and 7 had a worse result. In this election it seems that the ONDP has re-established their traditional level of support that they lost during their time as government during the early 1990’s.


This is what the history of ONDP leaders looks like:

Going by this, it would seem that Horwath would have one or maybe two more elections to become premier before letting someone else take over.



It's interesting that the CCF came close to winning the 1943 provincial election.

Party               Seats               % of the Vote

PC:                    38                    35.7 %
CCF:                  34                    31.7%
OLP:                  15                    31.2



Rokossovsky wrote:

Orangutan wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

Debater wrote:

The 'higher vote share' you refer to was an increase for the NDP of 1%.  And while it's true that the NDP 'compensated' for the loss of its 3 Toronto MPP's with wins 'elsewhere' those wins were only able to be made in traditional areas of NDP strength like Windsor, Sudbury & Oshawa.  The former 2 being federal seats at the moment that they only won last night by small margins anyway.

Well in fact, for a 1% increase in popular vote, the ONDP was significantly more efficience overall considering that in the last general election they won 17 seats, this time 21.

Don't discount incumbency.  Everyone was saying Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo) were doomed to fall.  Instead, they both had decisive victories.  


The NDP increased its vote in rural Ontario, some suburban Toronto areas (Brampton and Durham region) and small/medium cities like Kingston, Sarnia and Brantford.  The NDP lost support in and around the Ottawa area, Toronto and Thunder Bay.  



They didn't significantly lose support in Toronto. Marchese basically pulled the same vote as he did last time, minus 1000 votes, a continuance of a trend that has been ongoing. What happened is that the Liberals pulled in many new votes, most likely as a result of the demographic shift over the last 10 years, mass condo construction and higher density.

Schein pulled what he did last time -200 votes, but the Liberals pulled in a candidate with solid connections in the the Portuguese community, and mobilized it to defeat Schein. Last time out the incumbent Liberal quit suddenly just as the race began and the Liberals were weak, Martins came in at the last minute.

So, their overall vote-share may be down, but they didn't seem to lose a lot of support, numerically speaking.


The NDP gained vote share in the inner suburbs of Toronto and loss support in the old City of Toronto.  


Yes. And I can't say its a bad way to go. That is where the people who really need representation by a left-wing party really live, for the most part.

Getting those people involved at the grass roots of the party, and really transforming its demand into a shape that serves their needs would be a step in the right direction, and possibly do great things for the political agenda of the party.

Lord Palmerston

Orangutan wrote:
The NDP gained vote share in the inner suburbs of Toronto and loss support in the old City of Toronto.

I'm not so sure about that.  The NDP % of the vote dropped in York South-Weston and throughout Scarborough.  It did however go up in Etobicoke North and York West.



I think the ONDP is actually well positioned to take out the PCs, in the next election, as the strategic vote of opposition to the Liberals, among the lower classes.

Lord Palmerston

Working class outer 416 "target" ridings (2014 and 2011):

Etobicoke North:  7134 / 27111 (26.3%), 5426 / 24931 (21.8%), +4.5

Scarborough Centre:  7135 / 35038 (20.4%), 6876 / 31568 (21.8%), -1.4

Scarborough-Guildwood:  5915 / 34954 (16.9%), 6194 / 31894 (19.4%), -2.5

Scarborough-Rouge River:  12863 / 41518 (31%), 13088 / 36390 (36%), -5.0

Scarborough Southwest: 8674 / 36676 (23.7%), 10404 / 33077 (31.5%), -7.8

York South-Weston:  12147 / 32758 (37.1%), 13071 / 30987 (42.2%), -5.1

York West:  10007 / 25450 (39.3%), 7901 / 22688 (34.8%), +4.5

Total, 63875 / 233505 (27.4%), 62960 / 211535 (29.8%), -2.4


Lord Palmerston

Adding up all Toronto ridings except the inner city 7 I get:

2014:  101,658 out of 570,200 votes cast (17.8%)

2011:  103,261 out of 517,213 (20%)

So no, they didn't gain vote share.



Good numbers. While you are at it, can you find any examples of a riding having a 20% increase in voter turnout in comparison to a previouse election? In this, or in past elections? Trinity Spadina managed to find an extra 10,000 voters this time out, in comparison to the last election.

That is a lot.


Frank Graves on EKOS's likely voter model:


While we are very happy with the nearness of our final poll to the actual vote tallies for the two frontrunners, we were considerably less pleased with the performance of our Likely Voter (LV) model and our underestimate of NDP support. . . . . We now have a reasonable handle on the reasons behind the underrepresentation of NDP supporters and the failure of the LV model. Our solution is a lighter less ambitious LV adjustment focusing on likelihood of voting. We also think that greater efforts to represent younger voters and cellphone-only households would be a prudent strategy.


Jacob Two-Two

Huh. Good article. I guess I need to change my opinion of EKOS.


Has anyone heard from Darrell Bricker since the election?  Or is he in hiding?


Why would you have had a bad opinion of EKOS?  They are not perfect, but they are a lot more trustworthy and reliable than Ipsos-Reid and its Conservative shill, Darrell Bricker.

Many people were glad to see Bricker humiliated on Election Night, and hopefully it will permanently damage his pollster's credibility.  They should not be the official pollster for CTV.


I don't think any of the polling methodology is up to snuff. The industry has changed a lot over the years, and rapid communication technology and IVR systems provide quick results, but aren't the same as the kind of thorough "attitude" polling provided by door to door or even person to person phone contacts.

I don't know about you, but when I get an IVR poll, my instinct is to hang up, and I think the method istelf creates a bias, since only certain kinds of people have the time to respond.

Internet pools of the kind used on Abacus and Ipsos Reid have their own biases.

But if you used the old method, the polling companies would not be able to feed results to the chattering classes on a daily basis and feed public interst.

Jacob Two-Two

Lately I've had a bad opinion of all pollsters, so this election, with its widely varying poll numbers, I was taking as kind of a case study to see who was hitting the mark and who's way off base. But even a bad pollster can get a lucky break. Their accuracy wasn't great, but it was better than most, and more importantly I like what Graves is saying about the weaknesses in their models and methods and how to fix it. Not to say I'm sold on EKOS, but for now they're in the "possibly reliable" category.


Yes, you are right that all the pollsters & their methodologies have their issues.  I don't trust any polling number before verifying whether it backs up what is happening on the ground and with other objective sources of information.  Even if a polllster has good numbers for a candidate I want to win, I don't take it at face value.

But there are some pollsters that are more biased than others, particularly when you know who's running them and their history.  Those of us who have watched Ipsos-Reid over the past 2 decades know what it is up to.  It's run by a man who has been working for the Conservative since the Mulroney years.  I-R has a history of inflating Conservative numbers and making them appear stronger than they are.

That's what was so ludicrous about North Report's 50 pages of ranting about every other pollster other than I-R.  He said that every single pollster other than I-R had a liberal bias or was run by someone with Liberal connections and yet completely glossed over the Conservative connections of I-R and its history of inflating Conservative numbers!

Anyway, you never know for sure whether polls will hold up until you see the actual numbers on election night.  So those that say only the finall 'poll' on election day matters are correct.  For example, there have been 2 Forum polls showing Adam Vaughan with a 20-point lead over Joe Cressy in Trinity-Spadina.  But while that's certainly very possible considering Vaughan's higher name recognition and superior level of experience, there's no way of knowing how accurate they are until the night of June 30.  Although Forum turned out to be right in most of its riding polls for the Ontario election, they did have the one big screw-up in Brandon-Souris where they overpolled the city and underpolled the rural areas and gave a huge 29-point lead to the Liberals that was obviously wrong.  Trinity-Spadina is a downtown city riding so it's probably easier to poll a representative sample of voters that aren't so spread out as in rural Manitoba, but there's no way to know for sure.

And of course it also depends on the candidates and their campaigns.  Cressy could gain ground between the time those Forum polls were taken in April & May before the time of the June 30 vote.  I don't think we've seen a Forum poll this month for Trinity-Spadina federally, so maybe there will be a final one this month now that the provincial elections are over.  But the point is that the Liberals would be foolish to become overconfident and assume they are going to win Trinity-Spadina just because of what the polls say.  Candidates still have to work hard and do the actual work of campaigning and meeting voters, because in the end that is what counts more than the polls.

Jacob Two-Two

I think that polling methods have largely lost their ability to accurately model the population. There are whole demographics that are slipping through their net (and tend to support the NDP) and so all the companies are trying various tricks and tactics to discover the right way to reach or account for these people, resulting in widely disparate numbers. Reaching out to cell phone users, not discounting groups just because they tend not to vote, and revisiting their likely voter models are all positive steps that dovetail with the polling criticisms that I've been making.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Victim #2 of the great summer Ontario election thread cull. Adios, muchachos y muchachas.


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