|Quebec's soon to be 31st Premier|
These are the famous 'internal' polls that we all hear about but know nothing about. I always found that my polling was in fact more accurate because we used experienced callers doing the questioning and spent quite a lot of time qualifying respondents as to their real intention to vote.
My polling was always restricted to a single riding so getting a sample that was representative was the key, making sure that the different neighbourhoods in the riding were represented equally and that language and religious demographics were respected.
Our questions were different than what regular pollsters ask, because fisrt things first, we wanted voting patterns from only those who would vote.
So our first question qualified whether or not that person was likely to vote, if not, we moved along to the next voter.
The people who ask the questions, get a sense of what they are hearing after a night of perhaps 50 phone calls and interpreting the data is more than just counting up answers.
At any rate, polling has actually lost accuracy over the years, for a variety of reasons, with the major polling firms usually under-reporting the more conservative choice, this across Canada and highlighted in several other provincial elections.
However that being said, the numbers being reported now are so stark that the Liberals cannot help but win a healthy majority government this time around.
All this of course contingent on the fact that the polls are relatively accurate. Always a big IF.
I've done my own analysis, using a methodology I made, developed and adapted by myself.
First I calculated the difference in support between the final election results in 2012 and the latest polling data avaiable.
In any given riding one can assume that with all things being equal, the votes each party received in 2012 can be adjusted up or down by the percentage change attributed to each party in the table above.
For example, if the PQ got 10,000 votes in a certain riding, they could reasonably expect to get about 9,000, or about 10% less as indicated in the table above.
As for the Liberals, the calculation has to be massaged a bit, because their support has gone way up in the franophone ridings and not neccessarily in English ridings where the support was very high to begin with. You wouldn't expect the Liberal vote total to go up substantially in a West Montreal riding, because the number is so high to begin with.
For this reason, I'm artificially boosting the 26% increase to 28% in francophone ridings, to more accurately reflect reality.
As for the CAQ and QS, the criteria remains the same as the PQ.
Of course one has to make adjustments in certain races where new candidates who come into the race, and change the dynamic like Pierre-Karl Péladeau. All this of course is subjuctive, until specific numbers are examined within the riding.
A case in point is Francois Legault, which most polls show him running behind. Somehow I don't think he'll be defeated, it's sometimes just a gut feeling.
Here's how ThreehundredEight.com sees it;
At any rate, given all that and applying my methodology to the 125 ridings across Quebec, I've come up with my own projection, based on yesterdays poll numbers.
After reading a local article about Nicolet riding and a late poll there, I'm revising the numbers below by adding one more seat to the Liberals (75) and subtracting another from the PQ. (38)
It's fun to stick out your neck with a prediction, I've had a reasonable batting average this year in that respect and so if I'm wrong, well.......
At any rate, I don't want to say I told you so, but I've always warned that Quebec elections swing widely and quickly.
Calling elections because of favourable numbers instead of an impelling reason is often a recipe for disaster.
Let us remember that Francois Legault of the CAQ practically begged Pauline to work something out over the Charter in order to avoid an election.
Even Charter hardliners who wanted the law passed 'as is' were willing to put a little water in their wine in order to get it done.
But Drainville convinced the party that an election could be won over the divisive issue and led the party down the garden path to electoral oblivion.
There's going to be a lot of acrimony over the debacle and a lot of finger pointing, followed by the traditional jockeying for position.
For me the interesting thing to watch is PKP, a cruel fate to be elected to four years of obscurity. His performance this election was dismal and the bloom is definately off his apple. I'm not sure he is even leader material and the PQ knives may very well be out for him as well.
Perhaps PKP is hoping that he will actually lose is election in St. Jerome.
The PQ will have some big decisions to make, especially when it comes to sovereignty and referendums.
Is it time to admit the truth that sovereignty is no longer a viable option and re-orient the party?
Hmm... time will tell.
In the meantime, I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying watching these last days, with the axe about to fall on the PQ who are on their way to their just desserts.
Dead men walking.....