samedi 1 avril 2017

New Qc125 Electoral Projection: Liberals Pull Ahead

[Added April 2nd 2017: A new poll from Mainstreet Research has been published the day following this blog post, so I will update my numbers and redo the projection. It will be published (in French) Monday, April 3rd. 

Added April 5th: here is the link to the updated numbers.]

Here is the Qc125 March 31st 2017 Electoral Projection for the province of Quebec.

Data presented in this post was compiled using polls from the Leger and CROP firms of the past six months. Polls were weighted according to their sample size. Obviously, more recent polls weigh more in the calculation then older polls. The simulator codes were written so to take into account the regional electoral tendencies of Quebeckers from every post-referendum era elections (1998, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014). Of course, it also takes into account recent partial elections.

Eighteen months from the next Quebec general elections, when do the main parties stand? Which smaller party, if any, stands a better chance to cause a surprise?

Let's look at our data.

The Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) leads the way in terms of popular support. The model gives the Liberals the highest share of the vote with 33,3% - which is still 8% less than their popular vote from 2014. The Parti québécois (PQ) comes second with 26,2% - a full 7% behind the Liberals and only 1% above the PQ's disappointing results from 2014. Clearly, even though many Liberal MNA's have been allegedly involved in shady practices and behaviours in the past year, the PQ still cannot close the gap with its main rival.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) comes in third at 23,1% of popular support, which is the same score they obtained in 2014. Polls show there is an appetite for change in Quebec, but it seems for now neither the PQ nor the CAQ are taking advantage of the Liberals' unpopularity.

In fourth place stands Québec solidaire (QS) at 12,3%. A new spokesperson and weeks of media attention to Manon Massé's riding have surely helped raise the left wing party in polls. In January, CROP polled QS at 11%; in mid-March, Léger polled QS at a new high of 14%.

Finally, the Conservative Party of Québec (PCQ) is at 1,9%. The Greens (PVQ) are at 1,0% and Option nationale (ON) at 0,7%.

How does this vote distribution translate into seats?

Again, the Liberals pull ahead of the pack here with an average of 56,0 seats (63 seats needed for a majority).

The PQ scores an average of 38,7 seats and the CAQ is at 26,1 seats. For the first time, QS has a realistic shot of winning more than the three ridings they currently hold with an average of 4,2 seats.

The smaller parties (PCQ, PVQ, ON) do not win any seat in all 10k simulations.

Here is the distribution of seats won with respect to the popular vote for the PLQ, PQ and CAQ. With a lead of 7% over its closest rival, we can notice that only the absolute worst Liberal results can come close to the absolute best PQ results. Indeed, the Liberals are clearly ahead.

What about the odds of winning the popular vote? Well, the PLQ wins it 9 999 times out of 10 000, with the PQ winning the sole missing one.

Understandably, the odds of outright winning the election are fairly tilted toward Premier Couillard's party: summing all of the 10k simulations, the Liberals are winners more than 19 times out of 20 (96,4%). This includes a 13,0% chance of a Liberal majority.

Far behind is the PQ with total odds of winning at 2,8%. There is also a 0,8% probability of a PLQ-PQ tie, leaving the CAQ with the balance of power.

Here is the seat probability distribution for the three main parties. The Liberal floor is at 41 seats, which is what makes the PLQ almost unbeatable.

The PQ's floor is at 23 seats and the CAQ's at 12.

Here is the exact same chart for QS. The most probable result is four seats, all of them connected in the heart of Montréal (Mercier, Gouin, Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve). The possibility of QS winning five or even six seats is no longer impossible or implausable.

Here is the regional seat distribution: the Liberals lead in 62 ridings. The PQ is ahead in 34 ridings and the CAQ, 24. QS is now the favourite in five ridings.

The PLQ performs well where we expect it to: Montreal, Laval, the western half of Montérégie, Gatineau and the Eastern Townships. By climbing in polls by only a few points, the Liberals are now winning several swing ridings in and around Quebec City, which hurts the CAQ.

The PQ dominates the eastern half of Montérégie and the Laurentians. It also does well in the rural ridings up the Saint-Laurent river and in northern Québec.

The CAQ is competitive in the northern suburbs of Montreal, although all these ridings are swing ridings, so those CAQ leads aren't comfortable ones. The CAQ breathes in the PQ's neck in Montérégie and perform generally well around Quebec City and Centre du Québec.

Finally, QS is slowly expanding in the heart of Montreal in and around the burrows surrounding the Plateau Mont-Royal and Centre-Sud.

I will adjust the projection if CROP finally publishes a poll (non since late January), but I have plenty of data to work with and analyze. On Monday, I will publish the full map with projections in all 125 ridings.

Thanks for reading and come back soon for more analysis!

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