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I might sound like a broken record…

…because over and over I have said that Nanos is the ONLY pollster worth watching.

Here is why (emphasis mine):

Some key observations on this evening’s Ontario election:

Here is a recap of a comparison of the only Ontario election survey conducted by Nanos compared to the actual election result (as of midnight):

Party Election Outcome Nanos May 26th
Liberal 38.4% 37.7%
PC 31.2% 31.2%
NDP 24.0% 23.7%
Green Party 4.9% 5.3%

To watch the CBC Power and Politics segment with Evan Solomon click this link.. To see the report by Nanos click here.


The CPC is taking the NDP rise in the polls…

… quite well, I’d say…





Predictions versus results – by province

I was cleaning out my backpack yesterday morning, when I came across all of my scribbled (and tear-stained – notes on how I went about calculating seat totals.  I hadn’t yet compared where I went wrong provincially.

The pain of the May 2 results was still fresh so I hadn’t the gumption to take another look. Taking a big gulp, I looked at my notes.

Here is what I figgered on May 1 and how things actually went down.So, I really wasn’t that far off. I did predict the NDP success in Québec, but underestimated it because I did not foresee the utter collapse of the Bloc. I also underestimated the degree to which the Liberals would fold in Ontario. The vote splitting among progressives was something I had anticipated, but not to this level.

All in all, a dartboard might have served me just as well.  Accurate polling is becoming more and more difficult as people trade in their land lines for mobiles and only the politically engaged bother to consent to being questioned by a polling firm.  IMHO, Nanos is about the best out there with its rolling daily sample. And aggregators like ThreeHundredEight give some more context. But this election, like no other, showed that the only accurate poll out there is the one held on E-Day.

Courtesy of ThreeHundredEight:



Latest polls – Hell hath become chilly

This morning’s results. The slide continues for the Grits. At this rate, they’ll be lucky to be the fourth party.
Can they turn it around? Will Chretien’s involvement make a difference this late in the game? Harper is ignoring the NDP rise – is this a good strategy, or could it backfire? What kind of beer should I buy for Monday night?

Canada Trendline [PDF]

Conservative 36.6% -1.2
NDP 30.4% +2.6
Liberal 21.9% -1.0
BQ 6.0% +0.2
Green 4.1% -0.6

(3 days ending April 27)

And from

Interesting how things have changed since the debates, eh?


Blog of the Week –

First, before getting to the regularly scheduled Blog of the Week post, can someone please tell me that this is indeed an early April Fool’s prank!??? This cannot be serious, can it? Who the hell could conceive of spending $100 million to commemorate a 200 year old war???

OK.  BP dropping. All is good. Serenity now…


You might have noticed by now that these BotW posts focus on blogs that are more or less aligned along a “theme”. Food and wine are two of my fave things, but both pale in comparison to my obsession (yup, if its not one, it’s close) with politics and more specifically with political data.

So it stands to reason that one of these BotW scribbles would sooner or later look at a political blog. And one that is not simply a series of partisan rants.

ThreeHundredEight is such a beast. The authors do a bang-up job in providing the reader with a balanced analysis of the latest polling numbers – not by focusing on one poll alone, but my looking at trends in the data over time and using a weighted average of all of the major polls. As a data geek, I can, from a professional perspective, appreciate the focus on trends and on the need to examine a weighted aggregate of the polling results.

Interpreting poll results is nasty business most of the time, but ThreeHundredEight ably navigates the briny waters admirably and uses methodologically robust tools.

Check out this text from the site’s Friday posts which talks about two polls that were released the day prior.

Yesterday, we were treated to two new polls, one from Angus-Reid and the other from EKOS Research. They told somewhat different stories, as Angus-Reid pegs the gap between the Conservatives and Liberals at 16 points, while EKOS has it at around seven.

How do we reconcile these two polls? We don’t! (emphasis mine)

I’m not going to compare the two polls as they aren’t comparable. Angus-Reid uses an online panel, while EKOS uses a telephone system. Angus-Reid polled on two days (March 8 and 9), while EKOS polled on nine days (February 24 to March 8, excluding weekends). Finally, Angus-Reid polled 1,021 people, while EKOS polled 2,892 people. The two polls aren’t at all the same.

But what the two polls do have in common is that neither shows a significant shift in support for any of the parties since the last time these pollsters were in the field.

Don’t compare the two! Not. Ever. THIS is why I like this site – no dancing around similarities in modes, MoEs or sample sizes. Just cut to the quick and say that only an utter fool would look at these two polls side by side!

YES! A victory for robust statistics! Woo-hoo!

OK, Trashy – chillllll…..

Another thing that I like about the blog is the effective use of charts as explanatory tools. I am a visual learner and can grasp a message presented visually much faster and clearer than when written down.  ThreeHundredEight takes the polling numbers – in this example, from the EKOS poll – and presents them like this to show the regional breakouts:

Clear and easy to understand.

Then, the results of recent polls are aggregated to show regional breakouts based on the aggregated and weighted results of the most recent numbers, thusly:

Then they go one step further and extrapolates these results to come up with estimates of how these polling numbers translate into seats on a regional basis.

Cool, eh?

Well, for me it is!

Anyhow, be you a data geek, a political geek or just like pretty charts with lots of colours, ThreeHundredEight should be a site that you plug into your RSS feed!



Wow! What a change!

Makes one sorta wonder why any polling is being done. Seems to be a waste of time.

Thanks to ThreeHundredEight for the graphic and the analysis. The hard work put into that site will pay off once we see some issues that provoke some real voting intention swings….


The trend toward pro-Harpo comments is worrying this little lefty…

Lately, I have noticed a troubling trend in the comments on stories that cover political issues on the CBC website.

Take today’s article, for instance on how the ReformCons have built a nearly 10 point lead over the Grits according to the latest (and evil – according to the Cons) EKOS poll.

Rightly or wrongly, there has always been a perception that CBC readers were a little or a lot to the left on the political spectrum. Indeed, this is exactly what the DeceptiCons propaganda machine has been churning out in the wake of that whole Frank Graves (non) controversy.

So, I have gotten used to seeing commentators leaning to the left – condemning Harpy for this or that… and these types of anti-government comments have been given the “thumbs-up” by those who bother to register their agreement or dislike of that particular comment…but this is changing.

More and more I have been noticing that the pro-Con thumbs up are outnumbering the thumbs-down.

Take this for instance:

The widening gap between Conservative and Liberal support shown in this graph is a direct result of Canadians realizing one party actually has a direction and a plan, and the other is a complete mess.

So whether you agree with the Conservatives or not, I’d rather vote for a right wing Conservative, or a left wing NDP / Green party that actually has a purpose of one sort or another, than a flip-flopping middleman joke party that borrows ideas from the left and right and calls them their own.

Sitting on the fence and being useless – the Liberal Party of Canada

Or this:
I see many disgruntled Liberals on this board who rather than face the fact that they made a mistake will try everything in their power to discredit others who have a realistic vision for Canada.

The party in power has done a very good job in pulling the country out of the recent slump much to the displeasure of the Liberals who would sooner see the country sink under their leadership than to support a government that has done very well on the world wide economic level.

193 agree and 121 disagree.
The same is happening over at the G&M, for instance, take this anti-robot comment:
Time for Canadians to awaken to the Theo-Con INCOMPETENTS at our door…TIME TO SINK OR SWIM!!…the sooner we can go to the polls to rid ourselves of our present SAY ANYTHING DO NOTHING CON GOVERNMENT the better…ELECTION NOW!!…Canada and Canadians can no longer afford their INCOMPETENCE on every file,every issue…their(CON)attack on rights and agencies built up over the 50 years…


This is at 358 against and 223 for…
The Grits better start looking at what is going wrong here. The Harperites have been flopping around from mini-scandal to mini-scandal. Abortion rights are back in the news. There are questions about the Cons’ connections to right-wingnut evangelicals.. and STILL Iggy cannot make any hay?
Scary news for we on the left… Why won’t the Libs and Dippers face reality and see that we are in for many, many years of right-wing, dogmatic rule if they don’t put their differences aside and unite under one banner???!!!