Ontario election 2018, V : Is it really “more volatile than the polls suggest”?

Jun 7th, 2018 | By Citizen X | Category: In Brief

At Doug Ford’s final event of the campaign, Caledonia Fairgrounds, June 6, 2018. Photo : Adam Radwanski.

If you altogether accept the polls as the best guide to what will happen in Ontario election 2018, it seems clear enough that the Ford Nation Progressive Conservatives will indeed win a majority government at Queen’s Park on June 7.

There are 124 seats in the Ontario legislature now, making 63 the minimum for a majority government.

As of 11:30 PM, June 6, Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker was projecting the final seat count as PC 74, NDP 49, LIB 1.

On the earlier afternoon of June 6, Barry Kay’s somewhat parallel operation at the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy was predicting PC 69, NDP 50, LIB 4, GR 1.

(Trying to check this later in the evening for any updates, I was greeted with “Too Many Users. Sorry, but this application has exceeded its quota of concurrent users. Please try again later.” There seems no reason to expect any large last-minute change in any case.)

Professor Kay’s “GR” wrinkle incorporates the likely enough prospect that Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner will win a seat at last in Guelph.

The smart money says Marit Stiles will take Toronto Davenport for the New Democrats.

(Somewhat intriguingly, Guelph is the home of the old Ontario Agricultural College, now known as the University of Guelph. And  Mike Schreiner was born and raised on a family farm in The Sunflower State of Kansas.)

Meanwhile, if the larger prospect of the late Rob Ford’s older brother, Doug Ford, as Premier of Ontario distresses you to no end, you might take some residual hope from an Adam Radwanski article in the Globe and Mail : “ Ontario’s election outcome is more volatile than polls suggest.”

I haven’t read this article. (You have to pay for it.) But I think I could imagine several different ways  in which Mr. Radwanski may be right? (Or not, of course?)

Set aside all more efficient PC translations of popular votes into seats. And the vote percentages from the “last instalment of the Maclean’s-Pollara tracking poll” — PC  38%, NDP 38%, LIB 17% — capture a mood  among certain observers. They harbour a sixth sense (hope?) that some slightly bigger final surprise than a PC majority government might be in the air.

More than one forecast seems to predict that Nathalie des Rosiers will keep her seat in Ottawa Vanier — even if no other Liberal wins anywhere else.

Anti-Premier-Ford voters could take additional heart from Abacus polling chair Bruce Anderson’s June 4 tweet : “Here’s a probability forecast published by the NY Times ON THE SAME DAY Donald Trump was elected President.  As the polls closed, the model said Clinton had an 85% chance of winning.”

(According to the CBC Poll Tracker, as of 11:30 PM on June 6, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have an 88% chance of winning a majority government.)

I am left with two conclusions myself. The first is that I am quite certain about the allocation of the 124 seats in the Ontario legislature I, Citizen X, would like to see when all the ballots are counted on June 7 —  PC 58, NDP 55, LIB 10, GR 1.

This would soon enough, I think, lead to some form of NDP-Liberal Accord government for the next two years, say, broadly on the model of the 1985 Liberal-NDP Accord.  And as far as I’m concerned this would be the best possible outcome of the election.

Will it actually happen? My second conclusion is that I am much less certain about what I think the final result in the real world will be, when all the ballots from all parts of the province are properly counted.

. How one group of 10 politically smart Ontario people think the 124 seats in the provincial legislature will be allocated after the June 7, 2018 election. Compliments Warren Kinsella, 11:35 AM - 6 Jun 2018.

A Doug Ford Conservative majority government still doesn’t sound quite right to me.

But much of that could just be more wishful thinking.

And I certainly  am impressed both by the weight of polling evidence and by the many politically smart people who do believe a Doug Ford PC majority government is …

… what the non-believing majority of the people of Ontario will have to wake up to this coming Friday morning …

At the same time, we will be having a big counterweights TV surveillance party on Ontario election 2018,  as it unfolds over the evening of June 7.

If only to keep things interesting for this event, I will continue to urge objectively that the outcome on the eve of the election remains uncertain and unknown — in yet another place of sudden deep mystery and fascination, with god knows what for an immediate future?

Who knows? In the age of alternative facts that may even be half-right.

(And my final strictly personal thought remains : may the best woman win.)

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