As the results finally become known in all 308 ridings (some recounts may occur, but none were apparently close enough to qualify for an automatic recount), the two big seat-by-seat projection websites did a self-analysis to see how they did:
DemocraticSPACE got 25 of 308 ridings wrong, for a 91.9% accuracy rate
Election Prediction got 27 ridings wrong, for a 91.2% accuracy rate
Those sound like impressive numbers, but I wondered how significant that is when so little changed. They both got Edmonton Strathcona wrong, for example, but then again so did all the pundits. They also didn’t predict three seats shifting from the Liberals to Conservatives in New Brunswick.
Looking at the election results (Wikipedia has a riding-by-riding breakdown on one page), I see that the incumbent (or incumbent’s party) won in all but 41 ridings. So if you blindly picked the incumbent to win in all 308 ridings, you’d have an 86.7% accuracy rate.
That makes 91% sound a lot less impressive.
Then again, in an election where only 25 of 308 winners got more than half the vote, predicting anything is a throw of the dice.
DemocraticSPACE has compiled its list of 68 battleground ridings in this election.
Montreal-area ridings on the list include:
- Jeanne-Le Ber, the southwest/Verdun riding Liberal heritage minister Liza Frulla lost to an unknown Bloc candidate in 2006. (You’ll also notice the Green’s Claude William Genest, currently running in Westmount, came in last place with 5% of the vote)
- Brossard-La Prairie, another Bloc steal from the Liberals in 2006, formerly Jacques Saada’s riding.
- Outremont, the Thomas Mulcair NDP by-election win riding, which also covers some of the Plateau and a lot of Côte des Neiges.
- Vaudreuil Soulanges, the riding Marc Garneau lost in 2006 and is now being contested by Conservative senator-to-get-a-cabinet-post Michael Fortier. Includes Vaudreuil, St. Lazare, Hudson, Rigaud and everything else between the two rivers.
Absent from the list is Westmount-Ville-Marie, which it expects to go to the Liberals’ Garneau; Papineau, which it expects will be an easy steal for Justin Trudeau; and adjacent Ahuntsic, which Liberal Eleni Bakopanos is expected to take back from Bloquiste Maria Mourani.
The riding-by-riding election prediction machine DemocraticSPACE has launched its 2008 campaign website. It currently predicts the following seat makeup:
- CON: 146 (up from 124 in 2006 and 99 in 2004, but just shy of the 155 needed for a majority government)
- LIB: 91 (down from 103 in 2006 and 135 in 2004)
- NDP: 30 (same as at dissolution: 29 in 2006 plus Thomas Mulcair in Outremont)
- BQ: 39 (down from 51)
- GRN: 0
- IND: 2 (André Arthur in Quebec and ex-Tory Bill Casey in Nova Scotia)
- BQ: 39 (down from 51)
- CON: 18 (up from 10)
- LIB: 16 (up from 13)
- NDP: 1 (Mulcair)
- GRN: 0
- IND: 1 (Arthur)
If these results hold, it would be bad for the Liberals nationally, bad for the Bloc, bad for the Greens (Vancouver Liberal-turned-Green MP Blair Wilson, they predict, will lose to the Tories), status quo for the NDP and, of course, good for the Conservatives, but still short of their goal.
The website will keep updating its predictions, based in part from comments left by constituents in those ridings, before taking a wild guess on too-close-to-call races just before the vote. In the 2006 election, the website was 94% accurate at predicting which party would win any given riding, underestimating the number of Liberal seats and overestimating the number of Conservative and Bloc seats.