It has been two months since my last official projections for the leadership race of the Conservative party. Back then I was only using the (limited) fundraising data from Q1. Since then, we have got a Mainstreet poll of the members (not the voters; although their list is of the 2020 membership and we know Poilievre and Brown signed up a lot of people since) as well as the data from Google Trends.

For the last one, I understand many of you might think it's completely irrelevant but having played a lot with this data, I found that it would have done a fairly decent job in 2020. MacKay was underestimated and Lewis was overestimated, but overall, it was fine. Much better than a poll of voters for instance. It'd also have predicted the victory of Brown against Elliott for the Ontario PC in 2015.

The best metric remains the fundraising and we unfortunately won't have the Q2 figures until early August. So, for now, let's just use a mix of all the data sources we currently have. I feel fairly confident doing so because they all show the same result: Poilievre winning, most likely on the first ballot. If you think leadership races are unpredictable, especially when they use a weird points system (like it is the case here), think again. I have been very successful in previous races, whether it was for the CPC or the PQ for instance. Fundraising is a really good metric. Yes it's harder to be accurate than for a typical election but it's far from impossible.

Here are the projections. Brown is at 0% since he got disqualified (and I doubt he'll be able to force his way back in, judicially or politically). I have redistributed his votes based on the Mainstreet's second choices. I did assume that only 75% of his voters would ultimately cast a ballot though.

As I've said previously, Poilievre winning on the first ballot is the outcome of every single metric except the Q1 fundraising where he gets 48% (remove Brown and he likely gets over 50% though). We could also do some quick calculations using the membership numbers and get Poilievre closer to 70% actually. Bottom line: this race is over and Poilievre will win.

I honestly get a little bit tired of the many empty articles I see from various news outlets telling us "anything is possible" or "it's unpredictable". It's a crystal clear race, people who try to argue it's open or, worse, pretend Brown or Charest are leading are just delusional or idiots. The Charest campaign has spent weeks gaslighting us that it "wasn't about the numbers" and that they had the "points to win it". Look I get it, you need to do your PR job but this is embarrassing. Charest isn't winning, period. Before Brown got disqualified, Charest wasn't even sure to finish second. Many people (pundits, etc) will look stupid on September 10th.

Could Poilievre's vote be inefficient? Sure but the numbers his campaign released actually point to a fairly efficient vote distribution with, in particular, a high proportion of his members in points-rich Quebec. This isn't like Lewis in 2020. And even if it were, the difference between her percentage of votes (35% after the second ballot) and percentages of points (30%) wasn't that big (and it was the biggest of all campaigns in 2017 and 2020 combined). Also, as opposed to MacKay in 2020, Poilievre would always count on the second votes from Baber and Lewis. Unless all the metrics are wrong and Poilievre is below 40% of the first ballot, he's winning.

I'll build a model with simulations to get some probabilities in the next few weeks (to use with the Q2 fundraising data) but this is a race with very little uncertainty. And if you think the Poilievre campaign won't get its vote out, think again. It has been a very professional campaign that ahs run very efficiently. They aren't dropping the ball now.

Finally, I'd like to address the claim that a Poilievre's victory will just push a lot of centrist/moderate/Red Tories to the Liberals (or not to vote). While I do agree Poilievre winning will indeed upset some, every single data source we have has shown this impact to be small (max 15% of CPC voters dislike Poilievre) while a Charest win would upset as much as 40-50% of the CPC members and voters. There is simply no question that the Canadian Right has found its champion (similarly to how the Left found its in Trudeau) and it's Poilievre. You can dislike it, you can hate the increased polarization, but it's simply the truth. so there as well, feel free to express your discontent but don't make up stuff by pretending a Poilievre's victory would split the party. His victory is actually the only one that can unite the Right. Whether that will be enough to win in 2025 is a completely different question though.

This might be one of the easiest times I've had making final projections and an official call. It's on par with Alberta 2019 and BC 2020 in how confident I am of the winner. It'd take a monumental polling error tomorrow for Doug Ford not to get a majority.

This arrives at the end of what was a very boring campaign to follow and cover. Ford and the PC started in majority territory, dipped a tiny bit in the middle (like in 2018) and are ultimately finishing so strong that they could end up winning more seats than 4 years ago. It's pretty wild to write this when Ford was a complete disaster before Covid. Who would have thought that Ford would keep his Covid polling bump more than Trudeau? So let's take a look at the polls and the seat projections.

As always, remember that you can use the model yourself here and you can follow me on Twitter where I post a lot more updates (along with a lot of crap lol)

1. The polls

As previously mentioned, it was mostly boring. No massive swing or anything. The only entertainment came out of the daily Mainstreet numbers that were fluctuating too much (in typical 3-days rolling fashion). I seriously think rolling polls are useless and shouldn't exist. They experience wild fluctuations and drive the overall narrative way too much. Quasi unanimity of the polls towards the end, so much that you have to wonder if there isn't some herding by pollsters.

While the overall numbers were mostly stable (until the end), there were some movements in some regions. As you can see, the Liberals were gaining in Toronto and the GTA, the two regions they'd need to in order to make real gains. But it didn't last and the last minute trend is definitely favouring the PC. Online and IVR polls disagree on two regions: Toronto and the North. IVR polls have the Liberals clearly ahead in Toronto while the online polls have the PC essentially flat compared to 2018 and tied/slightly ahead of the Liberals. On the other hand, online polls have the PC with a much smaller lead over the NDP in the North. If online polls are correct, the PC will keep many of its seats in Toronto (maybe actually making gains) while falling short of gains in the North.

2. Seat projections

Here you go, the money shot.

Polling average; Seat projections with 95% confidence intervals; Chances of winning the most seats

Very little uncertainty. The chances of a PC majority are 98%!! It's not guaranteed but very close to it.

The map:

I know it's insane to see the OLP wiped out of the GTA and the PC sweeping it, but polls have given the PC a giant lead in the GTA. Leger, for instance (with a small sample, I admit), has the PC at 50% in the 905! 26 points ahead of the OLP. My guts tell me the NDP saves Brampton East but the model said otherwise. Doesn't make a big difference at the end, it's mostly symbolic.

Interactive (but slow) version here.

There obviously are many seats that are uncertain. For instance, the Green have a shot in Parry Sound -- Muskoka with a strong campaign, no Liberal candidate (bravo OLP) and the PC losing a long term incumbent. New Blue could split the right enough in some SW ridings (thinking of Cambridge where Belinda Karahalios, elected under the PC banner in 2018, is running for them). Hamilton East -- Stoney Creek could be interesting too with the former NDP MPP (long term) being kicked out of the party and running as an independent.

Overall though, there is just not a lot of uncertainty. What would it take for Ford not to win a majority? Well I posted such a scenario on Twitter the other day. Basically: polls overestimating the PC and the NDP/OLP having very efficient vote. That would mean the NDP concentrating their support around Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener and Brampton as well as keeping the North. As for the OLP, they would need to overperform in the Peel region. Possible? Yes, but unlikely.

There are two uncertainties (beside the majority/minority thingy). First one is whether the NDP will win more seats than the OLP. My simulations say the odds are at 84%. Secondly, will the Liberals regain official party status (12 seats). Chances are at 85%. So  the Liberals should at least have that, although their leader, Steven Del Duca, is unlikely to win his own riding.

Finally, maybe the real uncertainty is the size of the majority. In a perfect storm, Ford could win close to 90 seats. In this scenario, he's keeping his Toronto seats and all of the GTA (even making gains thanks to the NDP being lower). He would also make significant gains in the North. Speaking of which, polls are clearly showing a re-alignment there with the NDP in sharp decline. They might not lose their seats (yet) thanks to the large majorities they had, but the trend is clear. We also observed such trend at the federal level. The NDP is slowly but surely losing its rural, working class support. It doesn't hurt the Ontario NDP as much because they at least win some seats in Toronto, something Jagmeet Singh has been spectacularly incapable of in two elections.

Here are the detailed projections:

Final Projections Ontario 2022 by bryanbreguet on Scribd

This Ontario election is turning out to be a real snooze fest. There is almost no movement in the polls. Whenever we think something is happening (OLP rising, etc), it gets cancelled out by the next 2-3 polls.

The result? Well, projections are super stable. The most noteworthy change of this update is the fact the Green are now projected to win a second seat in Parry Sound -- Muskoka. The lack of a Liberal candidate, the loss of a long term incumbent for the PC and the strong Green candidate are all adding up to the perfect condition for a stunning upset.

With one week to go, I don't really think there is any remaining uncertainty. If the progressive vote was to coalesce around one option, it'd have done so already. Sure they are a fair number of close races in Toronto and its suburbs (mostly PC vs OLP races) but even if the Liberals were to overperform there, Ford would likely still get his majority. Plus polls show that older voters, as well as those who are sure to vote, favour the PC more. That means the Conservatives could be underestimated.

So anyway, here are the projections

Polling average; Seat projections with 95% confidence intervals; Chances of winning the most seats

The map

The riding by riding projections

Ontario Proj May 25 by bryanbreguet on Scribd

Quick update to the projections after many new polls (Leger, Abacus, Mainstreet, Research Co.). We see a tightening of the race, although the PC is still virtually guaranteed to win the most seats. However, the chances of a majority are now down to 71%. Still good obviously but we are now getting to the point where a slight overperformance of the OLP in the GTA (or an underperformance of the PC) could cause a minority, in which case I suspect Del Duca would govern with the help of Horwath.

Polling average; Seats projections with 95% confidence intervals; Chances of winning the most seats

The North, which was once very promising for the PC has fully reverted back to the NDP. Toronto back to the Liberals and the NDP could well lose 2-3 of the DT seats very soon. The PC majority/minority will be decided in the GTA/905. As many as 12 close races where the PC is currently winning by less than 5%, most of them against the Liberals.

So, how could we end up with a minority? Well the OLP vote could just become very efficient and win those roughly 10 seats. The other solution would be for the OLP to 'brute force' it by simply getting closer to the PC province-wide. My estimates show that the PC majority is safe (i.e: over 50% chances of happening) as long as the PC keeps a lead of about 5.25 points over the OLP). It used to be that my estimates where that the PC could do it with a lead as small a 4-4.5. So we are definitely getting close to a too close to call territory. See below.

We'll see of the debate allowed Del Duca the pish he needs to bring Ford back below 62 seats. David Coletto from Abacus has hinted on Twitter that his early data was showing the opposite: Ford did well. So let's wait and see.

Finally, thanks to the lack of a Liberal candidate in the riding, the Green have a shot at winning Parry Sound - Muskoka. Still a long shot but not impossible.

Ontario Proj May 18 by bryanbreguet on Scribd

Here are my first projections for the Ontario election. Don't expect updates as regularly as during the federal election though. The reason being fewer polls being published. Also, Ontario has a tendency to have big fluctuations between polls (especially based on whether they are online or by phone). I therefore think there is a lot of noise in the data and updating too regularly amplifies this noise.

Anyway, here are the numbers, the map and the detailed projections. As usual, feel free to use the model and make your own projections.

Polling average, seat projections with 95% confidence intervals, chances of winning the most seats


Play with the map here (it's a little bit slow, give it a few seconds after zooming in or out). You can see that the extended GTA has most of the close races.

Riding by riding projections at the bottom of this post.

There is not much to say right now. Ford's PC has a huge lead and is almost guaranteed to win the most seats. The uncertainty is really only about getting a majority. See below for a deeper analysis on that front. The PC wins most rural seats except in the North where the NDP is down (quite significantly according to Mainstreet) but is resisting. There has been a trend going on in the North for years now where the NDP is seeing its support eroding and the Conservatives are rising. Will it be enough to flip many ridings? Right now, no, but it could certainly happen and that would be devastating for the NDP.

This is especially the case since the NDP isn't making up for the drop in the North by increasing in urban environments. It's the Liberals, Ontario's natural party for many, that is back ahead in Toronto. After a disastrous election in 2018, the Liberals have a new leader who has the charisma of a traffic cone but has been running an okay campaign so far (the few bad vetting of candidates notwithstanding). The Liberals being the main challenger to the PC has more to do with the NDP and Horwath being quite useless than the Liberals being that good though.

Will the progressive votes coalesce around one option, à la 2015 at the federal level? Maybe but the conditions are a lot less optimal. Del Duca isn't Trudeau, Ford isn't disliked like Harper (he was before Covid though). But there is certainly a chance where the PC falls short of 62 seats. It's currently unlikely but based on my analysis (see graph), we are only a few percentage points from such a situation. Indeed, if the PC's lead over the OLP falls to 4 points, then it's 50-50 for a majority. In that case, it would come down to the close races in the GTA.

Detailed projections (yes I know the Liberals are running only 122 candidates, I'll make the adjustments later).

Ontario Proj May 13 by bryanbreguet on Scribd

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