Sunday, May 31, 2009

BC Election

It appears since our last report, two ridings have changed.

Delta South was won by the Independent candidate (we had projected the Liberal)
While Cariboo-Chilcotin was won by the Liberals, and not as we projected, the NDP

Final Results

BCL - 49 - 45.83%
NDP - 35 - 42.14%
Grn - 0 - 8.20%
Con - 0 - 2.10%
IND - 1 - N/A

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NS Election

While I could talk to you about the 52 NDP Candidates, or the 52 Green, PC, or Liberal candidates, I'll let each party do that, as they are more than willing. I want to talk today about the 4 independents running for office in the coming election, and just a little information on them.

First, the most famous, Ernie Fage, who has his own Wikipedia page. In short he's a former Tory who was disgraced, and is now trying to hold on to his solidly-Tory riding. His margin of victory as a Tory in 2006 was so great, that even if half of his 2006 voters (minus one) vote for him, and the other half (plus one) vote for the winning Tory candidate, Mr.Fage would still finish in second place. (In fact, even a combined Liberal-NDP candidate would only beat him out by 100 votes)

Next is Milton Countway, running in one of the 3 ridings with retiring PC legislators. He is a local (rural) "town" councillor who likely has some smarts in running in a riding without an incumbent.

Stemer MacLeod is running in Cape Breton. He did the same thing 3 years ago, and managed to capture an astounding 120 votes, and 3 years before that, capturing 264 votes, and again, 4 years before that, getting 137 votes. Despite one webpage stating that he has "No online presence" I was able to find out his name is Stewart, and his mother was born in 1930 (putting his age somewhere in the range of 60-40) Apparently he's also run for school board (and lost) Apparently, he's been doing this (running and losing) since 1993.

Lastly is Jonathan Dean, leader of the Atlantica Party which sounds sort of like a non-religious Reform Party. They want recall, referenda, and fixed election dates. They want to merge the atlantic provinces, and use proportional representation. While much of this appeals to me personally, they also support private healthcare, and all sorts of deregulation (cough, walkerton ontario, cough) While the party does seem a tad too far to the right, it is not radical like some fringe parties. The problem here is not so much the party but the fact that the entire thing seems to just be a single person with a lot of time on his hands. Honestly, I'd have taken these guys more seriously if they had managed to run more than one candidate. How many political parties have gone from nothing to something while having, at any point, just one candidate in an election?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

niXtuff Makeover

Over the next short while (before the expected late July election) we will be giving niXtuff a makeover, and will be making over our projection matrix.

I will share with you a story of how we came to be.

I have always had an interest in politics. In the 2004 election, I remember trying to research local ridings to figure out what would happen. At the time I lived on the east coast and was only 19 years old. The 32 local ridings were enough to fill my plate, but I also took an interest in ridings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which seemed easy enough to remember. I was able to make some projections, but many were far off the mark. It was after this time that I first stumbled across the University of British Columbia's, Election Forecaster, found here: I've been in limited contact with the Forecaster's creator, Prof. Werner Antweiler (he was the one who sent me the base data that allowed me to 'win' the BC election projection race) I loved the idea of the forecaster and soon became married to it.

Using the forecaster, in 2006, I made a shocking projection that no one in their right mind would believe. I said the Tories would win 10 seats in Quebec. Some of the biggest projectors of the time were laughed at for saying they'd win as many as 6. I was clearly the radical. I was spot on. The problem was I had not really told anyone who cared. Much like catching the soap at the last minute in the shower, this was a personal victory I had not really shared with anyone. It was after this I had the first inklings to create this blog.

During this whole period, I participated in two Political Simulations. Politics UK and Politics Canada (which is undergoing a restart, if you want to join, now is the time!) In Politics UK, they used the program UK Elect for elections. I wanted to use it for Canadian elections, and in fact, over at Politics Canada, we had in the past. There was only one participant, however, who truly understood how UK Elect worked, and he flatly refused to teach me what he knew! Fear I'd replace him I suppose. I was left in an impossible dilemma, I cannot use the program I need. What to do.

I figured if I cannot use UK Elect, I may as well just build a new one myself. And thus was born my ElectoMatic. The ElectoMatic is superior to UK Elect in some ways in that it is built to simulate Canadian elections, not british ones, though both can be modified to do the other. The ElectoMatic is also cheaper (free, though I keep a copyright on it) and far easier to use (type in your poll numbers and the rest is done for you) though it does lack certain things.

One thing the ElectoMatic currently lacks is how to shift projections in a wide manner. I will explain how the ElectoMatic currently works. Lets take a party and call it Party A. Party A took 40% of the vote last time. This time, they are polling at 44%. 44% is 10% higher than 40%. 10% is therefore the modifier we use. If they took 40,000 votes in Riding A, we assume this time, they will take 44,000. And if they took 50,000 last time, we assume they will get 55,000 this time. That's all fine and dandy, and it works very well for small shifts of a few points, but when you get into huge shifts, and swings, it is just not enough.

Hencefore, I will be doing a makeover of the ElectoMatic to allow for swings, and to properly simulate growth from small parties. Lets assume the Greens somehow manage 60% in the coming election. That's a 1000% increase. Does that mean Riding A, where they got 4% last time, will see them get 40% this time, while riding B where they got 8% last time, will see them get 80% this time? No. The realistic results would be closer to 64% and 68%, though not exactly of course. Hence I will allow positive numbers to increase a result, while not allowing negative numbers to decrease it (a fault of UK Elect, which often elects parties with negative popular vote numbers) I feel these changes are needed to make the program work as best it can.

Lastly, the Blog itself. I have been somewhat lax on updating links that are no longer applicable. This has not been a public transit blog since 2007, and yet I have not removed that data. I will be doing so over the next short while. I will also be revamping our forum where I can more easily post data without cluttering up the Blog itself.

In short, good things are happening, and we fully expect to be ready and raring to go by the time the next election rolls around. Make sure to tell your friends:)

NS Election, riding by riding

Sadly, this is as close as we can get to an official projection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NS Candidate Watch, final

Quote from Elections Nova Scotia

Official nominations closed at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.


Number of Candidates:
Green Party of Nova Scotia: 52
Liberal: 52
NDP: 52
Progressive Conservative: 52
Independent: 4

Total Number of Candidates: 212

Congrats to all parties on making the full slate

Federal Update

We've added the partial polls from Ipsos and Leger to our matrix (it is robust enough to not require all data points) and have come up with the following results:

Monday, May 25, 2009

NS Candidate Watch

2 days to go!

NDP - 51
PC - 48
Lib - 46
Grn - 42
IND - 4

Friday, May 22, 2009

NS candidate watch

NDP - 47
PC - 45
Lib - 41
Grn - 33
Ind - 3

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NS Election, official projection

We cannot offer guarentees on any seats (due to two things. A - the small number of polls. And B - the small size of ridings, which makes local factors far more important) However we have our first, and likely last, number projection

NDP - 27
PC - 13
Lib - 12

A very narrow NDP majority. Of course our margin of error would see anything between:

NDP - 24-30
PC - 10-17
Lib - 9-16

While we cannot (due to the factors noted above) offer any riding by riding projections of any consequence, we will produce a full provincial map, coloured by party (and even try our hand at a colourblind-friendly version) that has our best guesstimations.

NS Candidate watch

Greens advance

NDP - 44
PC - 41
Lib - 34
Grn - 27
Ind - 3

Looks like all 4 parties will manage full slates. The Tories still have an organizational advantage over the Liberals, and that may come in very important come election day, despite the Liberals being ahead in the polls.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NS Election 2009

Turning the most recent poll into seats, I get this:

NDP - 26
Lib - 14
PC - 12

Our current "Chances at Victory" have changed.

60% NDP Majority
40% NDP Minority

We no longer think it realistically possible for one of the other parties to manage a victory.

NS Election

Elections Nova Scotia is repoting officially nominated candidates (IE, those with all the legal paperwork)

Here are the numbers:

NDP - 41
PC - 38
Lib - 30
Grn - 17
IND - 1

We are still estimating a 66% chance of an NDP majority, with a 25% chance of an NDP minority (9% chance of a PC minority)

Candidates still have a week to register.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

NS Election 2009

Candidate Numbers (out of 52)

PC - 50
NDP - 47
Lib - 45
Grn - 43*

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How did we do?

Accoring to Sacha Peter of BC2009, we did rather well

While we did not break the pack average for number projections, we were first in riding by riding projections, pending recounts! I will use this experience to further refine the ElectoMatic program I use the project all results.

BC election "results"

BCL - 49 - 46%
NDP - 36 - 42%

There will be recounts.

BC Election, observations

A few things.
It appears as though more voters switched from Green to NDP than we expected. This explains the extra 2-5 seats they are set to win. (At this time we expect a 48-37 split)

The Conservatives are also on track, if current patterns hold, to win 28 thousand votes, compared to 24 thousand for all "other" parties combined. The Greens are set to take 106k, the NDP 543k, and the Liberals 603k. It is still early however.

Edit - Also, STV goes down 40-60 to FPTP (at this stage). BC will be keeping it's current electoral system.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BC Election 2009 - final

Riding by Riding projections.
BCL - 52
NDP - 33

Projection Updates

Our current projections are...

Nova Scotia
NDP Majority, no specific numbers

BCL - 52
NDP - 33

Lib - 125
CPC - 106
BQ - 47
NDP - 30


I was going through our old posts and found one from January of 2008 that I wrote...

I was reading wikipedia, and about how Japan’s economy took a nose dive in the 90’s thanks to the bursting of their housing bubble. This created a domino effect on the economy and cause a decade of stagnation in Japan.

I was also reading that the current US sub-prime crisis was triggered by the bursting of the US housing bubble…

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Commuter chaos in Toronto

EDIT - these protesters have now left the highway.

This will be my last post about transit issues on this blog, this week we will create two new blogs to separate out...

Our election projections (which will remain here at niXtuff)

Our transportation and transit information (which will go on a blog titled "OnTrans"

And my own personal political opinion (which will go on a blog titled "The Green Blue Grit"

Regardless, anyone reading this in Toronto before their monday morning commute, beware. It threatens to be utter chaos. Tamil protesters have shut down the Gardnier, and all traffic is being forced to exit at Jameson. The police have, for safety reasons, closed the DVP. The allen was, as of 10pm, backed up to Lawrence southbound. Anyone wanting to head into the city tomorrow morning is well advised to take transit. Alternate routes (Don Mills, Lakeshore) are going to be overcrowded. If you have to reach the core, try roads like Avenue, Dufferin, College, and Gerrard.

Unfortunately, GO Transit's lakeshore west line is already overcrowded, and they have little to no extra buses to help. GO Transit gets the smallest per-fare subsidy of any public transit agency in north america, ahead of the TTC, which is #2. My personal suggestion to those in Halton or Peel who need to get into the city is to take GO's milton line, or to get on to the TTC subway. King and Queen streetcar routes are likely going to be insane, avoid them, take Dundas if you can. Also avoid the yonge subway line south of bloor, take university if you can. If your workplace allows it, try to come in an hour early or late to avoid the worst of the mess.

A political note, there has been debate to tear down the Gardiner (as it blocks the view) east of Jameson. If the protest remains, the entire city will get to experience just what that will feel like. My read is that if the protest is still there tomorrow morning at 8am, Toronto will never ever allow the gardiner to be taken down due to the pure chaos this will create.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

NS Election

According to media reports via wikipedia...

NDP - 48/52
Lib - 44/52
PC - 43/52
Grn - 16/52

What does this mean? In short, all three major parties have passed the first major hurdle. The next will come on May 24th when Elections Nova Scotia nominations close. If a party is racing in the last few days to fill a dozen spots, that's a clear indicator of a problem.

BC Election

An official riding by riding prediction will go up soon.

Barring another poll, this is our official projection

BCL - 52 (46.71%)
NDP - 33 (40.41%)
GRN - 0 (10.04%)
OTH - 0 (2.84%)

Friday, May 8, 2009

NS Election

Candidates, as of friday night, end of the first week

NDP - 45/52
PC - 41/52
Lib - 30/52**
Grn - 15/52*

** = It has come to my attention that the leader is not listed on the candidates page, which contains 29 people.

* = From Wikipedia, as the party still does not list its candidates on its website.

I read these results in the following way:
This is indeed a 2-way race between the Tories and the NDP. The Liberals are established but seem destined to remain in opposition. The 4 candidate lead by the NDP over the Tories does not read as significant at this stage, however the next week will be critical.

Canadian Election

Again, this update results in no seat changes.

Here is another image from the ElectoMatic - this time the province of Manitoba.

BC Election

BCL - 52
NDP - 33
with the most recent poll in the matrix, we now have
BCL - 46%
NDP - 40%
GRN - 11%
OTH - 3% (mostly Con, which we expect at 2% or more)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sample Chart

From the ElectoMatic

Canadian Election

I've given out the link to this blog recently, so to restate, our current prediction for a federal election is as follows:

Lib - 125 (34.80%)
CPC - 106 (31.44%)
BQ - 47 (9.80%)
NDP - 30 (16.24%)
Grn - 0 (6.71%)

In Ontario:
Lib - 62 (41.51%)
CPC - 34 (34.24%)
NDP - 10 (15.21%)
GRN - 0 (8.03%)

In Quebec:
BQ - 47 (37.44%)
Lib - 24 (33.85%)
CPC - 4 (12.79%)
NDP - 0 (10.97%)
GRN - 0 (3.97%)

CPC - 61 (45.01%)
Lib - 18 (25.15%)
NDP - 16 (20.47%)
GRN - 0 (8.37%)

BC Election

Our current projections stand as follows:

BCL - 63 (46.96%)
NDP - 22 (38.09%)
GRN - 0 (11.90%)
OTH - 0 (3.05%)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NS election

The PC Party has added it's official list of candidates to it's website.

As of now, here is where things stand:

NDP - 42
PC - 41
Lib - 28
Grn - 15*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NS election

While not always a perfect indicator, one thing I find that helps determine election results is candidates. Much like comparing the number of lawn signs, I find comparing the speed which a party reaches a full-slate to help determine it's level of support in the coming election.

At the time of the writing, the parties have the following number of candidates:

NDP - 42
PC - 29*
Lib - 28
Grn - 15*

more to come.

* = from Wikipedia, as their website has yet to list the number.

BC election

Added a pre-debate environics poll.

BCL - 59
NDP - 26

We expect the NDP to be up a bit following the next poll

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nova Scotia heading to the polls

Unless (very unlikely) the NDP and Liberals can work out an agreement to government without one. Neither party has a reason to, the Liberals stand to double their seat count and the NDP stands possible to win a majority. Our current projection is that they will do just that, however things can change, and we will keep an eye on the election.

Election date tentatively set for June 9th

Logos and MiniLogos

With the new change, here are our current political logos and mini-logos.






Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Liberal Logo

Not bad. And not unexpected considering most of the elections under the old logo (2004, 2006, 2008) were losses (or weak minorities)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Projection Update

Lib - 125
CPC - 105
BQ - 48
NDP - 30

no commentary.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu

Or technically "H1N1 Influenza A"

Will it have an impact on the BC election?

Yes. Certainly.

What impact?

That much remains to be seen. What we have done, however is lower the weight of both our baseline and trendline, as we are entering a time when political opinion can shift quickly based on headlines (RE: Quebec 2008 election)

While there are chances that this will help the NDP, if the sitting government is perceived as handling the crisis well, they could in fact be the political beneficiaries. This will, overall, hurt STV and the Greens, as it will draw attention away from them.

Our current projection, however, stands.