LP338.com Polling Methodology



Loonie Politics recognizes that there are a lot of polls out there and when it comes to the general election, Canadians would like to see where the federal parties stand without worrying about which polling firm is reliable.  The best way to view the polls is to look at an average of the polls in addition to looking at the broader trends.

LP338.com takes the polls from the past 30 days and weighs them based on the following factors: time, track record of the polling company, how the poll was conducted and methodology including sample size.

LP338.com Poll Weighting

1) Time.  Field polls receive a weighting of 1 on the day the work has been completed after which the weighting is reduced by 0.0333 a day.  After 30 days the poll is removed from the calculation.

2) Track record.  The track record is based on how well the polling company has performed versus the election result from the last federal general election as well as provincial elections.  Quite simply, polls from organizations that have illustrated excellence in their work are given a greater weighting.

In order to determine the track record weighting, the average error of the polling organization versus the best performing organization is reviewed.  For example, if the organization’s average error in the last general election was double the best performing error rate, the weight of the current poll is reduced to 0.50.

3) Methodology and transparency.  Part of weighting polls is dependent on understanding the methodology of the polls in addition to the sample size.  Sample sizes less than 1,000 are given a 0.50 weighting.  In addition, polls are reduced by 0.25 if organizations do not provide tables to verify how the poll was conducted.

LP338.com Seat Projection Methodology

The standard method of translating the vote percentages into seats is based on the proportional swing method which compares the results of the 2011 federal election and the current polls.  For example, if the Green Party polled 10% in the 2011 federal election in the Greater Toronto Area, and is currently polling 20%, the results in each of the individual GTA ridings would be doubled and applied to every party in the GTA ridings.

An important factor that needs to be taken into consideration is incumbency.  Incumbents typically outperform their party when their party’s support is decreasing and under perform when their party’s support is increasing.  Other factors that need to be considered include star candidates, Members of Parliament who switch parties as well as Independents.

If you have any questions on our methodology, please contact us at info@looniepolitics.com.

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