British Columbia will be holding its 41st general legislative election on May 9th, 2017 (tentatively). All 87 seats of the BC Legislative Assembly will be up for grabs, with the incumbent premier Christy Clark of the BC Liberals looking to hold off a challenge from John Horgan’s NDP.
As of 2017-05-08, polling averages for the major parties are as follows:
Thus far, it seems that the Liberals and the NDP are in a dead heat in the polls. Furthermore, it appears that the Greens have gained significantly in terms of their support, with popular support more than twice the level they had last year.
The wide margins of error show the volatility of the election – the polls show a 0.3% NDP lead, which is insignificant compared to the amount of error that is possible, especially with the paucity of polling and wide variation between them.
Applying this data into our model, we can run our model to find the probability of a Liberal or NDP majority:
|Party||80% confidence||50% confidence||Median seat|
An important aspect to note is that despite the median seat numbers showing a minority government, the chance of a minority government is over 80%. This is because of the fact that there are many seats which are highly competitive – the projected margin of votes for these seats is less than 1000. In the case of even a 1% shift in the polls, 5-6 critical seats would flip to one side. Furthermore, as shifts in the polls tend to be province-wide, a slight shift would go a long way in terms of granting a majority.
An example can be found with the NDP. Although their median seat projection is 3 lower than the Liberals, there is a significant amount of potential to gain seats, for seats 41-46 in the chart above have a 40% chance of an NDP win.
Overall, the election is way too close to call – with such a wide margin of error, all on a new electoral map, the result could swing either way. The most definitive guide at this moment is the seat projection – and even then the range of possible outcomes is too much to draw definite conclusions from.
The above chart shows ridings ranked in terms of the percentage chance of a BC Liberal victory. With this, we can categorize ridings into four major categories:
Liberal Safe Seats – Approximately 30 seats, for an example see West Vancouver-Capilano.
NDP-Liberal Battleground Seats – Approximately 20 seats, for an example see Courteney-Comox.
NDP Safe Seats – Approximately 30 seats, for an example see Vancouver-Kingsway.
Green Battleground Seats – Approximately 7 seats, for an example see Cowichan Valley.
The 27 “battleground seats” will be of critical importance this election – victory in these will mean victory as a whole.
For riding-by-riding projections, look no further:
May 2nd Predictions
April 22nd Predictions