As election clock ticks away, pollsters predict minority government

WATCH ABOVE: Jenna Freeman takes a closer look at how much faith voters put into the forecasting of an election.

CALGARY – Less than two days remain before voting day and candidates across the country, including right here in Calgary, are trying to lock up voters.

Saturday, many leading pollsters predicted a minority government for the liberals, led by Justin Trudeau.

While Calgary has traditionally been awash in blue, there are some ridings that the Tories may have trouble hanging on to.

Calgary-Centre is one of those ridings.

“I always think we should be skeptical,” said political analyst David Taras. “I think what’s interesting is that all the polls are saying the same thing.”

Public opinion consultant Janet Brown and political scientist Duane Bratt conducted a constituency count of campaign signs.

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They’ve projected Liberal candidate Kent Hehr to win the seat based on the number of signs on private property.

Hehr had 1191 signs compared to Conservative Joan Crockatt, who had just 791.

Just how much stock should be put in the polls?

If we were to follow past predictions, Danielle Smith with the Wildrose would have been elected premier of Alberta in 2012.

In B.C., the NDP would have won by a landslide in 2013 over Christy Clark and the federal conservatives wouldn’t have waltzed to a majority victory in 2011.

“Sample sizes are getting smaller and smaller, fewer and fewer people are answering polls,” Taras said. “And then you know people don’t tell the truth. Most people tell people they’re going to vote but then many Canadians don’t vote.

Political consultant Janet Brown is taking up a new statistically sound approach to forecasting vote day victory, by tallying the popularity of placards popping up on front lawns.

“In the by-election we counted three by-elections (ridings), we were very correct in two of them and in one riding we didn’t do quite so well. But in one riding there weren’t a lot of signs to count.”

“Where there were a decent amount of signs, we predicted the winner. We had a good idea of what the spread would be.”

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MORE: Explore recent polling data

So what’s the poll on the pollsters?

Some voters keep tabs on the results of pollsters.

“I watch the polls but I don’t let it influence my vote and I have a sense of where I hope the country will go,” one Calgary resident said.

“I’m listening to it but I have my own thoughts,” another voter said.

Other voters Global News talked to Saturday, aren’t putting a lot of stock in the speculation.

“I don’t pay that much attention to them.”

A weighted average of polls from some leading pollsters: Angus Reid, Ekos Research Associates, Forum Research, Innovative Research, Ipsos Reid and Nanos Research points to a liberal minority, based on surveys completed with over 6,000 respondents between October 8th and October 16th.


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