CPC Leadership Polls and Voting

We’ve received many questions concerning “the polls”. Members concerned about “backing the wrong horse” and wondering who has the best chance to defeat O’Leary or Leitch. This is a preferential ballot so voting for the second fastest horse is not the best strategy. The best candidate to defeat a candidate you don’t like is 10 other candidates.

He had the strength of 9 men, so 10 guys got together and beat the crap out of him.

For example, say you really like Deepak Obhrai, which means you are Deepak Obhrai (Hi Deepak!), and you put Deepak Obhrai as your first choice. Now, the polls do strongly suggest that voting will go at least several rounds.

The polls are okay for the following:

1) Judging how many candidates will be eliminated. (also known as how many rounds the election will go)
2) Telling us who will probably be eliminated in the first couple rounds.
No one has over 50% support, so no one will win on the first round. The polls suggest that there will be 6 or 7 rounds minimum. Deepak Obhrai does not have first round support, so he is likely to be eliminated on the first or second round. This means that, for people who selected Deepak Obhrai first, their second choice is going to be counted. So voting is not harmed by trying to support your favourite candidate. Your vote will still count towards your second, third, fourth, etc, choice.

The problem with even the best polls in this election.

1) Some use general population samples instead of CPC member samples. Only CPC members can vote.
*Imagine that instead of polling Canadians on this election, they polled people from Zimbabwe, the winner will not be determined by people from Zimbabwe.
2) They use fundraising dollars to measure support.
*You can donate up to 1525 dollars, but you can only vote once. Candidates who attract wealthy donors or have spent more time fundraising will look better in the polls.
3) They use current and former MPP, MP and Premier endorsement to measure support.
*When other politicians say you’re the right person for the job, this might translate into votes, but it might not. Especially if that politician isn’t well liked.

The biggest reason this election is difficult to judge is because of the points system.

Beyond the first three reasons. The points system makes this election difficult to judge. Each federal electoral riding is worth 100 points, regardless of how many CPC members are registered there.

Fort McMurray – Cold Lake AND Labrador: Two very different federal electoral ridings

Fort McMurray probably has lots of Conservatives, at least 100. Labrador has hardly any Conservatives, maybe 10. In Fort McMurray, those 100 CPC members will generate 100 points. In Labrador, 10 CPC members will generate 100 points. If candidates take advantage of ridings with low populations of CPC members. They could generate a surprise win by collecting lots of points without high support nationally.
This explains why Blaney has set up shop in Newfoundland to promise them a new naval base and nuclear submarines.

Blaney in Newfoundland

The problem is, Blaney also promised Alberta to balance the budget. Ignoring his other promises, it would cost at least 40 billion dollars to purchase the ships and base for Newfoundland. We are currently 30 billion dollars in deficit. So … apparently not allowing people to cover their face during the Canadian Citizenship ceremony is going to save 70 billion dollars?

And don’t forget

The least likely to support polls. These polls measure how likely a candidate is to be left off a ballot. There are 14 candidates and only 10 can be selected on the ballot, it means that 4 candidates will never get your vote.
The candidates that score high on this poll, are unlikely to grow their support very quickly. O’Leary scores 24% on the first ballot preference above. However, he scores 31% on the least likely to support poll below. This means that he will start out strong, but will not grow his points very quickly as candidates are eliminated and votes are transferred to second, third and forth choices..
The candidates winning “the polls” are also the highest scoring on the least likely to support poll. Candidates need to be second and third place choices on the majority of ballots to win. This means that the winner could be an unexpected middle support candidate, who doesn’t excite or offend anyone …

Complicated yet?

This election is much more complicated and difficult to predict than a standard general election in Canada or the United States. And even in those elections, the polls are never completely accurate. Trump was not favoured to win 2 days before the US election. The solution will be to vote for as many candidates as possible, in the proper order of tolerable to intolerable, leaving the worst completely off the ballot.
Tolerable Opposition remains committed to supporting and informing our members on voting properly in the CPC leadership election.


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