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Stewart still predicting another BC Liberals majority

Though the new Angus Reid Strategies poll shows the race between Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals and Carole James' New Democrats has tightened to a 'dead heat,' the seat projection model prepared by political scientist Kennedy Stewart contiunues to suggest another Liberals majority.

Stewart's revised prediction gives the Liberals 54 ridings, with New Democrats taking the remaining 31.

The Simon Fraser University researcher’s model is based on an average of several recent polls.

"I have decided to average polling results from different firms before making my projections. I am doing this because of the current disparity between polling firm projections," Stewart explained, adding, "I am expecting polling results to converge over the next two weeks."

Stewart said the current gap is evidence of a battle between B.C.'s top polling firms.

"The reason why pollsters release results during elections is to demonstrate their accuracy so they can sell polling services to private/government firms after the election. Elections are a perfect way to demonstrate polling accuracy as projections can be checked against actual Election Day results. Correctly predict the election and boost your consulting fees. Predict incorrectly and watch your clients slip away," Stewart explained.

"What is shaping up here is a battle between Angus-Reid and Mustel concerning polling methodologies and firm reputations. Angus-Reid uses an online sampling technique which is often questioned, but a good deal of academic research suggests online polls generate very accurate top-line election race predictions. In the other corner we have Mustel sampling using traditional telephone polling," he told The Tyee.

"Although they essentially ask the same question, the two firms couldn't be further apart in their popular vote estimates. When I run their results through my model, Angus-Reid results suggest an NDP majority where the Mustel polling numbers suggest a Liberal landslide," Stewart noted.

"One of these firms is wrong," he said.

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee.

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