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Liberals likely to win 52 seats, NDP 33: Kennedy Stewart

Yesterday's Angus Reid poll suggests the New Democrats are neck-and-neck with the B.C. Liberals in this provincial election. But the seat projection model prepared by SFU political scientist Kennedy Stewart – which is based in part on an average of five recent polls – continues to predict that Gordon Campbell's Liberals will win another majority.

Stewart now predicts the Liberals will win 52 seats, with the NDP taking the remaining 33 ridings.

"Using my model, it looks like the Liberals will retain a majority – perhaps even gaining a slightly higher proportion of legislative seats," he said.

"My confidence in this projection is boosted by the fact that the Liberal majority projections hold when the last five polls are averaged, and when projections are based on Angus Reid's most recent poll which has the Liberals at a lower support level than either Environics or Mustel."

Stewart’s regression model works by plotting a historical correlation between votes and seats for the B.C. Liberals, then applying that formula to an average prediction of the popular vote drawn from five recent polls. The model assumes that the NDP will claim all seats not won by the Liberals.

"As predicted, the polls have more or less converged," Stewart said. "Mustel's Liberal estimate has dropped from 52 per cent to 47 per cent, and Angus Reid's Liberal estimate has climbed from 42 per cent to 44 per cent. Environics also helps confirm this Liberal support, matching Mustel's 47 per cent estimate."

Nonetheless, the battle for bragging rights continues between Angus Reid and Mustel. Angus Reid is pioneering an online sampling technique, while Mustel is using traditional telephone polling.

"Mustel's reputation is most at risk as the company has consistently had the Liberals at a much higher levels of support," Stewart said. "The perception will be that they have been quite far off and consistently inflating the Liberals' support among voters, although it would be a mistake to make too much of this."

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee.

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