Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration
2004 Canadian Federal Election Forecasterdeveloped by Prof. Werner Antweiler
UBC Election Stock Market | Strategy and Business Economics Division | PACIFIC
1997 Federal Election Forecaster | 2001 Federal Election Forecaster
Voter Migration Matrix
You must guess the probability with which a 2000 voter will vote for a party in 2004. The sum of each row must not exceed one. If a row totals less than one, the remainder of the voters are considered abstaining. Once you have completed your guess of the voter migration matrix, press the FORECAST button. The forecaster program will apply your voter migration matrix to the 2000 election results to find out which party will win in each riding. Leaving the matrix unchanged will display the 2000 election results.
Because the federal election system is based on "first-past-the-post", prediction of the election result in terms of the seats distribution in the Legislative Assembly must be based on a prediction of the election result in each constituency. The use of a voter migration matrix reflects the notion that voters change their opinion about candidates and parties in a similar way across the entire province. That is, a party that loses in Vancouver tends to lose in the Okanagan valley and vice versa. In the simplest form, this "swing" can be applied across all constituencies.
However, applying this simple voter migration matrix to the 2000 election results is a crude way of forecasting the outcome of the 2004 election. It is crude in three ways. First, it does not reflect the change in population. Some children have reached voting age, some (mostly older) people have died, and other people have moved to Canada or away from Canada. Second, it does not reflect the possibility that 2000 voters opt to abstain in 2004, or abstainers in 2000 opt to vote in 2004. Third, the transition matrix is applied identically across all constituencies, thus ignoring important local factors. However, to account for the significant differences between provinces, you can apply the forecasting program to individual provinces to obtain more accurate predictions.
This hypertext page and the election forecasting software are © 1995-1998 by Werner Antweiler.