1997 Canadian Federal Election Forecaster
University of British Columbia
Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration

1997 Canadian Federal Election Forecaster

developed by Werner Antweiler

UBC Election Stock Market | Policy Analysis Division | PACIFIC

Voter Migration Matrix

To utilize this appliction your WWW browser needs to have full table and form capabilities. You must guess the probability with which a 1993 voter will vote for a party in 1997. The sum of each row must equal one. 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 1993 election results to find out which party will win in each riding. Leaving the matrix unchanged will display the 1993 election results.

Please guess the probability to migrate ...
from party
in 1993 ...
... to party in 1997
Political parties: LIB Liberal Party; BQ Bloc Quebecois; REF Reform Party;
NDP New Democratic Party; PC Progressive Conservatives; OTR Other Parties.

Show results for individual constituencies:
Predict election outcome for
Press to apply your voter migration matrix.
Press to set the voter migration matrix to the identity matrix.


The results provided by this program are based on a number of simplifying assumptions explained in the section "Methodology". Use of this program is at your own risk. In particular, the author disclaims all liability for direct or consequential damages resulting from your use of this program.

Important Information:

On January 9, 1997 the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, announced that the new 301 federal electoral districts will come into force for any general election following the next dissolution of Parliament. The redistribution of electoral districts which began following the 1991 decennial census increases by six the number of federal electoral districts from 295 to 301, with four additional seats attributed to Ontario and two additional seats to British Columbia. Of the 301 electoral districts, 31 remain unchanged from the boundaries currently in place. This means that the results of this election forecasting program will be inaccurate in the sense that some of the boundaries of election districts have changed. Hence, you must treat any results you obtain with great caution.


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 1993 election results is a crude way of forecasting the outcome of the 1997 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 1993 voters opt to abstain in 1997, or abstainers in 1993 opt to vote in 1997. 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 © 1995-1997 by Werner Antweiler Jr.