University of British Columbia
Sauder School of Business
Nova Scotia 2005/6
Provincial Election Forecaster
Prof. Werner Antweiler
UBC-ESM Home Page |
UBC-ESM Election Forecasting
Voter Migration Matrix
You must guess the probability with which a
2003 voter will vote for a party in
2005/6. 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 2003election results to find out which party will
win in each riding. Leaving the matrix unchanged
will display the 2003 election results.
Elections in Canada employ
a "first-past-the-post" voting system. Thus
the prediction of the election result in terms of the
seats distribution in provincial and federal parliaments
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 one constituency tends to lose in another constituency and
vice versa. In the simplest form, this "swing" can be applied
across all constituencies.
However, applying this simple voter migration matrix
to the election results from a previous election
is a crude way of forecasting the outcome of a forthcoming 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 away or into a jurisdiction.
Second, it does not reflect the possibility that voters from the last
election opt to abstain in the forthcoming election, or abstainers in
the last election opt to vote in the forthcoming election.
Third, the transition matrix is applied identically across all
constituencies, thus ignoring important local factors.
A more sophisticated approach would take care of these three
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