Sun News/Abacus Data Poll Gets it Right.

Tonight, Nova Scotians elected a majority Liberal government confirming what our polling showed was the likely outcome.

As of 10:30pm ET, the Liberals won 33 seats with 45% of the popular vote compared to 11 seats for the PCs with 27% of the vote.  The incumbent NDP was heavily defeated winning only 6 seats with 27% of the vote.

Not only was tonight a good night for the Nova Scotia Liberals, but for researchers working for firms like Abacus Data.

Overall, the three polling companies publicly releasing polls during the campaign did well and kudos goes to CRA and Forum Research.

The chart below compares the final results with our final polls.


One of the things we did differently this time was try and identify likely voters using a model similar to those used in the United States.  Our committed likely voter estimate weighted for expected turnout by age was the closest of the three we released.

Our team at Abacus Data learned from the “challenges” we faced in Alberta and the industry as a whole faced in British Columbia.  We will continue to improve the methods we use to gauge public opinion and voter intentions.  But we can still accurately measure voters’ intentions and perceptions.

I will write more about what we learned from our experience in the NS election, including a more in-depth discussion about our methodology and my thoughts on what happened tonight in Nova Scotia.

I also want to thank the Sun News Network for giving our firm the chance to test our methods and do it right in the election.  Election polling isn’t cheap and Sun News stepped up to the plate. They let us do our thing and reported the results of our polls fairly and accurately.

Thanks to all those Nova Scotians who answered their phones and gave us 10 minutes of their time.

And finally, congratulations are in order to Stephen McNeil, the premier-designate of Nova Scotia.

For now, I’m off for a rest.  Pollsters are sleeping a little easier tonight.

David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.  He’s an avid road cyclist.

Contact David Coletto:

T: 613-232-2806 x. 248



Sean on Twitter David on LinkedIn David on Google Plus