Thursday, March 18, 2010

New EKOS Canadian Poll :: Second Choices

A new EKOS poll is out on Canadian Federal voting intent. The Conservatives are rebounding and are in a dead heat in bellwether Ontario with the Liberals. I found the second choice data to be interesting::

I wanted to look at the structure behind these second choice numbers, although these should be interpreted with caution. I took the above table and input the data into a social networking programme, UCInet. One of the statistics I looked at was "multiplicative coreness", which is the degree to which each party is connected to other parties, in terms of its supporters' affinity for other parties and other party supporters support of them. It's a measure of "core/periphery" and I wanted to see how those polled are attitudinally aligned with respect to their first and second choices. The results {reanalysis:: April 2011 with newer version of UCINET [6.198]} aren't too surprising::

  1 CPC   0.696
  2 LPC   0.547
  3 NDP   0.381
  4 GPC   0.244
  5  BQ   0.101
  6 OTH   0.037

The Bloc {BQ} has the least connection to other parties.  The Greens {GPC} have a relatively low connection to other parties and looking at the above table, they have the most supporters who do not have a second choice, at 45.9%. On the other hand, the NDP and the Liberals have a high degree of connection to other parties. The Conservatives represent the core with the most supporters and relatively high overlap with other parties. They also have a high degree of of loyals {45%}, i.e., those who don't have a second choice. This NetDraw diagram helps to visualize the pattern::

Each node represents a political party. The weight of the lines is a measure of the strength of the relationship between parties as measured through second choices. The numbers closest to a node are "inbound" meaning that they represent the percentage from other parties that choose it as a second choice. The numbers farthest from a node are "outbound" and represent the percent of supports who are choosing the the other party as their second choice.

The diagram shows the pattern of fragmentation in Canadian politics and the problems of the Liberal Party. The left and centre-left {Liberals, NDP, & Greens} are perceptually interconnected. In Québec, the strong second choice after the Bloc is the NDP. The strong connection between the Liberals and Conservatives shows the battle for the moderate vote. The pattern also shows that Dippers and Greens deem the Liberals as their second choice, as opposed to each other, which is likely borne out of the pragmatics of strategic voting.

If anyone is interested in the UCInet file, feel free to contact me and I'll get it to you.

Twitterversion:: New EKOS Poll on Canadian intent. Tories surging, tied w/Libs in ON. Analysis of 2nd. choices reveals patterns. @Prof_K

Song:: Also Ran-'French Kicks'

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