“Marginally Better: Polling in the 2015 Alberta Election”
The 2015 Alberta General Election saw no fewer than 17 public opinion polls published—the most ever for an Alberta election. Unlike 2008 and 2012 when polls did a poor job of predicting the outcome, the polls seemed to better in 2015. But did they really? This chapter assesses the accuracy of pre-election polling during the 2015 Alberta election. We argue polls were only marginally more accurate in 2015 than 2012 and 2008. Moreover, we find evidence of a bias in Alberta public opinion polling that transcends house effects or methodology (at least in publicly available polls). This chapter is featured in “Orange Chinook,” an edited volume on the 2015 Alberta Election, which features other chapters written by prominent political scientists, economists, and commentators in Alberta. Published by The University of Calgary Press. it was released on January 31, 2019.