After Tuesday’s election in Prince Edward Island, pollsters and political analysts are left scratching their heads. How did they get the results so wrong?
Polls prior to election day put the Green Party comfortably ahead of the Liberal and Progressive Conservatives, with media outlets already haralding the would-be historic victory for the Green Party of PEI.
When the votes were counted on Tuesday, the Progressive Conservatives under rookie leader Dennis King held a comfortable first place position.
The unofficial results report that the PCs got 36.5% of the popular vote, the Greens 30.6%, and the Liberals 29.5%, far different than what was projected just days prior.
One poll released a few days before the election claimed the Greens held 35.4%, while the PCs only had 30.5%, similar projections to previous polls conducted earlier in 2019.
Yet another poll on election day gave the Greens and PCs a one-point difference.
One pollster even projected that based on the Green lead, they should expect to win 17 out of the 27 seats in the legislature.
In actuality, the Greens only won eight seats, and the PCs won 12 — securing a PC minority government.
The formerly governing Liberals won only six seats in the PEI legislature, down from 18 in 2015 and its first ever third place finish.
Part of the Liberal decline may be attributed to growing resentment against the Liberal Party in Ottawa, which the PEI Liberal stand beside on nearly every issue.
“It’s such an anti-Trudeau environment that I don’t think anybody can think anything past that because a lot of people are confusing Trudeau with Wade MacLauchlan too,” said one PC candidate.
Voters have made their decision and it clearly was not what pollsters or the mainstream media predicted, yet another result where the Conservative party outperformed expectations.