A look at the federal election results; were the polls right?
Now that the dust has settled on the federal election, polling agencies and analysts are reviewing their predictions: were they right?
Pretty close, according to pollster Philippe Fournier.
The Bloc surged, and the government was a minority one, as predicted.
Analysts and forecasters, like Fournier, use data from polling companies like Nanos, Leger and Mainstreet to make seat count predictions.
Fournier said good polling allowed him, on his website 338canada.com, to predict the Bloc's rise to within one seat.
But the prediction wasn't perfect. Fournier's algorithms predicted the NDP would win more than 30 seats. They only won 24.
"It should not be a surprise," the pollster said of the NDP's result. "Because I think a lot of strategic voting was in play in this election. I think many voters throughout Canada and also in Quebec were fearful of a Conservative majority."
Another surprise, Fournier said, was the Bloc's performance on the island of Montreal.
"There were places like Hochelaga where, before it went NDP, it was a stronghold for the Bloc Quebecois, and they were not able to capture that one," he said. "In the provincial election, the Parti Quebecois did not do very well in Montreal; we see that the Bloc did very well outside of Montreal, but on the island, it's another story."
Monday was also the first time since 1979 that the party with the most seats did not win the popular vote, Fournier said. 6,150,177 Canadians voted for the Conservatives; 5,911,588 voted for the Liberals.
"Alberta voted 70 per cent for the Conservatives, and so that inflates the numbers, but we saw that the Conservatives actually did poorly in Ontario," he said.