Election Polls have always been used to gauge the the mind set of the electorate for decades.
It gives voters a chance to see who may be forming the next government well before voters head to the polls to mark their ballots.
For some, polls are just entertainment – for others it takes a factual snapshot of the day that looks at the standings of the candidates. You can take them or leave them.
SaultOnline.com used 338Canada.com for most of the election campaign as the site tends to be fairly accurate in their findings. 338Canada.com takes several different polling agencies into account and then uses an average based on those polls.
For the entire campaign, the polls showed not only a close race nationally, but a very close race in Sault Ste. Marie.
The campaign started with local incumbent Terry Sheehan in a comfortable lead, days into the election however, Sheehan and the Liberals started to see that lead shrink.
Conservative candidate moved from third place to a tight second and for a few polls showed Sonny Spina in the lead. The polls with a margin of error at plus or minus 7 points showed only a few point difference between the Liberals and Conservatives.
News agencies such as SaultOnline.com is often criticized for using polls, many believe the polls and media are bias in their findings. Regardless, the polls painted an accurate picture of how the vote may go.
That’s not to say that polls can sometimes get it totally wrong. The 2016 U.S. Presidential election is a good example of the pollsters getting it wrong.
In Canada however, the polls remain consistent with the actual vote on Election night.
338Canada.com predicted a narrow win for the Liberals federally, and also predicted a neck in neck race locally.
On the eve before the election, Sheehan was predicted to take 35% of the vote and ended with (so far) 37.5% Conservative Sonny Spina was forecast to take 30% and achieved 37.4% on the final tally with just four polls yet to count as on Monday night.
Days before the election both Sheehan and Spina were basically tied heading into the last weekend before the September 20th election.
The mail-in vote with be counted by late Wednesday afternoon to declare an official winner in the riding. Terry Sheehan continues to lead slightly before the mail-in vote is counted.
Interestingly enough, an online poll conducted by SaultOnline.com showed a much different story, with Spina taking the seat comfortably with 53%. Online polls can not be used officially because of who is voting. It’s not random, as they are in phone polls and don’t take into account, sex, age or political affiliation. Meaning an online poll can be bias in the final result.