Poll results released by DataPath Systems the week prior to the Yukon election were an accurate projection of what occurred in the total vote. The attached graph demonstrates how the poll results progressed to show the growing strength of the Yukon Party. While the results of the total poll showed the Yukon Party at 36%, data collected between Oct 26-29 clearly indicated the Yukon Party trend, and extended the Yukon Party lead to 39%. Final results on voting day show that 40% of voters picked the Yukon Party. (Making the poll off by only one point)
In the poll the Liberal vote remained stable at 32-33%, versus the actual vote ending up at 32%. (So, the poll nailed that one). The NDP trend showed a drop occurring in the final week, down to 24% in the last days of the poll and ending at up at 23% of actual total votes. (Poll was off by only one point). The poll also accurately projected Independents would get 5% of the vote.
In an earlier press release, DataPath System’s partner Donna Larsen predicted a Yukon Party minority, with a possibility of more if the trend seen in the polls continued. That release stated: “If the undecided vote continues on this trend, we could see a Yukon Party minority government, with up 7-9 seats, the Liberals could have 5-7 seats and the NDP could have 3-6 seats.” In fact, the Yukon Party did slightly better (9 vs. 12), the Liberals did worse (5 vs. 1), and the NDP ended up as predicted.
In the final analysis of the poll versus the actual election, one significant finding in the poll illustrates one of the motivations that influenced the results.
The demise of the Liberal Party was clearly the rejection of the incumbent members, none of which were re-elected except for Pat Duncan. In the poll, 18% of voters stated that they picked their candidate because they “don’t like the current government”. That 18% was the difference in many of the ridings where incumbents were running. Cynthia Tucker lost her riding by 12 percentage points, while Scott Kent lost his by 12 points, Dennis Schneider lost by 10 points, Dale Eftoda lost by 9 points, and Sue Edelman lost by only 6 points. The 18% who eliminated the Liberal Party from their voting options ended up being one important deciding factor in this election.
These poll results are based on 728 surveys. Conducted by DataPath Systems between Oct 19 –27, 2002. The data is weighted to accurately represent Yukoners based on the community they live in, their age and gender. Percentages are statistically valid to +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20 (95% confidence) for Territorial-wide data and +/- 5% among decided voters. This information was based non-commissioned sections of this study, paid for by DataPath Systems.