This is a non-partisan projection of the outcome of the Green Party of Canada’s 2020 leadership race. This post updates the projection I posted on September 26th to account for last-minute data.
Annamie Paul wins the leadership in the 7th round,
defeating Dimitri Lascaris 53.6% to 46.4%.
Expected Round-by-Round Results
The table below shows the expected standings in each round, along with eliminations and vote transfers. Values are rounded to the nearest 0.1%.
The same data, condensed into a straightforward ranking, looks like this:
- Annamie Paul
- Dimitri Lascaris
- Courtney Howard
- Meryam Haddad
- Glen Murray
- Amita Kuttner
- David Merner
- Andrew West
New Factors influencing the Updated Projection
The updated projection incorporates last-minute data covering mid-to-late September. Important factors that have influenced the projected outcome include:
- The party’s public admission that it accidentally withheld almost $10,000 from the Glen Murray campaign.
- More complete data on the effects of other candidates supporting Meryam Haddad’s push to be on the ballot, along with the effect of her last-minute expulsion and reinstatement.
- A very strong final push for the Dimitri Lascaris campaign, which out-fundraised Annamie Paul’s campaign in the closing weeks of the campaign.
- A projected improvement in the ability of Dimitri’s campaign to draw votes from the ballots of eliminated candidates.
- A strong final push by the Glen Murray campaign.
This results in two significant changes in the expected results. Meryam Haddad swaps places with Amita Kuttner, and the final result between Annamie and Dimitri is much closer, though still favouring Annamie.
(For a discussion of other factors that affected the projection prior to September please see the earlier post at Green Party of Canada Leadership Results: A Projection.)
Despite starting behind Dimitri in first-round voting, Annamie is projected to pick up substantially more transferred votes than other candidates. In particular, Annamie should receive the majority of Courtney Howard’s votes after Courtney is eliminated in Round 6. This is projected to propel Annamie to a 54-46 win over Dimitri Lascaris in the seventh and final round.
BEST OUTCOME: In 94.7% of simulations, Annamie defeats Dimitri in the final round to win the leadership.
WORST OUTCOME: In 5.2% of simulations, Annamie is defeated by Dimitri in the final round.
Dimitri is projected to have a strong first-round result, placing almost 17% ahead of Courtney Howard and 4.1% ahead of Annamie Paul. However, Dimitri is likely to be hamstrung by weak vote transfers from eliminated candidates, especially in the sixth round when Courtney Howard is eliminated.
BEST OUTCOME: In 5.2% of simulations, Dimitri wins the leadership over Annamie Paul in the final round.
WORST OUTCOME: Defeated in the final round (94.7% of simulations).
Courtney is expected to receive the third-most votes in the first round, but will be almost 17% behind Dimitri. She is projected to receive strong transfers in most rounds, allowing her to maintain a solid hold on third place, but the gap between her and Dimitri is almost certainly too large to be made up. In 97% of simulations, Courtney is eliminated in Round 6.
BEST OUTCOME: Third place (97% of simulations).
WORST OUTCOME: In a very small number of simulations (3%), Courtney is eliminated in the fourth or fifth round due to a strong performance by Glen Murray, Amita Kuttner, or Meryam Haddad.
Propelled by a late surge of support, then surviving an eleventh-hour expulsion and reinstatement, Meryam is the candidate most likely to defy accurate projection. Her expected first-round result places her in a group with Glen Murray, David Merner, and Amita Kuttner. Her expected transfers from eliminated candidates should be strong, but of all candidates, her projected result is the most sensitive to the order of elimination of other candidates. There is a significant chance of Meryam swapping places with Amita Kuttner, due to overlap in their voting pools.
BEST OUTCOME: Elimination in the fifth round (39.8% of simulations), or with a slim possibility, the sixth round (2.0% of simulations).
WORST OUTCOME: Elimination in the second round (13.9% of simulations).
Glen is one of three candidates projected to be eliminated between the second to fifth rounds. Despite a reasonable 9.1% projected first-round result, along with strong fundraising (especially when factoring in the donations wrongly withheld by the party), Glen is expected to receive limited vote transfers in subsequent rounds, limiting his ability to continue beyond the fifth round.
BEST OUTCOME: Elimination in the fifth round (34.4% of simulations).
WORST OUTCOME: Elimination in the second round (5.1% of simulations).
Along with Meryam Haddad, Amita has the widest set of possible outcomes. Their most likely result (seen in 36.1% of simulations) is elimination in Round 3. However, Amita has almost as good a chance of being eliminated in Round 2 (20.8%), eliminated in Round 4 (23.3%), or achieving an upset over Glen Murray and finishing fourth (19.4%).
Amita has the distinction that, out of all candidates, they are projected to draw the most second-choice votes relative to their overall ranking. This is what gives them the potential to upset Glen Murray, who draws second-choice votes poorly.
BEST OUTCOME: Fourth place (19.4% chance).
WORST OUTCOME: Elimination in the second round (20.8% chance).
David is second only to Amita in his projected ability to draw votes from eliminated candidates. However, David’s first-round result is expected to be weaker than Meryam, Amita, and Glen at only 6.0%, making him the most vulernable of that group to being eliminated early. That said, David still reaches the fifth round in 4.8% of simulations.
BEST OUTCOME: Elimination in the fifth round (4.8% of simulations).
WORST OUTCOME: Elimination in the second round (60.1% of simulations).
Andrew is projected to be eliminated first, as his expected first-round result of 2.2% is well behind the other candidates. To advance beyond the first round would require an unexpectedly strong performance by Andrew, coupled with a very weak performance by another candidate. This situation did not materialize in any of the simulated runs of the model.
BEST/WORST OUTCOME: Elimination in the first round.
About the Projection Model
The model that was used to create this projection is based on objective data gathered from social media, traditional media, and other sources. The model does not incorporate polling or any sort of subjective “judgment call”. The gathered data is used to project, for each candidates, their first-round vote totals and their ability to attract transferred votes from eliminated candidates.
These two inputs are then used to run many simulations, each one with slight random variations. (This is known as the Monte Carlo method.) The results of these simulations are analyzed to determine each candidate’s spread of possible outcomes and the factors most likely to influence their result. For example, running numerous simulations can reveal whether a particular candidate has a wide or narrow spread of possible finishes, or how strongly their finish depends on the performance of others.
When tested on two past leadership races (NDP 2017 and Conservative 2020), the model correctly projected the final outcome, the number of rounds, and the ranking of candidates in each round for both races. Often (though not always), the vote percentages were accurate within +/- 2 percentage points. As discussed earlier, it remains to be seen what level of accuracy the model can achieve in the unique circumstances of the Green Party leadership race.
I began developing the model used in this projection in late 2019. From February to July of 2020, I was part of a campaign team taking part in the leadership race. This projection is intended to be non-partisan, and was created and published as a way to test the model under real-world circumstances.