These predictions were generated by simulating the election ten times, each time sampling one million of our representative voters (whom we created) for their voting preferences and whether they intend to vote.
Each representative voter has demographic characteristics (e.g., age, sex, income) in accordance with local census data, and lives in a specific ‘neighbourhood’ (i.e., census tract). These attributes helped us assign them political beliefs – and therefore preferences for candidates – as well as political engagement scores that come from various studies of historical turnout (from the likes of Elections Canada). The latter allows us to estimate the likelihood of each specific agent actually casting a ballot.
We’ll shortly also release a ward-by-ward summary of our predictions.
In the end, we hope this proof-of-concept proves to be a more refined (and therefore useful in the long-term) than polling data. As the model becomes more sophisticated, we’ll be able to do scenario testing and study other aspects of campaigns.