Following his dominant election showing in 2015, Liberal incumbent Wayne Easter is seeking re-election for a staggering eighth time and seeing his projected support recede.
According to data run at the end of the first week of the campaign by H+K’s partner Advanced Symbolics Inc.’s (ASI) – Canada’s only Artificial Intelligence (AI) pollster – at that stage in the campaign Easter would be projected to win 45% of the vote, comfortably ahead of his principal rival Conservative candidate Stephen Steward who is seeking election a second time, but well below his impressive 62% haul in 2015.
From Polly’s modeling in the riding, we can glean some noteworthy insights regarding candidate awareness and projected share of the vote. While Easter remains far and away the most well-known candidate, Green Party candidate Anna Keenan, who is currently projected to finish a distant third place in the election with half of the support of Conservative Stephen Stewart (29% of vote), is roughly 4X more well-known than Stewart based on social media engagement with the candidates.
This reinforces the well-entrenched voting blocs that exist for the two main parties in PEI while displaying the growing fascination of Islanders with the Green Party at both the provincial and federal levels.
If Keenan is to close the gap on Stewart, putting herself in serious contention in the next election should Easter, now 70 years old, decide to retire, she would be well advised to focus her message on unemployment and job creation, trade agreements that benefit Canadians, and health care as these are the issues voters are most engaged on in riding.
Methodology. Historical data is collected by ASI from the Canadian Census. Predictive data is from “Polly” an AI that predicts voter intentions based on publicly available social media data. Social media data is gathered from ASI’s online representative sample of over 270,000 Canadians selected using ASI’s patented CIC algorithm.