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A very short article this morning as I'll be working during the day to publish the final projections. We should get a few more polls this morning. So far they all seem to show the same trend -OLP decreasing, tight race between the PC and NDP around 37-39%- except Mainstreet that keeps seeing a fairly decent PC lead.

Just for fun, I thought I'd look at which ridings we could use as "barometer".

1. Barometer for the province-wide voting percentages

I looked at the results from 2003 and calculated the absolute deviation for each party. I then summed it by riding and look at which one was, in average, was the closest to the overall popular vote.

The best three ridings are:

1. Brantford-Brant
2. St. Catherines
3. Kitchener Center

In average these three ridings have the top 3 (or 4) parties within 2 points of the province wide results. So on election night, if you want to know whether the polls were right or not, keep an eye on these three.

2. Barometer for who will win the most seats

Maybe a better barometer is a riding that tend to switch along with the winning party. I'm talking here of a riding voting NDP if the NDP wins the election and PC if Ford wins.

Looking at my current simulations, I have found these three ridings:

- Lampton-Kent-Middlesex: chances of winning are roughly similar to the 80-20 of the overall projections. It's a riding in the Southwest, one of the regions where some surprises could happen (the trend there in the polls wasn't the best recently for the NDP). This riding goes to the party winning the most seats overall more than 80% of the time.

- York-Simcoe

- Nipissing or Hasting-Lennox and Addington.

It might be surprising not to see a riding of a close race in the 905 but it actually makes sense. We are looking for riding the PC is expected to win, same as the election. So that's three (or four) ridings in different regions.

Of course, one way to determine what is happening on Thursday will simply be to look at the close races and see if they turn one or another. But I thought some of you might like to have other "barometers".

Alright, enough for now, I have some writing to do today.

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