Polls: Zahleh

in this poll of Zhaleh district balance of power, made by Kamal Fghaleh, published in Al-Akhbar Newspaper, several pertinent points can be made, but first i will summarize the main findings, and you can check the link and the picture below for full details:

Party name Projected votes Projected %
Future Movement 28,004 24.1
Hezbollah 22,654 15.6
FPM (Aoun) 14,612 12.6
Popular bloc (Skaff) 14,074 12.1
Lebanese Forces 14,074 12.1

1- The projected threshold in this district is 16,360 achievable by many lists, especially if they work together.
2- Future Movement has the largest project share with 28,000 votes, which translates into 1.7 seats.
3- Zahleh is under a big spot light. In 2009 it was highly contested and its seven seats gave March 14 the majority, when they won with 55% of the votes.
4- with its wide sectarian distribution, and with each having only one seat (except the Catholics with two votes), Zahleh can be considered as a small scale representation of Lebanon.
5- Unfortunately, this poll does not show how each sect voted. In other words, how much did FM get out of the Sunni votes, and how much did FPM get out of the Christian vote. These numbers are very important in determining the overall popularity of each party in their own sectarian base.
6- This is an old poll, I believe a lot has changed since then, but it gives us a data point that will be useful when more polls are published.
zahleh survey dec 2017 fghali.jpg

Trend Analysis explained!

Similarly, to yesterday’s explanation of the POLL of POLLS (PoPs), we will use some fictive polls to illustrate the trend analysis.
Yesterday’s articles explained the PoPs. For the trend analysis, we need to receive a few more polls from the same statistics companies or pollsters, spread out over a longer period of time, for the same district.
For example, let us assume that we have an additional two polls for Zahleh, taken over a period of two weeks:
Fictive poll 1 (with two sets of numbers, taken one week apart):

Party name Projected % 1st poll Projected % 2nd poll, a week after Trend
Future Movement 22.1 20.1 -2
Hezbollah 16.7 17.7 +1
FPM (Aoun) 11.2 11.2 0
Popular bloc (Skaff) 10.5 9.5 -1
Lebanese Forces 9.5 10.5 +1

Fictive poll 2 (with two sets of numbers, taken one week apart):

Party name Projected % 1st poll Projected % 2nd poll, a week after Trend
Future Movement 19.7 18 -1.7
Hezbollah 18.9 20 +1.1
Lebanese Forces 13.5 15 +1.5
FPM (Aoun) 11.5 12.8 +1.3
Popular Bloc (Skaff) 9.2 9 -0.2

As you can see, the two polls have two different sets of numbers. Yet, in a trend analysis, voting percentage matter less than TREND! Ie how much this voting percentage changed over time.
In our fictive example, both polls had similar trends, and this allowed us to reach important conclusions. For example, Hezbollah popularity is rising with an average of 1% (we averaged the two trend numbers). While Aoun’s is slightly rising with only .65%, Meanwhile Future Movement is dropping with an average of -1.8%
For convenience sake, let’s assume another set of polls came out after another week (we will call it week 3), and we calculated the average and we got these results.

Party name Week 2 polls average Week 3 polls average Week 4 polls average
Future Movement 19.7 18 22
Hezbollah 18.9 20 20
Lebanese Forces 13.5 15 16
FPM (Aoun) 11.5 12.8 14
Popular Bloc (Skaff) 9.2 9 7

The Magic Chart (work in progress):
In conclusion, if we use both tools PoPs and the Trend Analysis we can obtain a much clearer picture of the electoral race than using any other poll or numbers! This website will focus on these two tools and we will try to update our main trend analysis and PoPs charts, as often as the abundance of polls allows us.

How does a POLL of POLLS work?

The system, used by Nate Silver’s 538 and Real Clear Politics, focuses on aggregating the largest number of polls and surveys. Then the idea is to calculate an average poll, which should reflect reality with more accuracy.
Moreover, the additional focus of such a system could be more on the trends that could be calculated by comparing the polls of the same resource relative to time.
Let me demonstrate the POLL of POLLS calculation:
With the elections still several months away, few polls have been made public. There is one made for the Zahleh district in the Bekaa (the poll was made by Fghali and published in Al Akhbar newspaper). Here is its finding:

Party name Projected votes Projected percentage
Future Movement 28,004 24.1
Hezbollah 22,654 15.6
FPM (Aoun) 14,612 12.6
Popular bloc (Skaff) 14,074 12.1
Lebanese Forces 14,074 12.1

Fictive poll 1:At this point, such a poll will not be very reliable, and would certainly have certain bias. Thus, having two or more would increase our certainty. For example, I will add two additional fictive polls to illustrate how this site’s projections will work.

Party name Projected percentage
Future Movement 22.1
Hezbollah 16.7
FPM (Aoun) 11.2
Popular bloc (Skaff) 10.5
Lebanese Forces 9.5

Fictive poll 2:

Party name Projected percentage
Hezbollah 19.7
Future Movement 18.9
Lebanese Forces 13.5
FPM (Aoun) 11.5
Popular bloc (Skaff) 9.2

Now if we calculate the poll averages of all three (by applying a simple average formula, in this case (poll 1+2+3)/3 ), our projection accuracy would certainly increase. In this fictive example, this is what the average would look like:

Party name Projected percentage
Future Movement 21.7
Hezbollah 17.2
FPM (Aoun) 11.76
Lebanese Forces 11.7
Popular bloc (Skaff) 10.6

Finally, such a Poll of Polls would inherently be more accurate and less affected by political or methodological biases. Thus, this blog will maintain a POLL of POLLS for all 15 districts, once more than three polls are published for each! The Poll will have it’s own dedicated page, and each update will be published on the main page and on the several attached social media outlets.
Tomorrow, I will further explain how a trend analysis of polls would work. But it should look like this:
Image courtesy: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/general-election-2017-poll-tracker-1622392

Here we go!

The May 6, 2018 parliamentary elections is just around the corner. this site will try to be a one stop shop for all information about the upcoming elections, including the laws, the different districts maps, and general information. I will also try to follow all the published numbers, forecasts and polling, link them in this website. Additionally, i intend to devise an overall trend analyzing tool, in an effort to craft a scientific approach to forecasting, similar to Nate Silver’ 538 website.
The idea is to collect the maximum number of published polls. Then a average is calculated, followed by constructing a trend line, which will show how each party is doing, and if their popularity is increasing or deceasing relative to time. This method is very effective, and can to a high degree, limit the influence of each polls bias from the overall accuracy of the model.
Feel free to check the available resources on this page!