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Election game points to slim Tory win

Vancouver, BC - Jan 12, 2006 - Despite recent polling data that shows the Conservatives nearing majority territory, Prime Minister Forever - Canada 2006's developers say the software's in-depth election simulation projects a small Conservative minority.

While it was created for gaming, Prime Minister Forever uses sophisticated modelling that includes a large amount of real-world information. The developers used a similar method to predict George W. Bush would win the 2004 US election with 280+ electoral college votes. The final result was 286.

"The simulation shows a clear downward trend for the Liberals compared to their numbers at the start of the campaign," said Anthony Burgoyne, lead developer. "What was surprising to us, however, was that the game found an equilibrium point at around 110-115 Conservative seats, far short of a Harper majority government."

Prime Minister Forever renders election results using the relationship between many existing quantifiable factors, including:

  • Detailed results from previous elections
  • Aggregate public opinion polling data
  • Assessments of public opinion on current issues, broken down by region
  • Party platforms, funding and infrastructure
  • Attributes of party leaders and strengths of individual local candidates

The developers ran 50 complete election trials, and averaged the results. The final tally put the Conservatives in first place with 112 seats, the Liberals with 96, the Bloc with 66, the NDP with 33, and one independent. Majority governments were extremely rare, occurring only three out of 50 times.

Burgoyne emphasizes that these numbers were created by a statistical projection of the basic structural elements of the election.

"The Liberals so far seem to have run a less than optimal campaign, and their poll numbers reflect that. However, the simulation suggests that the electorate is inclined to end up in a place more favourable to them than current poll trends would suggest."

Half of the simulations started in November at the beginning of the campaign, and half started in the beginning of January with up-to-date polling information. The Liberal party ended up with similar results in both cases, despite the change in the starting polling numbers for each set of simulations.

About the publisher

80soft is a Vancouver-based software company specializing in political gaming. Founded in 2000, 80soft strives to bring the democratic process alive by creating engaging, realistic simulations of elections past and present. 80soft has also created US, British, German, Australian and British Columbia election simulations, which have received critical acclaim and popular success.

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