So, indeed, let us deal with the polls first. What happened? The polls clearly showed a narrowing gap since the debate, represented by my polling average in the graph below. However, the gap never closed all that - even the Forum poll only moved the average a percentage point. Let's make it clear as well: Forum only had the one poll, and one poll does not a result make - in most cases. While Forum got it wrong, they definitely showed a severe swing. How was anyone supposed to know they were right, compared to the 8-10 point leads for Wildrose in other polls?
Ah yes, strategic voting. We all knew that the Liberals were going to be facing a drop this election, but the polls overestimated Liberal support by one-to-four points in the last days, with the NDP also overestimated by roughly the same amount. In Calgary, however, is where it really played out; roughly 2/3rd of the Liberal vote fled to the PCs, while the NDP stayed at their paltry 5% of the vote. No pollster had shown the eventual spread in Calgary (roughly 46% to 35%) that resulted because of strategic voting. Amazing, really.
And because of the polls, my projection obviously failed. My prediction of a Wildrose victory proved wrong, because I had the Wildrosers at 40% and the PCs at 34%, which resulted in 52 WRP and 30 PCs.
But what if the model had the correct numbers? While I would've been a lot closer to the end result (my model would've gotten 66 PCs, 18 Wildrosers, and 3 New Democrats), I still would've managed to get almost a third of my riding calls wrong.
While I can't call it a success, I can say that the model, had it the right numbers, would've held up fairly well, even though, unlike 308.com's, it wasn't a true regional-based model. In the future, however, I'll need to give incumbents more of an advantage, maybe Liberals in particular - so far we've seen Newfoundland, Ontario, the federal, and Alberta Liberals maintain a lot of their incumbents really well.
Here's the official comparison for posterity:
Projection - 52 Wildrose, 30 PC, 5 NDP (40.2% Wildrose, 34.2% PC, 12.4% Lib, 11.3% NDP)
Actual - 61 PC, 17 Wildrose, 5 Lib, 4 NDP (43.9% PC, 34.3% Wildrose, 9.9% Lib, 9.8% NDP)
Actual w/Projection - 66 PC, 18 Wildrose, 3 NDP