It started out as dinner conversation and ended up reaching half a million visitors in just over three weeks during the election. The maiden voyage of the strategic voting site VoteforEnvironment.ca has been an amazing journey.
Our plan for VFE was to create a new tool to empower smart choices on election day. The website placed a new, previously unavailable bounty of information, in both official languages, into the hands of all Canadian voters, showing how current polling would likely affect the historical election results in their riding.
The website attracted a whopping 592,445 total visits and 414,476 unique users. It garnered 3,309,234 page views. On election day alone, VFE had 83,431 visits.
There is good evidence to indicate that VFE positively affected the outcome in 18 ridings by either gaining a seat or preventing a loss to the Conservatives.
Five of these went to the NDP, 12 to the Liberals and one to the Bloc. Swing voters should be proud. Election day polling numbers showed that the Conservatives had the support to win 153 seats, which, with a deal with the two independents, would have meant a Tory majority. Together, we definitely made the difference. An extremely detailed report card is going up on VoteforEnvironment.ca today (Thursday, October 23).
We made 96 picks and achieved a 97.92 per cent accuracy rate. Two of the 96 were incorrect, and one of these, Nova Scotia's South Shore-St. Margaret's, probably contributed to a loss for the NDP. It was human error, and the project has definitely learned from this mistake.
There is much to celebrate, however. Just think what we'll be able to do together when we add time and experience to this winning equation.