It's possible to predict with >80% accuracy whether a bill that's put forward in the Ontario legislature will receive Royal Assent. OntarioMonitor has developed an algorithm that by one measure is 91% accurate. This is important information because only around 25% of Ontario bills receive Royal Assent (and the percentage for just public bills is even lower).

OntarioMonitor has a lot of data about bills and the MPPs who propose them. We've acquired this data over several years of operations. This data can be applied using a computer algorithm to predict whether a bill will pass. Click here to see its predictions for current public bills.

The full data in Excel and CSV format is provided at the end of this blog post. The data is for 695 bills proposed since the second session of the 39th Parliament.

The OntarioMonitor algorithm is not always confident about its own ability to guess (an important attribute for algorithms) so approximately 11% of the time it will not make a guess. Of the times that it did guess, here are the results:

Number of Bills: 694

Unable to Provide Confident Guess: 69

Correct Guesses: 570

Incorrect Guesses: 55

Percentage Correct: 91.2%

Percentage Incorrect: 8.8%

If you're of the view that not guessing is the same as guessing wrong, then the accuracy of the algorithm is 82% (because the 69 "no guess" answers would be considered incorrect).

Applying this algorithm to the most recent session of the Legislature, it was unable to guess for two bills and for all of the others guessed correctly.

In past parliaments only about 25.8% of bills receive Royal Assent (and 74.2% fail). Although some of these bills return in the next session, it's very important to be able to focus in on the likely results of the current legislative session. The result of OntarioMonitor's research is that yes, it's possible to predict with a fairly high degree of accuracy which bills will pass.

In circulating this research before publication a few people pointed out that the algorithm may only perform well under a majority government. I'll leave the minority government research to someone else, or wait until we have one to see if the algorithm continues performing well.

How is this research being applied? OntarioMonitor's subscription service includes a guess about whether a bill will pass in the alert that customers receive when the bill is introduced. It's not "big data" but it is practical data.

Human refinement of the algorithm's guesses could undoubtedly improve the accuracy.

The Algorithm's Guesses For Current Public Bills

Bill #Bill TitleAlgorithm GuessHas Bill Passed Yet?Current Status (May 5th, 2015)
1An Act to perpetuate an ancient parliamentary rightNo Guess0First Reading: Carried
2Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), 201400First Reading: Carried
3Planning Amendment Act (Enabling Municipalities to Require Inclusionary Housing), 201400First Reading: Carried
4Metrolinx Amendment Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
5Respect for Municipalities Act (City of Toronto), 201400First Reading: Carried
6Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 201510Second Reading: Debate
7Better Business Climate Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
8Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014No Guess1Royal Assent Received
9Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act, 2015No Guess0Second Reading: Debate
10Child Care Modernization Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
11Radon Awareness and Prevention Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on General Government)
12Protecting Employees' Tips Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly)
13Ontario Bike Month Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
14Building Opportunity and Securing Our Future Act (Budget Measures), 201411Royal Assent Received
15Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
16Christmas Tree Day Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
17Protecting Child Performers Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
18Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
19Ombudsman Amendment Act (Investigation of Health Care Services), 201400First Reading: Carried
20Ryan's Law (Ensuring Asthma Friendly Schools), 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
21Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
22Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 201400First Reading: Carried
23Magna Carta Day Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
24Prohibiting Driving with Unlawful Handguns Act, 2014No Guess0Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Justice Policy)
25Auditor General Amendment Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
26Taxation Amendment Act, 201411Royal Assent Received
27Provincial Framework and Action Plan concerning Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases Act, 201400Consideration of a Bill (Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly)
28Hispanic Heritage Month Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
29Medicine Amendment Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
30Highway Incident Management Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on General Government)
31Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario's Roads Safer), 2015No Guess0Consideration of a Bill (Standing Committee on General Government)
32Bob Mackie Act, 201400Second Reading: Lost on division
33Safeguarding our Communities Act (Fentanyl Patch for Patch Return Policy), 201400First Reading: Carried
34Respect for Veterans Act (Placing Donation Boxes for Remembrance Day Poppies in Members' Offices), 201400Withdrawn by the Member
35Security for Courts, Electricity Generating Facilities and Nuclear Facilities Act, 2014No Guess1Royal Assent Received
36Respecting Private Property Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Justice Policy)
37Invasive Species Act, 2015No Guess0Second Reading: Debate
38Smoke-Free Ontario Amendment Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
39Planning Statute Law Amendment Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on General Government)
40Agriculture Insurance Act (Amending the Crop Insurance Act, 1996), 201510Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs)
41Lung Health Act, 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills)
42Municipal Amendment Act (Election of Chair of York Region), 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly)
43Learning Through Workplace Experience Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
44Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Clearing Vehicles of Snow and Ice), 201400First Reading: Carried
45Making Healthier Choices Act, 2015No Guess0Second Reading: Debate
46Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Off-Road Vehicles), 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on General Government)
47Healthy Decisions for Healthy Eating Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
48Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
49Ontario Immigration Act, 201510Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Justice Policy)
50Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera System), 201400Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Justice Policy)
51Utility Task and All-Terrain Vehicles Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
52Protection of Public Participation Act, 2015No Guess0Second Reading: Debate
53Protecting Passenger Safety Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
54Right to Care Act (Children 16 Years of Age and Older), 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
55Bandit Taxi Cab Safety and Enforcement Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
56Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee pursuant to the Order of the House (Standing Committee on Social Policy)
57Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act, 201510First Reading: Carried
58Utility Task and All-Terrain Vehicles Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly)
59Gasoline Tax Fairness for All Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
60Tarion Accountability and Oversight Act, 201400First Reading: Carried
61Terry Fox Day Act, 2015No Guess0First Reading: Carried
62Fairness in Labour Relations Act (Bargaining Units and Certification of Trade Unions), 201400First Reading: Carried
63Retail Sales Tax Amendment Act (HST Rebate for Home Heating), 201400First Reading: Carried
64Protecting Interns and Creating a Learning Economy Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly)
65Safe Roundabouts Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on General Government)
66Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015No Guess0First Reading: Carried
67Raise a Glass to Ontario Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs)
68Municipal Elections Amendment Act (Voting Hours Extension), 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills)
69Tax Fairness for Realtors Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
70Registered Retirement Savings Protection Act, 201510Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Justice Policy)
71Poet Laureate of Ontario Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills)
72Supply Act, 2015No Guess0Third Reading: Carried on division
73Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015No Guess0First Reading: Carried
74Housing Services Corporation Accountability Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
75Microbead Elimination and Monitoring Act, 201500Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs)
76Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
77Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
78Transparent and Accountable Health Care Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
79Helping Volunteers Give Back Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
80Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Act, 2015No Guess0First Reading: Carried
81Intergenerational Day Canada Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
87Long-Term Care Homes Amendment Act (Preference for Veterans), 201500First Reading: Carried
88Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Money Transfers), 201500First Reading: Carried
89Election Amendment Act (MPPs' Recall), 201500First Reading: Carried
90Meningitis Awareness Day Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
91Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures), 201510First Reading: Carried
92Empowering Home Care Patients Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
93Testicular Cancer Awareness Month Act, 201500First Reading: Carried
94Peter Kormos Act (Repealing the Safe Streets Act), 201500First Reading: Carried
95Improving Mental Health and Addictions Services in Ontario Act, 201510First Reading: Carried
96Special Interest Groups Election Advertising Transparency Act, 201500First Reading: Carried

Download the Data

Here is the raw data in Excel and CSV format: