Liberal Minority If Election Held Today? 
Posted to Jim Elve's Group Election Blog

What does the latest poll mean? Well, using the poll numbers and comparing them to the popular vote from the 2000 election, I've calculated what the poll really means...

N.D.P. 0823031
B.Q. 5300053

First off, let me make a bunch of disclaimers. This doesn't take into account sub-region differences - for example BC in the West, Urban vs Rural in Ontario. This doesn't take into account the effect of 'star' candidates a la Broadbent (Lowell Green). It also uses the 301 ridings and not the new 308 which gives Ontario and Alberta more seats. Email me if you want the spreadsheet.

The Liberals are hurting in all regions except Atlantic Canada where their support is holding. In Quebec, due to such close results in many ridings last election, the Liberals could lose many seats to the Bloc.

The support in the west for the Conservatives is finally rising but is still far from the 50% popular vote that the Alliance received in 2000. The Liberals had been poised for great gains in BC especially but it appears to be fading under the weight of both the BC and National scandals.

Ontario is interesting as the chart above shows the impressive drop of Liberal support and the steady increase of the NDP and now improvement for the Conservatives. The Liberal stranglehold of the province is weakening with 21 seats gone to the other parties. What is more important, when running the simulations, is that number would rise to 40 seats if the Liberals lost only 4 more points in Ontario (assuming split evenly between the Tories and NDP).

For the Conservatives, as Ibbitson pointed out yesterday, the dynamics of the leadership race has changed and mostly in the favour of Stephen Harper. The pressure is back on Stronach and Clement to show they are capable enough - party members can't assume a 4 year honeymoon on the opposition bench for the new leader.

For the NDP - they must present themselves as an alternative to the Liberals and make hay while the Conservatives gather themselves. Not having Layton in the House of Commons right now is not helping them pick up the support leaving the Liberals.

And, just to really stir things up, here's what an election would look like if the West returned to 2000 levels and the Liberals lost 10 more points in Ontario to the NDP and Conservatives evenly (assume other regions stay at the current levels).

N.D.P. 0305045
B.Q. 5300053

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