Friday, June 12, 2009

Projection Update: Harris-Decima

Now that the details of the Harris-Decima poll are available, I've updated the projection.

Firstly, this poll would have resulted in a stable Liberal minority:

Liberals - 140 seats
Conservatives - 94 seats
Bloc Quebecois - 52 seats
New Democrats - 22 seats

The Liberals made significant seat gains from other individual polls thanks to their lead in British Columbia (33% to 30%), their big lead in Ontario (42% to 31%), and their even bigger lead in Atlantic Canada (45% to 30%). The 40% result for the Bloc increased their seat total to 52 seats.

In the short-term projection, the Liberals have gained enough seats to now be considered capable of forming a stable minority government. They are now up four seats to 133, while the Conservatives are done three to 107. The Greens have lost their seat in Atlantic Canada, the NDP is down one, and the Bloc is up one.

In the long-term projection, the New Democrats have lost a seat to the Liberals in Atlantic Canada. That puts the Liberals up to 121 seats, four up on the Tories. There were no big regional gains, but the most significant was the 0.3 point gain by the Liberals in Atlantic Canada.

Now that it seems both Layton and Duceppe have committed themselves against the government's economic update, Michael Ignatieff has to decide whether to send Canadians to an election. Based on the numbers this week, he would be Canada's next Prime Minister. But we've seen how quickly things change, and how individual polls can sometimes show leads within the statistical margin of error. The "Canadians don't want an election" theme is always overstated, after the first week the voters seem to forget about who forced the election. A summer election would be bad for voter turnout, and I'd predict an all-time low in that domain. Of course, Ignatieff can wait until the fall or next spring, but the old cliché is that a short period of time is an eternity in politics. The situation in the fall or next spring might not be as favourable as it is now.

Things for Ignatieff to ponder. If you're reading this Michael, I'd hold off. You have until 2012 to bring down the government, and I'm sure another opportunity will present itself. It's a bit risky right now.