Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Projection Update: Conservatives by One

The projection has been updated, though only with the EKOS poll released today. The Strategic Counsel poll from earlier this week has been put into the projection system where I have information, but I'll be giving the poll no weight (and thus no influence) until I have all the details.

The short-term projection has changed to the benefit of the Liberals. Though they lost half a point, they didn't lose a seat which puts them in the lead as the Tories have lost five seats and 0.4 points in the national vote. The Bloc has gained two seats while the NDP has gained three as well as 0.6%. The Greens have also gained that much of the vote.

The long-term projection has also changed, but to the benefit of the New Democrats. They are up two seats in British Columbia, putting them at 24 nationwide. The Conservatives and Liberals have each lost one, bringing them down to 118 and 117, respectively. The Greens have gained 0.2 points nationally and the Tories have lost 0.1. They've also lost 0.4 points in Alberta, while the Greens are up 0.3. The NDP has also gained 0.4 points in Atlantic Canada.

Things remain incredibly close. It is impossible to guess at what the government would look like with such a result.

While things remain close on high, when you look more closely into the polling data we see a few trends. Firstly, in British Columbia the three parties are starting to drift towards one another. We don't see the 40%+ Tory support levels we saw in the past. In the Prairies, things are also starting to get closer and the NDP is making a contest out of it for second place.

In Quebec, the Liberals are dropped to the low-30s from the mid-to-high 30s, to the benefit of the Bloc, who are starting to slowly drift upwards from the mid-30s. The Tory slide in that province has also halted, but it has done so in the mid-teens, which is not a healthy result. In Atlantic Canada, the Tories are starting to fall like a stone, with several recent polls putting the NDP in second place. The bump for Jack Layton's party is likely the result of the provincial NDP victory in Nova Scotia.

That the NDP is starting to improve its score in British Columbia, the Prairies, and Atlantic Canada (historically their bread and butter regions) could embolden Layton come the fall. With the Liberals still looking like they can win (and undoubtedly improve their place in Parliament, which in and of itself might be worth an election call), the NDP getting back to respectable levels, and the Bloc appearing capable of improving on their 2008 support level, an autumn election is becoming more and more likely. The summer is starting with stories of Conservative gaffes, which doesn't help matters for them. Whether they are insignificant stories like that of the host and Harper missing another international group photo at the G8, or more important ones like Minister Diane Ablonczy being demoted for her involvement with the Toronto Pride Parade, they keep a negative eye upon the government during a time when parties are supposed to keep their heads down and shake hands at BBQs.

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