Friday, October 22, 2010

Bloc gains while NDP falters in new projection

It's been a month - way too long - but the projection has been updated. Remarkably, there are relatively few changes, at least at the national level. The Bloc Québécois has gained two seats while the New Democrats have lost two, and the Conservatives and Liberals have remained stable.The Conservatives are projected to win 33.8% of the vote and 129 seats, unchanged from the September 22 projection. The Liberals are up 0.5 points to 29.5%, but remain at 96 seats.

The Bloc is unchanged at 9.8% of the vote nationally, but has gained two seats and is projected to win 53.

The New Democrats are down 0.7 points to 15.3% and are projected to win 30 seats, two fewer than last month.

The Greens are down 0.2 points to 8.8% and are projected to win no seats.

This shows a little bit of life for the Liberals, who have closed the gap to 4.3 points. They are still mired at less than 100 seats, however. They seem to have been buoyed by the misstep of the NDP, who really have very little silver lining in this projection update.

We'll start with Ontario. The Conservatives and Liberals have both made gains here at the expense of the NDP. The Conservatives lead with 36.4% (up 0.9), followed closely by the Liberals at 36.1% (up 0.8). The Liberals have gained a seat at the expense of the NDP, which is down 0.9 points to 16%. The Greens are down 0.5 points to 10%. The Liberals are projected to win 47 seats, compared to 46 for the Conservatives and 13 for the New Democrats.

In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois is up 0.2 points to 39.3%, and leads over the Liberals who are at 23.7% (up 0.1). The Conservatives have dropped 0.3 points to 16.7%, and have lost a seat in the process. The New Democrats are unchanged at 11.9%, but are down one seat as well. The Greens are down 0.2 points to 6.8%. The Bloc is projected to win 53 seats, while the Liberals would win 15, the Conservatives six, and the NDP one.

The Conservatives have lost 0.7 points in British Columbia, but still lead with 35.8%. The NDP are second with 26.2% (up 0.1), while the Liberals have gained 0.3 points to reach 24%. The Greens are stable at 11.9%. The Conservatives are projected to win 19 seats, the New Democrats nine, and the Liberals eight.

Surprisingly, considering the small sample sizes, there is very little change in Atlantic Canada. The Liberals lead with 38.3% (down 0.1), followed by the Conservatives at 31.4% (up 0.1). The NDP is stable at 22.4% while the Greens are down 0.1 to 6.1%. The Liberals are projected to win 20 seats in Atlantic Canada, with eight being taken by the Conservatives and four by the NDP.

In Alberta, the Conservatives are once again projected to sweep all 28 seats. They have 60.2% support, up 0.3 points. The Liberals are down 0.4 points to 16.9% and have lost the seat that they were projected to win last month. The NDP is up 0.2 points to 11.1%, while the Greens are down 0.4 points to 8.8%.

Finally, in the Prairies, the Conservatives have gained 0.3 points and lead with 46.3%. The NDP is down 1.1 points (the only >1 loss in this projection) to 23%. The Liberals are up 0.5 points to 22.1% and the Greens are up 0.1 to 6.6%. As has been the case almost always, the Conservatives are projected to win 21 seats to the Liberals' four and the NDP's three.

In the North, I've weighted things a little differently so it isn't fair to compare any changes from last month. But the Liberals lead with 32.8%, followed by the Conservatives at 30.9% and the New Democrats at 26.3%. The Greens bring up the rear at 8.3%. The Liberals are projected to win two seats in the North, with the other going to the Conservatives.

In terms of net regional gains/losses (excluding the North), the Liberals come out on top with a net gain of 1.2 points. They made big strides forward in Ontario and the Prairies, and are going in the right direction in British Columbia and Quebec.

Next best would be the Conservatives, with a net gain of 0.6 points. They are up big in Ontario and are doing well in Alberta and the Prairies. However, losses in British Columbia and Quebec hurt them.

Then we have the Bloc, which has gained 0.2 points in Quebec. They now hold a 15.6-point lead over the Liberals.

The two net losers this month were the Greens (down 1.1) and the New Democrats (down 1.7). The NDP's losses in the Prairies and Ontario are horrific, though minute gains west of Saskatchewan are better than nothing.

Ontario is the obvious battleground. The Liberals and Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, and have been for some time. The Tories have the advantage of seats thanks to their performances in the West, which Liberal performances in the East can only off-set so much. If the Conservatives can pull away in Ontario, they have a strong minority in the bag. If the Liberals can pull away, they stand a chance to form the next government.

28 comments:

  1. I have a feeling that people are in a state of exhaustion with all the political turmoil. They are waiting to see who has momentum. I think the tories have used up all their amunition and have aquired alot of baggage which will hurt them when an election is called even if they force the opposition to pull the plug in March. They are particularly vulnerable in Ontario, with several cabinet ministers from the Harris govt era.
    The provincial liberals are trying to tie Hudak to the cutbacks and political upheaval of the late 90s and if they are successful in reducing the provincial tories poll numbers I'm sure the Federal liberals will try the same tactic for Clement, Baird and our finance minister in an election.

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  2. The Ontario Liberals aren't going to be a useful ally for anyone. McGuinty has managed Ontario terribly during his time in office.

    He's one of only three current premiers to have produced a net deficit while in power.

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  3. "The provincial liberals are trying to tie Hudak to the cutbacks and political upheaval of the late 90s and if they are successful in reducing the provincial tories poll numbers I'm sure the Federal liberals will try the same tactic for Clement, Baird and our finance minister in an election."

    That stategy didn't work for the federal Liberals against Flaherty or Baird in 2004, 2006, 2008 (arguably it worked against Clement in 2004, but not in 2006 or 2008), so why would we expect it to work now? This is an example of wishful thinking over critical analysis.

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  4. As an aside, did anyone catch today's Fiscal Monitor from Finance for the year-to-date deficit through August.

    It's interesting, the government seems to be well ahead of it's deficit projections. Earlier this month, they were prediction a deficit of $45.4 billion this year compared to a defict of $55.6 billion last year. But almost half-way through the year, the government is already running $10 billion ahead of last year, largely on the strength of higher revenue (and the fact that the 2009-10 deficit include a huge whack of cash for the auto industry).

    Moreover, last year's deficit was driven up at year end by the acceleration (at least for accounting purposes) of the $5.6 billion transition payments to Ontario and BC for the implementation of the HST (which the auditor general decided should all be included in 2009-10). Since that isn't going to be repeated again, the Tories basically started the year $5.6 billion ahead of last year.

    You can see how this is going to play out, the Tories are going to go before the house next spring and announce that the deficit is significantly lower than expected (say $35 billion - a plausible number given the year-to-date numbers) and that the 2011-12 deficit will be lower still (say $18billion) as stimulus spending comes off the books. Then they'll hope that the opposition parties will defeat their budget so that they can run on a campaign of fiscal competence during which they'll crow about their "world-beating" performance.

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  5. Carl,

    Flaherty and Baird were not running in 2004, so why did you group them with Clement's unsuccessful run in 2004 which you admit did fail because of the Liberals tying him to the Harris-Eves years?

    Ira,

    You misunderestimate the power of the McGuinty Liberals. They are organizationally sound and competent, and while McGuinty is unpopular right now, there's no guarantee he'll lose power in 2011.

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  6. Carl I noticed all the media reports were talking about how Flaherty didn't meet his budget target when he released his fall fiscal update.

    Now various columnists (and Craig Oliver) are talking about endless deficits and the need for new taxes.

    But if you expense the HST payouts over multiple years as originally budgeted (the AG suggested the switch to a one year payout) it does indeed turn out Flaherty is UNDER budget.

    "Record deficits" and "out of control spending" seem to be the talking points used on a daily basis by people like Scott Brison.

    Flaherty's next good news budget will take the air out of those attacks and will probably be politically difficult to oppose.

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  7. Volkov,

    I stand corrected, Flaherty and Baird were RE-ELECTED in 2003 provincially. Funny how the Liberals failed to beat them when they were running on their records as Cabinet Ministers in the Harris-Eves governments in 2003, but you and Peter seem to believe that, 7 years later, that record will haunt them.

    In any event, my point stands, all 3 cabinet ministers were elected in 2006 and 2008, despite their association with the Harris government. Or is it your (and Peter's) proposition that Ontario voters somehow didn't know about that record (or that the Liberals weren't doing their damndest to bring it to their attention)? As I said, wishful thinking over critical analysis.

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  8. Liberal minority Govt especially if the Feds approve the Potash deal.

    Wall will do an ABC

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  9. Carl,

    "That stategy didn't work for the federal Liberals against Flaherty or Baird in 2004, 2006, 2008 (arguably it worked against Clement in 2004, but not in 2006 or 2008), so why would we expect it to work now? This is an example of wishful thinking over critical analysis."

    I tend to agree with you because I think the Harris years are simply too far back in time to provide a substantial punch for Liberals. I would also apply that reasoning to the 2010 possible effects of a previous Rae provincial government.

    To my mind, the Conservative shelf life and track record will do more to undermine this government than anything we Liberals can come up with. Will it be enough to deny them re-election? Let's wait and see how things play out on the campaign trail!

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  10. Carl,

    "Then they'll hope that the opposition parties will defeat their budget so that they can run on a campaign of fiscal competence during which they'll crow about their "world-beating" performance."

    Come on Carl. You know perfectly well that we Liberals are in the business of extinguishing Conservative hopes! All in good time.

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  11. Carl,
    Shadow,

    Are you guys planning a quick trip to Saskatchewan?

    Right now, I can think of at least eleven reasons why it might be worthwhile!!!

    With some people distracted on the continent, who knows what could happen...

    I guess that means no further Dimitri talking points for "a while".

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  12. "I stand corrected, Flaherty and Baird were RE-ELECTED in 2003 provincially. Funny how the Liberals failed to beat them when they were running on their records as Cabinet Ministers in the Harris-Eves governments in 2003, but you and Peter seem to believe that, 7 years later, that record will haunt them. "

    They didn't run in the same ridings provincially. For example when Baird was a provincial MPP he represented Nepean-Carleton - which is just about the most super-safe Tory seat in Ontario. When he switched to federal politics, he couldn't run there because Gordon O'Connor had already won that seat for the Tories in '04. Instead he ran in Ottawa West-Nepean - which is a much much more marginal seat - in fact it went Liberal federally as recently as '04 and it went Liberal provincially in '03 and '07 and in a byelection earlier this year. Baird's margins are not very impressive in that seat and he could easily lose if there was the slightest breeze away from the Tories.

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  13. Brad Wall is talked about as a future prime minister in a decade or two.

    If he pulls anything close to an ABC the firestorm of criticism he's already recieving from Tom Flanigan and the National Post crew will look miniscule in comparison.


    Opposing the take over is outright ridiculous.

    Do Canadians not realize how many mines in Australia that we have invested in ?

    Have we already forgotten that it was Australia working the phones to get us on the security council while America did nothing ?

    (BHP plans to move the corporate HQ from Chicago back to Canada, sounds good to me.)

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  14. "Liberal minority Govt especially if the Feds approve the Potash deal.

    Wall will do an ABC"


    ... I don't understand how you can be so out of touch with.. well everything.

    Maybe you can pick up Ronald and the 2 of you can come visit Saskatchewan.


    Wall has been onside with the Conservatives on alot. I believe part of his campaigning was working with ottawa rather than the adversarial relationships that the provincial NDP cultivated. And few people would follow him if he did anyway. People still remember the regional politics of the liberals hurting our province on equalization, on the green shift, on gun control, on the wheat board and dozens of others back past trudeau giving us the finger, etc etc etc. ... Screw the west, we'll take the rest.

    Yes, we do remember. What do you think the tories would have to do to erase all those bad memories of the liberal western alienation legacy??


    Insightrix polling says 56% or so of people want to have the sale blocked (that includes most of the almost 20% of people who are so out of it that they think PCS has still been a crown corporation for the last 21 years).

    The tories took 54% in the last election. If people feel strongly enough to base their entire vote on it... that is an 8 point swing. to compare to Erics Prairies projection we include Manitoba and come up with 51% to the projection of 46%. ... A 5%-8% swing.


    Ron, peter... Do you know how many ridings the tories won by less than 8%? I'll give you a hint.. there was 2. Both to the NDP. who are also down in the projection a couple points.


    I don't think any decision the tories make on PCS. (which is only 49% Canadian owned anyway) will do much more then move 2 seats in Saskatchewan from "sure win" into the "tossup column".

    ---------

    "I guess that means no further Dimitri talking points for "a while"."

    .... I am sorry Ron, I have been out on the combine for weeks... missed most of my daily briefings from the PMO on what I am supposed to say. Since you seem to have it all down pat, perhaps you could create a post for me to put up.

    Remember to include a quote about the liberal red sweeping Saskatchewan will happen on or about the same day the the Bloc sweeps every seat west of Ontario....

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  15. "Come on Carl. You know perfectly well that we Liberals are in the business of extinguishing Conservative hopes! All in good time."

    If so, they don't know their business, given their tendency to prop up the government on confidence votes (what is it, 5 budgets running now?).

    "I would also apply that reasoning to the 2010 possible effects of a previous Rae provincial government."

    Maybe, though since Rae isn't the Liberal leader, that's sort of a moot point.

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  16. "Liberal minority Govt especially if the Feds approve the Potash deal.

    Wall will do an ABC"

    More wishful thinking. The more likely scenario is that Wall will decide that Saskstachewan's royalty regime needs to be "reformed".

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  17. Shadow said:
    "Flaherty's next good news budget will take the air out of those attacks and will probably be politically difficult to oppose."

    -----

    Come on Shadow, let's be reasonable. His next good news budget?

    Are you seriously trying to tell us that the next budget of the government of Canada will be a good news budget? How can that possibly be true and how can you expect anyone to believe such a line?

    Even Flaherty admitted (On OCTOBER 12, 2010) that the deficit was over $50 billion this year and would be a similar figure this coming year. He said that it was a FIVE-YEAR DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN.

    Maybe I misunderstand what you mean? In my understanding "Good news budgets" don't usually contain massive deficits and deficit fighting measures... those are usually considered bad news budgets, aren't they?

    Please fill us in if you have information that makes your statements even remotely credible.

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  18. Shadow,

    "Opposing the take over is outright ridiculous.

    Do Canadians not realize how many mines in Australia that we have invested in ?

    Have we already forgotten that it was Australia working the phones to get us on the security council while America did nothing ?"

    Here's a perhaps novel concept for you: it's called properly separating Australian private business interests from their national political interest. Yes, Australia went to bat for us at the UN but that is neither here nor there as it relates to the BHP bid.

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  19. Hi Barcs,

    "Maybe you can pick up Ronald and the 2 of you can come visit Saskatchewan."

    To begin, it's always an honour to visit any part of our great country and a pleasure when even one's political opponents invite us to travel there. Thanks for the compliment.

    "Ron, peter... Do you know how many ridings the tories won by less than 8%? I'll give you a hint.. there was 2. Both to the NDP. who are also down in the projection a couple points.


    I don't think any decision the tories make on PCS. (which is only 49% Canadian owned anyway) will do much more then move 2 seats in Saskatchewan from "sure win" into the "tossup column"."

    Barcs, we've tussled vigorously elsewhere in the past but I'm not on the scene while YOU are. Quite obviously both of our opinions by necessity are politically shaded but I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to your analysis. However, Wall (as seen from the middle of the country) strikes me as one determined hombre! He seems to be investing a lot of personal political capital and reputation in blocking this deal. Do you at least concede that this may be a fair point?

    "I guess that means no further Dimitri talking points for "a while"."

    ".... I am sorry Ron, I have been out on the combine for weeks... missed most of my daily briefings from the PMO on what I am supposed to say. Since you seem to have it all down pat, perhaps you could create a post for me to put up.


    I don't think any decision the tories make on PCS. (which is only 49% Canadian owned anyway) will do much more then move 2 seats in Saskatchewan from "sure win" into the "tossup column".

    Barcs, of all the Conservative supporters on this blog, it's always been my impression that you are the most independent minded (after Ira and Earl). Carl is also but he does drink the Kool Aid, now and then! And Shadow, well, at least he is striving for 50-50!!!!!!!! May his efforts continue.

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  20. Carl,

    "More wishful thinking. The more likely scenario is that Wall will decide that Saskstachewan's royalty regime needs to be "reformed"."

    I suppose that depends on how much of a stink Wall is really planning to make. If he plays it to the max, how can he then possibly back down and settle for increased royalties. So far, I would say he is keeping his performance in perspective. Will that continue or are we in for another round of naked flag polls? I'm interested in hearing your views Carl on this particular point. Thanks.

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  21. johnsmith1234,

    I think he's getting at the point that any improved economy will help the Conservative government retire the deficit at a faster pace than initially projected -- put another way, perhaps before the five year limit is up.

    My response: maybe, maybe not. It's plausible but then so is the companion scenario that the Canadian economy could suddenly head into a downturn. After all, growth rates are dropping. Too bad none of us have a crystal ball.

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  22. (BHP plans to move the corporate HQ from Chicago back to Canada, sounds good to me.)


    .... so does PCS, now that the media has gotten hold of it. It is after all still provincial legislation that they do. (enacted when the province privatized it). The NDP tho failed to have the agreement enforced.



    "The more likely scenario is that Wall will decide that Saskstachewan's royalty regime needs to be "reformed"."

    According to Wall, that is off the table given the investment, capital and job of other companies invested in the sector. He doesn't want to hurt their investment too.



    I think more likely is that if the deal goes though he will decide that BHP has sweetened the offer enough and that he will give it a blessing (I am not sure he isn't just playing with the file negotiating the best deal possible by holding out)

    BHP has offered for example moving head office back, including making Saskatchewan their primary head office for all potash... Investing a portion of profits in the province and committing to growing the industry... Offering to have a committee/panel of mostly Saskatchewan people approve and arbitrate whether BHP is holding up their end of the deals made... Keeping the new Jantzen mine BHP is already building here from the PCS whole to forgo any tax deferrals the province would have to give up on the capital investment... Honoring all Canpotex contracts in effect at the time of transfer, keeping the division for a period of time.... and more


    The major sticking point right now seems to be the risk the Sask government would have to take in the deal, and what would happen to the jobs and company of canpotex. And who ends up doing the pricing of potash.



    But in the end,... Wall, and even Harper have very little influence. It is a publicly traded company, and there is very little either can do to stop BHP from simply buying shares. And brad wall made a pretty good case to deny the deal a couple days ago... but I am still not sure how big an effect one global company from Australian will have buying another global company who happens to have its roots here.

    The big difference maker Harper/Wall might have in their decision is the size and strategicness of the resource. So much of the global stocks being right here.

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  23. "Maybe I misunderstand what you mean? In my understanding "Good news budgets" don't usually contain massive deficits and deficit fighting measures... those are usually considered bad news budgets, aren't they?

    Please fill us in if you have information that makes your statements even remotely credible."


    For example:
    -We are way ahead of our projections!!!
    -We are among the least leveraged countries in the G8!!!!
    -The other guys plan more and more spending even as they disparage the debt created by the spending they demanded....

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  24. John Smith what are you talking about ?

    We're going to go from the 50 billions down to the 30 billions in the spring.

    That's not a "similiar figure". That's a substantial reduction in the deficit (based on phasing out the stimulus).

    Cutting the deficit nearly in half qualifies as "good news" to me.

    BTW - The Liberal fiscal framework is more or less IDENTICAL to Flaherty's.

    They DID after all support the 2 year economic action plan that created the deficit in the first place.

    And if you look at their plans they'll balance the books in five years too.


    So no, I see no reason to get upset about our fiscal situation.

    And I certainly see no way the Liberals can gain on the issue since the public rightly percieves them as big spenders.

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  25. Ron you don't think it will hurt our relationship with the Australian government if we block one of their biggest companies from investing in Canada ?

    Ron you don't think it will hurt our efforts to invest in Australian natural resources if we don't let them invest here ?


    Its a sad, sad day when Canada turns its back on one of our closest commonwealth allies to benefit an American company.

    There will be fallout and harm to us if we refuse this deal. Make no mistake about that.

    And it will probably scare off a lto of direct foriegn investment from around the world.

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  26. DL: For example when Baird was a provincial MPP he represented Nepean-Carleton - which is just about the most super-safe Tory seat in Ontario. When he switched to federal politics, he couldn't run there because Gordon O'Connor had already won that seat for the Tories in '04.

    For what it matters, Gordon O'Connor's riding is Carleton--Mississippi Mills so he doesn't come into the plot. Furthermore, Pierre Poilievre has been MP for Nepean--Carleton since 2004 but it was represented by Liberal David Pratt before then so it's hardly a traditional Tory stronghold.

    The quoted statement isn't totally off the wall; a movie studio would describe as being "based on a true story".


    In any case, Ronald O'Dowd is right. Baird, Clement and Flaherty have long outgrown the label of Harrisites. They're (rightly) seen as Harper cabinet ministers and that's what will matter in the next election. Whether the label is good or bad depends on your political perspective.

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  27. "Pierre Poilievre has been MP for Nepean--Carleton since 2004 but it was represented by Liberal David Pratt before then so it's hardly a traditional Tory stronghold."

    OK, I meant Poilievre - but my point stands and that fact that Nepean-Carleton was Liberal before 2004 doesn't mean much - in 1993, 1997 and 2000 - the Liberals carried almost every single solitary seat in Ontario - but apart from that aberration - Nepean-Carleton is about as safe a Tory seat as you will find in Ontario. Ottawa West is a different story and Baird better watch it because he could easily lose in the next election.

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  28. DL: Ottawa West is a different story and Baird better watch it because he could easily lose in the next election.

    I'm glad you think so highly of Green nominated candidate Mark Mackenzie. As discussed here a while back, he's almost certain to pass NDP nominated candidate Marlene Rivier in the next election. He'll have a tough time beating Baird, though.

    As for the Liberal nominated candidate... well, there isn't one yet. Is there an unheralded Grit star in the wings who's going to topple Baird from his perch?

    Baird was only 8% ahead of former Liberal cabinet member David Pratt in the last election and he's a polarizer of the first order. However, he definitely doesn't head the list of Tory Seats At Risk.

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