Monday, November 1, 2010

Projection update via The Globe & Mail

Stephen Harper remains on track to win his third consecutive minority government were an election held today, according to the latest electoral projections.

With 34 per cent support, the Conservatives have maintained a five-point lead over the Liberals, who have the support of 29 per cent of Canadians. That is virtually unchanged from two weeks ago, when the Conservatives had the support of 33.9 per cent of voters, compared to 28.6 per cent for the Liberals.


You can read the rest of the article on The Globe & Mail website.

The projection featured in the piece is ThreeHundredEight.com's projection. I will do a more detailed update tomorrow. You can already see, though, that the Liberals have lost one seat to the benefit of the New Democrats.

25 comments:

  1. Éric,

    Never say never, Éric. Just think back to 2006 when the Conservatives were further back than the Liberals are now at the start of the campaign -- and look what happened...

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  2. so the stalemate continues... prairies locked up by the cpc and Quebec locked up by the bloc...
    the only plausible gamebreaking scenario for either the libs or cons seems to be a major breakthrough in ontario
    my only other thought was that if the libs and ndp were somehow able to pursue some limited form of cooperation that could somehow alleviate the damage being caused by centre and centre-left vote splitting without alienating party faithful or damaging the brand identity of the two parties they could possibly cobble together enough seats to gain the confidense of a minority house of commons... the upcoming by-elections will be interesting to watch...

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  3. "Never say never, Éric. Just think back to 2006 when the Conservatives were further back than the Liberals are now at the start of the campaign -- and look what happened..."

    Or look back to August 2008, whenthe Liberals were well ahead of where they are now (and at times, ahead of the Tories) -- and look what happened...

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  4. The Liberals should agree to get rid of public funding for parties and negotiate with the Cons to up the limit that individuals can donate. The NDP, Greens and the Bloc will take big hits in their funding and will have trouble campaigning. The Liberals and Conservatives can then battle it out for their votes like they did 20 years ago.

    read more: http://redtoryliberal.blogspot.com/2010/06/end-public-funding-for-parties.html

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  5. What happened in 2006?

    Oh, that's right, the RCMP opened a criminal investigation into the activities of the Liberal government.

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  6. Red Tory - the only reason the CPC wanted to eliminate the public funding was to cripple the Liberals.

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  7. Ira - They wanted to destroy everybody, lets face it. As well ideologically I cannot imagine that public funding for federal parties is something the Conservatives would agree with anyhow.

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  8. prairies locked up by the cpc and Quebec locked up by the bloc...

    You forgot Toronto locked up by Liberals. And the NDP have a small spread across Ontario.

    They all have their base, regionalized as it were. The liberals and NDP aren't better than the Tories and the Bloc because the bulk of their representation doesn't come from inside Quebec or Alberta.

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  9. The political benefit to the CPC of keeping the NDP and the Greens siphoning away Liberal votes on the left margin is enormous. They'd argue long and hard against that bill if the Liberals introduced it on the grounds that it marginalised poor Canadians by allowing larger donations.

    If the Liberals wanted to eliminate the per-vote subsidy without changing the individual maximum, then the CPC would be forced to support it even though the primary beneficiary would be the Liberals.

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  10. Ira NDP and Liberals were tied in latest fundraising.

    Huge, embarrassing setback for Ignatieff.

    I think they will continue to supplant the Liberals in the future no matter what the fundraising rules are.

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  11. Carl,

    "Or look back to August 2008, whenthe Liberals were well ahead of where they are now (and at times, ahead of the Tories) -- and look what happened..."

    Carl, isn't that like both of us. You have your favourite moment in political time -- and I have MINE!!!! LOL.

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  12. Red Tory Liberal,

    "The Liberals should agree to get rid of public funding for parties and negotiate with the Cons to up the limit that individuals can donate. The NDP, Greens and the Bloc will take big hits in their funding and will have trouble campaigning. The Liberals and Conservatives can then battle it out for their votes like they did 20 years ago."

    Nice plan, at least in theory. But yours truly is averse to doing anything that might provoke an unprecedented uptick in Bloc support. (Sorry, Éric.)

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  13. Shadow,

    "I think they will continue to supplant the Liberals in the future no matter what the fundraising rules are."

    Please don't count those chickens until the hatching establishes a regular and prolonged pattern.

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  14. "If the Liberals wanted to eliminate the per-vote subsidy without changing the individual maximum, then the CPC would be forced to support it even though the primary beneficiary would be the Liberals."

    How would the Liberals be the primary beneficiaries of such a reform? Of the three major parties, they are arguably the least effective fundraisers and are no less dependend on the public subsidy than the NDP (pundits guide had a graph to this effect back in August).

    While Shadow is wrong in saying that the NDP and Liberals are tied in fundraising (the grits were about $250K ahead of the NDP in the last quarter, $1.33 million to $1.08 million - in contrast the Tories pulled in about 3 times what the Liberals did. In Shadow's defense, someone suggested something to that effect in the Post last week), given the smaller pool of potential NDP voters, he's right to say that the Liberals are far less effective fundraisers than the NDP on a voter for voter basis. (The third quarter Liberal performance is particularly pitiful given that their leader was out on the road for most of it and the Tories were doing their usual best to make his life easy).

    Moreover, while a few years ago, it might have been fair to suggest that the low cap on donations disproportionately hurt the Liberals (on the theory that they had fewer donors then but that their donors gave more money), that hasn't been the case for a few years. Indeed, if you look at the average size of donations (helpfully provided by pundits guide), the size of Liberal donations have been steadily trending down since 2006 to the point where the average donation size of the Liberals and Conservatives is typically about the same or, if anything, the donation size is larger for the Tories. (Don't look at the annual numbers, because the Liberals' 2009 annual number was skewed by their "leadership" convention and the fees therefore, which don't really offset the added cost fo the convention - look at the quarterly numbers).

    To use the latest numbers from Elections Canada, in the 3rd quarter of 2010, the average donation size for the Tories was $110, for the Liberals it was $80.

    Simply put, if the Liberals proposed to abolish the public subsidy tommorow in exchange for an increase in subsidies, the Tories would shake their head at this renewed proof of both (i) the stupidity of the Liberal party and (ii) the existence of a Conservative God, and would be all over that proposal like a fat kid on a candy bar.

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  15. To assume a stable Conservative minority government is to assume a de facto Liberal-Conservative coalition (or a Bloc-Conservative coalition, unlikely).

    The vote on the Throne Speech becomes crucial.

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  16. Ronald O'Dowd said "Carl, isn't that like both of us. You have your favourite moment in political time -- and I have MINE!!!! LOL."

    Don't worry, for obvious reasons I'm awfully fond of the 2006 election campaign as well. :)

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  17. Carl,

    "Don't worry, for obvious reasons I'm awfully fond of the 2006 election campaign as well. :)"

    Even as a Liberal, in all honesty I have to admit that what Stephen Harper did then took G-U-T-S but knowing him, before he took the gamble he had already paced it out at least ten (10) moves ahead.

    (It's no wonder I get antsy with each passing week and month that this Prime Minister remains in office. He has given me major reason to worry in the past and I expect that trend to continue.)

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  18. This is very exciting news. It will be a wonderful day when Stephen Harper and his royal Conservatices get a huge majority Government in Canada. Then finally he will be able to do good things for Canada. It's hard to pass good legislation when your hands are tied by bad people. And let me tell you, there are a lot of bad people in the opposition. They just oppose everything good.

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  19. Petron - I suspect most Canadians would oppose those measures, as well, regardless of their quality.

    Good policy is often counter-intuitive, and the left is generally better at rhetoric than the right is. Pathos sells better than Logos.

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  20. Carl - Voter for Voter is a meaningless measure. If anything, the NDP success there shows that they're closer to their fundraising ceiling. The Liberals have the broader support, and if the per-vote subsidy were taken away the smaller parties (the NDP and Bloc) would quickly wither and die.

    Right now the NDP raises almost as much as the Liberals do, but the NDP is maxing out their fundraising. The Liberals have room to grow even without expanding their support.

    What would be interesting is how the chips would fall in Quebec once the Bloc collapsed (they'd clearly go first - they rely the most heavily on the subsidy funding). And that raises an interesting question. Why haven't the Conservatives used the per-vote subsidy as a national unity issue. For anyone who genuinely fears the sovereigntists, the per-vote subsidy is a threat to Canada because it props us the Bloc.

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  21. Ira things aren't quite as simple as that.

    Pundits Guide has shown that a lot of fundraising occurs at the riding level. When you factor that in things are a little less grim in terms of % of funding coming from the gov't.


    I think the BQ and Greens would die first.

    That would give room for NDP voter growth on the left spectrum. Plus they have enough to fully fund an election.

    I think they would be just fine.

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  22. Shadow,

    The Greens might die, but I doubt it. They have enough of an ideological niche that they might hang around as a fringe party - as they were in 2004 when they raked in 4% of the vote.

    Same with the Bloc, they don't need lots of money to survive because they really don't have to do much to get their vote. They're not like the NDP, Grits or Tories who have to compete with one another to attract voters - there's no real competition for a sovereignist party. They were around long before the feds started handing out subsidies so there's no reason to expect them to disappear without them. In fact, in 2009, their total spending was considerably less than their revenue.

    Again, the theory that all these parties will disappear in the absence of public funding doesn't withstand any critical scrutiny. If they were around before the public subsidy started, there's no reason why we should expect them to disappear with it.

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  23. Ira said: "Carl - Voter for Voter is a meaningless measure. If anything, the NDP success there shows that they're closer to their fundraising ceiling. The Liberals have the broader support, and if the per-vote subsidy were taken away the smaller parties (the NDP and Bloc) would quickly wither and die."

    You'll see my comments to Shadow on the Bloc and the Greens, they apply equally to your pos, but how is fundraising efficiency (i.e., a voter for voter measure of fundraising) meaningless? The fact that the NDP collects almost as much money from its donors as the Liberals, despite being a less popular party (in terms of polling data and votes) suggests that they'd could survive quite well in the absence of the public subsidy.

    Moreover, the suggestion that the NDP is "closer" to its fundraising ceiling relies on the presumption that the NDP and the Liberals are capable of being equally efficient fundraisers on a voter-for-voter basis - that's not obvious, and I'd be curious if you have any actual basis to support that supposition. The available facts suggest otherwise.

    In fact, if forced to rely on fundraising, past experience suggests that the NDP would compete favourably with the Liberals. Ignoring 2009 and 2006 (when Liberal fundraising efforts were skewed by their leadership conventions - replacing your leader isn't a viable long-term fundraising strategy and brings with it added costs), the NDP has been running neck and neck with the Liberals in terms of raising money from donors ($5.4 million vs. $5.8 million in 2008,$4 million to $4.5 million in 2007, $5.1 milion vs. $8.2 million in 2005, $5.2 million to 4.1 million in 2004(!!!)), while the Liberals have received far bigger wads of cash from the Federal government during those years. The NDP's current fundraising isn't, by the standards of the last 7 years, particularly high, nor is the Liberal's fundraising particularly low. This is the new normal for the Liberals and the NDP.

    Moreover, looking only at the revenue side understates the financial vulnerability of the Liberal party. The Liberal party has a far bigger "footprint" than the NDP. So, for example, in 2009 Liberal fundraising costs were 50% higher than those of the NDP (for all the good it did them). Similarly, in 2009, the Liberals spend almost $2.5 million on office expenses. The same figure for the NDP? $581K. Salaries and benefits? $4.5 million for the grits vs. $2.5 million for the NDP. That's the reason why the NDP netted more money last year than the Liberal party did ($2.29 million vs. $2.07 million - a large part of which appears to have been attributable to funds raised by leadership candidates).

    It's not fair to say that the Liberals are less efficient that the NDP, or the Bloc or the Greens, (though in some respects they probably are), but they're a different type of party (i.e., a party that has ambitions of forming a government rather than a perma-opposition party) and have corresponding higher costs (Liberal non-discretionary expenses were generally consistent with those of the conservatives in 2009). The Liberals need to bring in a lot more money than the NDP just to break even, and their fundraising doesn't do that, and hasn't since the Chretien years.

    Any suggestion that the Liberals could survive without the federal subsidy is, in the absence of some sort of massive fundamental overhaul of the Liberal party organization (of which there is no evidence at this point) is fantasy. But, hey, I'm a Tory, chase your dreams, man!

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  24. Carl my definition of "dead" includes the Green party joining the Christian Heritage Party in complete obscurity.

    No discussion of policies, no leader at debate, inclusion as an "other" in polling, etc.

    The BQ on the other hand is different so I take your correction.

    I just think it'll be reduced to a rump of 30 safe seats without public funding and we'll just more or less ignore them.

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  25. Shadow: I think the BQ and Greens would die first.

    Carl: The Greens might die, but I doubt it. They have enough of an ideological niche that they might hang around as a fringe party - as they were in 2004 when they raked in 4% of the vote.

    Conveniently, we have some evidence on which to base this speculation: the 2007 Ontario election.

    The Green Party of Ontario doesn't receive any per-vote subsidy. Furthermore, the threshold for election expense rebates is twice the federal level, 20%. Ontario Greens aren't getting a lot of public cash.

    So how did the GPO do in 2007? It received 8.02% of the vote.

    Remember, Green Party vote share increases monotonically. That's always true for national totals and almost always true in all other contexts. The 4% in 2004 isn't a reflection of the funding; it's a reflection of the party's position six years ago.

    If the per-vote subsidy were abolished it certainly wouldn't simplify the Green Party of Canada's situation. But based on the Ontario experience, the GPC would do just fine, thank you.

    Such a move would, of course, be a blow to democracy. If the Conservatives were really basing their position on lofty values, they'd move to abolish the tax deduction on political donations. I'd support them. My breath remains unheld.

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