Thursday, March 24, 2011

NDP out of the race in Gatineau?

No federal polls were released yesterday, which shouldn't come as any surprise. The campaign is virtually scheduled to properly start on Saturday, so expect an onslaught of polls beginning next week.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Segma Recherche for Le Droit and 104.7 CKOI for the two Gatineau ridings of Hull-Aylmer and Gatineau show that the New Democrats may not actually be ready for a breakthrough in the Outaouais.
Riding polls always need to be taken with a grain of salt - it is more difficult to nail down a representative sample and the margin of error is relatively large: 6.5% for Hull-Aylmer and 5.5% for Gatineau. In addition, candidates for every party have not been nominated. Nevertheless, Segma was not far off on most of its 2008 riding polls, so we should take these results at face value.

We'll start with Hull-Aylmer, which has been a Liberal stronghold since the dawn of time. It hasn't always been an easy win for the Liberals, as in 2006 the Bloc Québécois came within four points of taking the riding. But in 2008, Marcel Proulx was re-elected with 37% of the vote.

According to this poll, that has dropped to only 28%. The Bloc has increased its vote to 27%, about where they were in 2006.

The New Democrats are at 18%, just about where they were under Pierre Ducasse, who had run for the leadership of the party back when Jack Layton was awarded the role. Ducasse will not be running again for the NDP in Hull-Aylmer, instead replaced by Nycole Turmel. The Conservatives are also steady at 14% (they had 15% in 2008), while the Greens appear to have made some in-roads, standing at 13% (instead of 5%).

Of course, the MOE needs to be taken into account and the Green boost could be illusory. If that Green support reverts to the Liberals, Proulx should be re-elected. If not, the Bloc could pull an upset.

On to Gatineau. This is considered to be one of the ridings to watch, as the Bloc eked out a victory in 2008 with 29% of the vote, ahead of the NDP at 26% and the Liberals at 25%. Segma, however, doesn't see the race as so close.

Instead, Richard Nadeau looks to win the riding for the Bloc again very easily, with 37% of the vote. This is not a very surprising number, as Nadeau had taken roughly 40% of the vote in the 2004 and 2006 elections.

What is surprising is the drop of the NDP. They are down to 16%, despite Françoise Boivin being tauted as the next great Quebec NDP MP. Instead, the Liberals and their candidate Steve MacKinnon are running second at 22%, still a drop for them.

The Conservatives, at 19%, are about where they were in 2008 (17%), while the Greens have gone from 3% to 6%.

It is difficult to believe that the NDP is not in the running in Gatineau, but there you have it. If the NDP can't win Gatineau it is hard to locate another riding that they could win in Quebec, especially since Hull-Aylmer was definitely in their top five.

Note that I will be including riding polls in my projection. Because they have large MOEs and rarely will we have corroborating evidence through subsequent polls in these ridings, riding polls will be given a relatively low weight in each riding projection: 25%.

This Segma poll was included in yesterday's projection, and I accordingly have the Liberals leading in Hull-Aylmer with 34%, followed by the Bloc at 23% and the NDP at 19%. In Gatineau, I have the Bloc in front with 31% to the NDP's 25% and the Liberals' 23%.

The Outaouais will certainly be a region to watch on election night. Gatineau was supposed to be the close race, but Hull-Aylmer could turn out to be the nail-biter.


  1. Ok so Eric can you do a break down of the ridings in play? ie those within about a 9.5% spread.

    As I see it there are:
    9 in BC
    3 in Alta
    0 in Sask (there wont be any campaign stops there)
    4 in Man
    1 in the North
    3 in NB
    2 in NS
    2 in PEI
    2 in Nfld
    12 in Que

    and wait for it 25 in ON
    with another 5 or 6 between a 9.5-10% spread

    Also of note: there are the most Very close races in ON where a slight mo shift towards or margin or error against the govn't means a majority.

    This election really is battleground Ontario, with a little BC and QC thrown in for good measure.

    So 53 ridings in play, with another 5-10 on the cusp if a major shift happens.

    That's how I see it. How do you see it Eric?

  2. That's generally it. A lot of ridings are in play if things change significantly. If they don't, the campaign will be fought around the margins.

  3. Anon,

    There's about 2, almost 3, in play in Saskatchewan - Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, Palliser, and possibly Churchill River.

    And just 1 in the north? Huh? All three could be up for grabs.

    And I'm curious as to the 3rd "in play" riding in Alberta. I count two - the Dipper one and the Indie one.

    3 in NB - try 5, half of them could be in play depending where the win blows.

    1,2,3 in Nova Scotia, maybe 4.

    I'd say more than 25 in Ontario.

    Yeah.... if that's how you see it, you need to see more.

  4. I guess it depends on how you define in play. The Yukon has a 27% gap between fist and second place projection at this time and I don't think any margin of error or any swing will overcome that. One other northern riding has a 10.2% gap, so maybe its in play, but again I doubt it.

    There are rock solid bottoms for support of all four major parties, that haven't changed in a long time. ie the Libs won't go below 23% no matter what. The Cons won't go below 30% no matter what, etc. They could go higher but not lower. So if we just use Liberals and Conservatives for simplification, what I am saying is the Liberals could swing between 23-33% support nationally and the Conservatives could swing between 30-40% support nationally. They may inch higher, but not much and that would be because of an earth shattering blunder on the part of the opposition and a perfect campaign for the Cons.

    I really don't think any individual ridings will swing more than 9.5% during this writ, but local scandal etc. could move a single riding or two further. I could be wrong.

    However, 5 weeks is not a long time and resources and campaign stops will be spent where it can make a difference. ON, QC and BC.

  5. There is only one riding even in anyone's wildest imaginations in play, Missinippi-Churchill river, with an 11.5% spread. I honestly don't think that's in play. But that's where the campaign stop will be if there is one.

    I assume these are projections based on recent polls and previous election results, not the actual last election results. It would take a subduction seismic shift to swing ridings by over a 10% in 5 weeks with all the mud on the wall already pre-writ.

  6. Quite correct only two in play in Alberta.

    Edmonton Centre 43.5 Con - 38.7 Lib
    Edmonton Strathcona 40.7 NDP 39.1 Con

  7. Ok so the new IPSOS Reid poll has the Tories at 43%. So I revise my swing for the Tory's to from 33% to 43%. It's obviously there's to lose, but I don't know if they will get 43%.

  8. there was some smart poster who as soon as it was clear the Government would be defeated said:

    "This time my guess is that the polls next week will have the CPC in the 40-45 range.

    Liberals might break the 20% barrier in the AR poll."

    So the first poll ( IR March 22-23) after the plug was pulled has CP 43 Liberal 24.

    Expect more of the same for at least the next week... until the first campaign mistakes are made or the Coalition agreement sinks in.

    Ignatieff could keep the Liberals as high as 25% if it at Press conference he signs his resignation papers as an MP and Liberal leader to be activated if the CPC get more seats and the Liberals make a deal with the NDP an/or Bloc.

    People on this board are smart enough not to match predictions with me :)

  9. Concerning the new Ipsos-Reid numbers, as most poll observers have noticed by now, Ipsos-Reid has had a pro-Conservative bias for many years. They always give the Cons bigger numbers than any other pollster, and so their polls are to be taken with a grain of salt.


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