Friday, March 25, 2011

Projection: Conservatives gain in Ontario

With a stellar poll for them from Ipsos Reid (poll summary coming later this morning), the Conservatives have made a few gains in Ontario and Quebec and now stand to win 152 seats in Canada.

UPDATE: My apologies, I missed a Conservative gain in Quebec earlier. It is now fixed.

Nationally, the Conservatives have gained 0.4 points and now lead with 38.2%, followed by the Liberals at 27.4%. They have dropped 0.3 points and one seat to 72.

The New Democrats are down 0.2 points to 16.1% and one seat to 33.

The Bloc Québécois is unchanged at 9.9% nationally, and are down one seat to 51 seats in Quebec.

The Greens are down 0.2 points to 7.1%.

The Conservatives have made gains in every part of the country except Alberta, and are up half-a-point in both Ontario and Quebec. Their biggest gains come in the Prairies and British Columbia.

The Liberals were relatively soft throughout Canada, but did not suffer any particularly crippling losses. Their gain in Alberta, where they now stand in second with 18.6%, is beginning to put them in range in Edmonton Centre.

The New Democrats were very stable in Central and Eastern Canada, but dropped in the Prairies and British Columbia, while the Bloc Québécois holds a steady lead with 39.6% in Quebec.

Two of seat changes came in Ontario, as the Liberals have lost Brampton West to the Tories, and Sault Ste. Marie has gone back to the Conservatives after a few days in the NDP fold. These are both new seats for the Conservatives, as they voted Liberal and NDP in 2008. In Quebec, the Tories have also taken back Roberval - Lac-Saint-Jean.

Note that I have now included a "Held" column in the riding projection chart, showing which party held the riding at dissolution (I may be getting ahead of myself, but the government should fall this afternoon).

Also, I'm very happy to announce that I will be working with Le Devoir throughout the campaign, as well as The Globe and Mail. For my francophone readers, Le Devoir will be featuring my projections on a daily basis on their website, with a short accompanying text. On Saturdays, the paper edition (as well as the online edition) will feature my projection with a longer analysis. For that reason, don't expect projection updates here on on Saturdays, particularly as the projection in Le Devoir on Saturday will be the same as the one on Friday.

With The Globe and Mail, my projection will be featured on their website on Sundays and in the paper edition on Mondays, as they have been now and then since October 2010. The Monday projections posted here will be those provided to The Globe and Mail, so they will not reflect any polls released Saturday evening or throughout Sunday.

You may have also noted that is now hosting advertisements that are not automatically generated and have been put up by organizations here in Canada directly through This is necessary, as these advertisements help support the site and make it possible for me to work on the site every day. Throughout the campaign, you may notice partisan or political ads on the site. There is one on the site right now. These ads are not an endorsement of these groups or political parties by You, my audience, are simply the kind of people they want to reach: smart and politically savvy!


  1. One correction: Roberval Lac St Jean in QC looks like a Con pickup now (by 0.3%)

  2. Darn it, you're right. Fixing.

  3. How do you get from a Liberal seat in Avalon to a 40 point Conservative lead? I realize that Danny Williams isn't on the scene, but seriously? (Or do the Conservatives have a star Candidate running there?)

  4. Polls have shown the Conservatives now lead in Newfoundland & Labrador. That changes things, considering the party had less than 20% support in 2008.

  5. How large of an impact would you calculate it to have in Moncton, if Bernard Lord becomes the candidate?

  6. Paul,

    It is my understanding that Lord has just recently confirmed he will not be running.

    If he changes his mind (or if I'm wrong), it makes a huge difference.

  7. Peter counterpoint:

    Truth is no-one knows what will happen.

    Eric can you give us a break down of IR like you usually do?

  8. March 23 12:10 "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.

    any other people willing to be embarrassed with their predictions?"

    This first poll after the the election was a certainty makes my predition look solid.

    Kinsella in his SUN column slagging Ignatieff and senior staff for forcing the election say IR has it at 45-23 for people who will actually vote.

    Meanwhile Liberal friendly pollsters (Nanos, Ekos and HD) are publishing polls asking obtuse questions (trust in Harper) and while on the phone not asking who would you vote for? or in the case of EKOS delaying this poll in my opinion to get better Liberal numbers.

    It will stay 43-25 until the first campaign mistake is made.

    My guess on the first campaign mistake is Mr. Ignatieff dodging the clarity on the coalition question. The media that has been Ignatieff friendly is getting ticked as he wants to be a little bit pregnant on the coalition question.

  9. Earl, yes I was planning to. I've said on several occasions, a daily poll summary will follow the morning's projections.

  10. Eric.... Congratulations on turning this "hobby" into something more.

    I really appreciate the discussion on this board. It stands in stark contrast to the comments on your articles in the G&M.

    How many posts do you "filter" to maintain decorum on this forum?

    There are a lot of Anonymous showing up and likely to be more as we head into the campaign. Could these be assigned Anonymous1 , 2 3.... Or forced to use a name?

    As much as I disagree with Peter at least I know how to evaluate his comments coming from as a partisan position as my own.

  11. 38ish for the CPC in an IR poll is certainly good news for the Libs. I expected 40 to 42 from these guys. I agree, sort of, with BC Voice, when he suggests early polling will have CPC in the 40 -45 range. I expect that to drop when voters get over their "mad" at the opposition for forcing an election, in about a week or two. After that I expect voters will start paying more attention to details and the CPC percentage should continue to drop.
    I already gave my prediction as to what the outcome will be. Weaker CPC minority, with stronger Liberal voice in the HOC.
    Time will tell.

  12. I would find it interesting to also see the undecided figures....

  13. @BCVOR

    "Meanwhile Liberal friendly pollsters (Nanos, Ekos and HD) are publishing polls asking obtuse questions (trust in Harper) and while on the phone not asking who would you vote for?"

    The most recent releases from both HD and Ekos had vote intention as the first data set, and tout that data in the release headline.

    The most recent Nanos release was about trust in the Harper government, but was based on the very same survey used to generate the release on the 21st that focused on vote intention. Vote intention was their first release on data from that survey. The trust release, as well as the "top issues" release on the 22nd were both just follow-ups to the vote intention release.

    So yes - they are asking who would you vote for.

  14. "38ish for the CPC in an IR poll is certainly good news for the Libs."

    Right, but the 38% figure is Eric's weighted average for his sample of polls. IR has the Tories at 43% (with the Grits at 24%). Not so good for the Liberals.

    Put it this way, this poll has the Liberals closer to the Greens than they are to the Tories.

  15. Can we all please drop the "Coalition" question.

    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with forming a coalition to govern !!!!!!!!!!

    It's happened many times in this country, is current in several other Westminster systems, it does NOT need to be declared pre-election because it is ALWAYS on the table in a Westminster system.

  16. I'm very curious what will happen as the campaign goes on. Right now there are 2 routes I see as most likely...

    1) Harper holds on, avoids missteps and gets a final boost to gain his majority as people jump on the bandwagon

    2) People decide they don't like stuff such as 'the Harper Government' instead of 'the Canadian Government' and decide to punish Harper as Joe Average takes note and we see a 1993 type collapse in support leading to a Liberal minority or, if it gets ugly enough (ie: Harper's crew does something insanely stupid ala the infamous ad at the end of the 1993 campaign that was the final nail on the PC coffin) a majority although I don't see how that much support could shift.

    Another decent possibility is the NDP passing the Liberals in popular vote if Iggy's crew does something incredibly dumb and Layton keeps up the professional sales job. Or voters finally getting so sick of the negative ads and the like that a large enough portion shift to Green to get the Greens up to 15% and a handful of seats (yeah, I'd like that but I know it isn't likely - too many think there are just 2 parties to choose from).

    I'm certain something odd will happen during this election - who knows what - and we'll see a big shift down for the CPC. The challenge for everyone on all sides is how to deal with it when it happens (IE: can the Liberals force it to stay down, can the CPC use it to gain a second wind and charge to the finish, etc).

  17. "38ish for the CPC in an IR poll is certainly good news for the Libs."

    Yes, it would be. I'm not sure why you're mentioning that, though, since IR hasn't had the CPC that low since the beginning of February.

  18. Goaltender Interference25 March, 2011 12:48

    I kind of agree that (in the absence of any major development) the gap will narrow between the big 3 parties between now and the debates, only because the Liberals and NDP will start spending money on advertising at a level comparable to the Conservatives. Advertising influences voters.

    But the debates are usually a bigger deal in campaigns than TV ads(except perhaps for those disastrous 1993 "Chretien is ugly" PC ads and those equally bad "Harper owns a dragon" '06 Liberal ads.) In an election where there is no really exciting issue (how moderate is the moderate economic recovery? Does Harper have more or less contempt for Parliament than most Canadians do?) I think that debate performance could be a deciding factor.

  19. pinkobme

    The IR poll was CPC 43 Liberal 24.

    Among people likely to vote it was CPC 45 liberal 23

    The CPC 38 Liberal 27 number posted at the top of the website is the rolled up weighted number that Eric derives his final seat prediction. It includes the HD poll that was much closer than the IR poll.

    The impact of the IR poll on Eric's rolled up numbers moved the CPC up by 3 seats.

    If he would do a seat prediction just based on the IR poll it would be around CPC 170 seats Liberals 50. He has decided that rolling out seat predictions based on individual polls creates too much noise.

    The EKOS poll will eventually come out CPC 39 Liberal 28 and not move Eric's big numbers and would have a seat prediction of CPC 153 Liberal 70. (Just a guess on my part)

  20. Peter: "There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with forming a coalition to govern !!!!!!!!!!"

    You would do well to read Andrew Coyne's article at Macleans on this point.

    You're right, there's nothing wrong with a coalition - in theory. In practice, it all depends (and, in fact, federally there have one been one coalition governments in Canada, during WWI - there have been minority governments, but that's not the same as a coalition government). It depends on who is part of the coalition, what policies they will pursue and, as Coyne points out, whether the parties themselves told voters they might form a coalition after an election (as you will recall, Stephane Dion famously said he wouldn't - surprise, surprise that people might be upset with him when he goes back on his word). And those are things which, quite understandably, matter to voters.

    The problem isn't coalitions in theory, but coalitions in fact. And Iggy's problem is that a lot of his potential voters either (i) aren't really keen on a Liberal/NDP coalition (and might vote Tory to block it) or (ii) are really keen on a Liberal/NDP coalition, because it allows them to vote NDP. And, of course, a coalition with the Bloc is a non-starter in English Canada (and doesn't do much for the Grits in Quebec).

    And while you're right that there's nothing that says you have to come out and say you'll form a coalition after the election, voters, quite understandably, might want to know what they're voting for - is it a Liberal government, a Liberal/NDP government, or some sort of frankenstein 2008 coalition all over again. If you don't come clean, people might be forgiven for assuming the worse.

    In any event, don't tell us that there's nothing wrong with coalition, tell Iggy, because he's seemingly quite unwilling to come out and tell Canadians that that's what he's going to do.

  21. @Peter

    "There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with forming a coalition to govern !!!!!!!!!!"

    Nothing legally wrong, but ethically wrong is a matter of opinion. And polling when the whole coalition issue was fresh showed that there were definitely some (not all, and not even a majority - but a non-trivial number) Liberal and NDP supporters that did find something wrong with the idea (though obviously nowhere near as many as there were Conservative supporters against it).

  22. Okay Peter in 144 year of Canada we have not had a coalition government.

    There has never been a member of the opposition sitting in cabinet.

    In the British example the collation has the PM as the leader of the party that won the most seats in the election.

    If you want to arbitrarily ban one of the Liberals most glaring political weaknesses of their back room coalition deal I am sure that you would be okay to ban the mention of the contempt of parliament charges as Chretien was more contemptible but held a majority in committees. Also there should be no mention of the CPC deficit as it was prompted by the Liberals and caused by the world wide recession.

    Luckily in a democracy all these issues are open for discussion and debate.

  23. Peter:

    Nothing wrong with a coalition!

    Here is the Western Canadian general perspective of a coalition formed by the Liberals/NDP with support for the Bloc.

    The Liberal party is likely to win no more than 10 seats in Western Canada in a best case scenario. The Liberal party should they attempt to form a coalition that includes the Bloc will not likely have more than 85 seats with approximately 40% of those seats from the GTA and 15% from the West Island.

    Western Canadians will perceive this as "the east" preferring to engage separatists rather than Western Canadians in governing the country.

    The fall out from a Liberal lead coalition supported by the Bloc when the Conservatives have in fact more seats will be dramatic in Western Canada.

    A coalition that is lead by the party with the most seats seems acceptable (as considered by the Brits). A coalition of Toronto and West Island voters requiring support from the NDP and separtists will test this country in ways that it has not been tested before.

    Dismiss it if you will, but Western Canadians will not accept a Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition should the Conservatives win the greatest number of seats.


  24. Posted by Eric on 308 jan 2009

    "New CROP-La Presse Poll
    CROP has released a new poll today, looking at the federal situation in Quebec. The results are as follows:

    Bloc Québécois - 34%
    Liberals - 31%
    Conservatives - 16%
    NDP - 15%
    Greens - 4%

    This has resulted in a change in the projections. The Bloc has fallen to 49 seats and the Liberals are up one to 97 (17 in Quebec). The popular vote, in Quebec, has also changed:

    Liberals +1.1
    NDP +1.1
    Greens -0.2
    Conservatives -0.8
    Bloc Québécois -1.0"

    Compared to today:

    The current Crop poll (March 16-21 1000 Quebecers) has the Liberals at 11% in Quebec and the NDP and CPC at 21%. Bloc at 38%.

    It might be a reason that Ignatieff is throwing the BLOC out of the collation as his Quebec federalist vote flees to the NDP and CPC


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