Monday, March 21, 2011

Tories and Bloc poised for modest gains in snap election

With the fall of his government potentially days away, Stephen Harper will enter the election campaign with a clear advantage over his adversaries should Canadians be sent to the polls this spring. However, his long coveted majority government appears just out of reach.

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

Unfortunately, the new Nanos poll came out too late for me to include it in the projection, but I will do a write-up on the poll soon. In the meantime, here are the details to today's projection update:

Nationally, since last Monday's updaye the Conservatives have gained 0.1 points, and now lead with 38.3%. They have dropped four seats, however, are now projected to win 149.

The Liberals are down 0.3 points to 27.4%, are are unchanged at 75 seats.

The New Democrats are up 0.2 points to 15.8%, and are also unchanged at 32 seats.

The Bloc Québécois is up 0.2 points to 9.8% nationally, and are up four seats to 52.

The Greens are down 0.1 points to 7.6%, are are still projected to win no seats.

All seat changes that have taken place were in Quebec and Ontario, so let's get to those right off the bat.

In Ontario, the Conservatives are up 0.3 points to 41.4%, while the Liberals are down 0.7 points to 33.7%. The NDP is up 0.3 points to 15.8%, while the Greens are up 0.1 points to 7.9%. The Liberals have actually gained, however, as they take back Ajax - Pickering and Brampton - Springdale from the Tories. The reason for this is the incumbency factor - the projection model isn't always linear. The Conservatives are now projected to win 54 seats, the Liberals 37, and the NDP 15.

The Bloc has gained 0.7 points in Quebec and now leads with 39.5%, well ahead of the Liberals at 21.4% (-0.5) and the Conservatives at 18.8% (-0.6). The NDP is up 0.9 points to 13.5%, and the Greens are down 0.6 points to 5.8%. The Bloc has re-gained Ahuntsic and Brossard - La Prairie from the Liberals and Montmagny - L'Islet - Kamouraska - Rivière-du-Loup and Roberval - Lac-Saint-Jean from the Conservatives. That puts the Bloc total at 52 seats, with the Liberals winning 13, the Conservatives nine, and the NDP one.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are 1.2 points to 41.5%, followed by the Liberals at 24% (+0.3) and the NDP at 21.8% (-1.1). The Greens are down 0.3 points to 10.5%. Seat projections are unchanged at 22 for the Conservatives and seven apiece for the NDP and Liberals.

In Alberta, the Conservatives are unchanged at 62.4%. The Liberals are down 0.9 points to 17%, while the NDP is up 0.9 points to 9.7%. The Greens are down 0.2 points to 8.3%. The Tories are still projected to sweep all 28 seats in the province.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives are down 0.4 points to 51%, well ahead of the Liberals at 21.2% (+1.3) and the NDP at 20.4% (-0.7). The Greens are down 0.1 points to 5.9%. The Conservatives are projected to win 22 seats in these two provinces, with the NDP winning four and the Liberals winning two.

Finally, in Atlantic Canada the Conservatives have gained 0.7 points to and lead with 36.9%. The Liberals are down 0.3 points to 35.4%, while the NDP is down 0.2 points to 18.4%. The Greens are down 0.1 points to 6.2%. The Liberals are projected to win 15 seats in the region, with 13 going to the Tories and four to the NDP.

You can click on the below riding-level projections to enlarge them:


  1. I will be shocked if The Liberal NDP, BLOC coalition does not find a way to back down and continue to support the Harper Government for another year.

    1) On the ethics and honest the IR poll has the CPC at double the trustworthiness of the Liberals.

    The Liberals should have cleaned their adscam house a lot better before they started talking about honesty in government.

    The constant crying scandal and attack dog attitude is hurting them with Canadians.

    Bev Oda may have been wrong but no one wants her (a 66 year old Japanese-Canadian) to be called a LIAR and no one wants some one to question "What Planet you are from?" in committee.

    2) The underlining story about over spending on F-35 that are not ever going to used loses credibility as the CF-18s patrol Libya.

    3)The Nanos Leadership poll shows Mr. Harper's Leadership index dropping to only 2X the level of Mr. Ignatieff.

    4) The BLOC will almost certainly lose the per vote funding if the CPC runs on it and has a strong minority.

  2. Prepare to be shocked then - the train has left the station. All the opposition parties want an election for various reasons.

    Who cares if Oda is 66 years old and of Japanese descent? What's that got to do with anything. Do you expect her to get special treatment when she blatantly lies compared to if she was a 45 year old white male???

  3. And the Conservative (or should I say Harper) slide begins. To this point the CPC has had its way with the dozy electorate running attack ads which take decade old Iggy statements out of context and using the public's hard earned tax dollars to push itself. But with news an election is looming the electorate is beginning to come out of its winter slumber, and like a bear comming out of hibernation it's grumpy and hungry. Ans it seems to be eyeing the Conservative fortunes as its first snack. Just as they start to wake up voters are learning the govenment which ran on accountability and honesty is anything but.
    Methinks the four seats in Eric's projection are just the beginning of the avalanche. Nanos' poll is encouraging for Liberals, NDP and Bloc but not so good for CPC and Green.
    I'll leave any more comments about Nanos until after Eric posts his analysis.

  4. @ BCvor:
    Bev Oda lied to parliament and you think her being 66 years old serves as some sort of "absolution" from the Canadian public? How about a 66 year old ex-convict and former top advisor to Harper breaching parliamentary law by to solicit contracts for his 22 year old ex-prostitute girlfriend? Does the same sympathy rubric apply?

  5. There is something that could get interesting post election. What if the end situation is similar to today (CPC minority, any party can prop them up) and the Conservatives decide to kill per-vote funding which would hit the Bloc extremely hard and the NDP & Liberals to a lesser degree while jumping the CPC advantage financially (since they are by far the best at all other methods of gaining subsidies).

    How would the electorate react if the CPC was knocked out of power over it? How would the NDP & Liberals react to the strong push? I could see the NDP going for it if they think it would hurt the Liberals a lot, and especially if they are after Bloc seats and figure the Greens are eating away at their support elsewhere.

    Not just the election, but the post-election period should be very, very interesting.

  6. Eric's projections at this point in time after all the 28 months of monthly "scandals" including the current hot "threat to democracy scandals" have them gaining 6 seats to what they have now.

  7. Mr. Carson may have breached the law, but it is NOT parliamentary law. It is the law of the land.

    Mr. Chretien would also be breaching the same law had it been in place when he left politics by becoming a lobbyist for the Chinese.

    Mr. Carson's case shows the results of the Harper government in making the Government more open and accountable.

  8. OK Pat Martin must have been read the riot act.

    He is backing down on holding Ms. Oda in contempt.

    The NDP knows this will be a bad election for them.

    No contempt means not defeating the government on the Liberal no-confidence motion and they can obviously support the budget as it didn't cancel medicare transfer payments or old age security.

    NO ELECTION for a year..

    .. Everyone loves and Supports the Harper Government.

  9. "Conservative (or should I say Harper) slide begins."

    Oh my, aren't you the last of the wishful thinkers?

    I think the Grits are making the same mistake that Harper tried (unsuccesfully) to make in May, 2005. Remember that? The sponsorship scandal had just erupted and the Tories tried to bring the Liberals down over the budget, only to have Stronach cross the floor and the keep the Grits afloat.

    At the time, it looked like a loss for Harper, but in retrospect, it probably turned out for the best for the Tories. Had he brought the Liberals down in May of that year, the end result probably would have been a weak Liberal minority or, at best, a really weak Tory minority. Instead, as it turned out, it gave the sponsorship scandal an extra 7 months to percolate through the public consciousness and for more dirt (or perceived dirt) to stick to the Liberals, and it gave the Tories time to gear up their war marchine.

    Right now, there's no particular public uproar over the allegations of contempt for parliament and/or the Bev Oda affair. Maybe the Liberals can build on that with time (though I wouldn't bet on it, these "scandals" lack the raw political appeal of brown envelopes full of cash), but they aren't there yet, and that isn't going to change over the course of an election.

    For the life of me, I can't figure out what the Liberal's rush is. Take the contempt of parliament issue. The Liberals could have done themselves a huge favour by prolonging the committee hearings on the issue, maybe calling in some impartial expert witnesses to explaining the concept of parliamentary supremacy and why contempt of parliament is so serious, and why the government should be handing over the requested documents (it also would have given the grits time to go through the documents that the Tories dumped on them last week, rather then dismissing them as unsatisfactory without even reading them - making the contempt proceedings look like a opposition witchhunt. Who knows, they might even find something helpful). They could probably have ragged the puck on the issue until May, while trying to raise public awareness, and THEN brought down the government for a June election. Instead, by having already committed to bringing down the government over the budget (without reading it) they've had to rush through the contempt of parliament hearing, wasting a chance to raise awareness of the issue (and making it look like a political vandetta rather than a principled issue), and, worse, might not even get an opportunity to find the government in contempt (if the government can delay the vote on the contempt motion, until after the vote on the budget).

  10. I expect that even if the Liberals form a government after the next election BC Voice of Reason will have a long post about how it really means Canadians want a Harper Majority.

    Get your popcorn ready - this is going to be an interesting week. I haven't worked on an election campaign in a while but I'm going to relish this one. Only question now is who has the best chance to win locally - the Liberal or NDP candidate.

    I'm voting anyone but the Harper regime.

  11. hhmmmm

    Pinkobme... Did you actually look at the nano's poll?? Or did you just hear that the tories were down a point and assume that meant 10??

    Eric's prediction:

    That doesn't seem to me to be the big swing you seem to be talking about. (not to mention Nano's methodology producing liberal friendly results in comparison to other pollsters.)

    Then you have stories like this one:

    "Look how fast Harper moves to clean up problems, we couldn't believe it. WE had to run the story a week early so that we could have it out before the RCMP had the file and it was public"

    (atleast when presented with a REAL scandal)...

    And meanwhile, in other news:

    Iggy and Rae were under suspicion of sedition and subversion by the RCMP more than 40 years ago...

    .... Dion should have known better ... lol

  12. DL, Anon.

    I don't think BC VoR was suggesting that it excused it.

    I think it has to do with public perception. As a couple of the people who have been talking about how mean Mr. Harper is, I would think you would accept that it would be an acceptable strategy for the tories to employ when the situation works in reverse.

    "Do you expect her to get special treatment when she blatantly lies compared to if she was a 45 year old white male???"

    Living in Canada for the last few decades,... watching debates on "ism's"... seeing policys like affirmative action evolve or be implemented......

    Based on experience with age, minority, and sex. I would expect different rules 101% of the time in such situations, give or take 1% of course. To do otherwise I am told.... is just plain mean. (but then again there also seems to be different rules applied when it is someone on the left that is doing the attacking)

  13. "NO ELECTION for a year"

    I didn't know you have a glass ball to look into. Don't fall for that fallacy considering the unpredictability of Canadian politics.

    So just sit your behind down, watch, and observe.

  14. Hey Carl: I get your points but I'm not sure Harper's move in 2005 failed. It likely was one of several steps he took to eventually winning the next year. And I think comparing Nanos recent poll with the one he completed a month ago shows a shift, which I emphasised in my previous post. No it's not that dramatic but still significant.
    Barcs: Nice spin but Harper's move was damage control only. Whether or not these scandals hurt the CPC anytime soon is hard to say but the wieght of them and any more to come will eventually damage them beyond repair.
    I read your Free Press link, and I saw nothing about sedition or subversion. However, I'm not at all surprised at the RCMP attention to anything questioning the government in the mid to late '60s. I don't know if you were alive then -- I was and remember police and security types almost hysterically falling over themselves in an attempt to keep a lid on so-called subversives. Meanwhile, while they were wasting their time on hippies and college students, they flubbed more important subversive issues caused by the FLQ and the Sons of Freedom in BC.

  15. Barcs: Nanos historically is not Liberal friendly. He had the best polling result in 2006 election and wasn't that far off in 2008, when the Liberal voters decided at the last minute to stay home -- hard to predict. And no AR didn't predict it. They, in my opinion, just lucked out.

  16. What seems to be catching on on some mainstream media is


    Remember that one ??

  17. this latest poll (nanos research) is a blessing for the tories...although a rash of fairly recent polls from different polling firms have them flirting with majority territory, this poll reflects the electorats' mood with the current parliamentary situation out in the open...unfortunatly for the opposition,voters see this as just another crying wolf witchhunt which will lead to a $300 million election...this being brought on (or atleast attempted)by the ethics preaching liberals who have yet to pay back a penny of the 40+ million of tax funds that they literally stole (isn't it peculiar how no charges were ever brought against any liberal mp even after the damning gomery report...)

  18. There are good political reasons why the Bloc and NDP would want an election right now.

    What I don't understand is the Liberals. Ignatieff should want nothing to do with an election right now, because he's getting killed in the polls.

  19. Hey Carl: I get your points but I'm not sure Harper's move in 2005 failed. It likely was one of several steps he took to eventually winning the next year.

    Well, it failed in the sense that he didn't bring down the Liberal government in the spring of 2005, as he'd wanted. It worked out for him in the long run, but only because he didn't succeed in forcing an election that spring.

    It doesn't look like Iggy's going to be as lucky.

  20. Poinkobme: "No it's not that dramatic but still significant".

    Actually, strictly speaking it's neither dramatic nor statistically significant.

  21. I'm in the camp that says we don't have a spring election. I think there will be enough in the budget for the NDP to support the government.

    Just watched Power Play and again the concenus among the journalists is that the so called scandals are not of much interest to the average Canadian.

    Apparently Ned Franks commented that the Contempt of Parliament hearings smacked of political advantage and that there were no real grounds for the finding.

    The Bruce Carson situation has nothing to do with the government and everything to with an older man falling in love or lust with a much younger women. While it might be titalating, Harper has handeled it the right way and thhere is little political mileage to be gained from it unless something new emerges.

    Peter as for your contention that an ABC movement is forming in the media I think you are a victim of wishful thinking.

  22. New HD poll:

  23. Eric:
    I am confused about how "incumbency" factors into the individual riding projections. I thought it meant that first term incumbents received a "boost" but after their second election the incumbency advantage was "baked into" the results. For example, while the Tories are up 2.2% in Ontario in your projection over the 2008 results, in Eglinton-Lawrence you project an increase of only 0.2% in the Tory vote. The Liberal votes in Eglinton-Lawrence is up 1.8% even though province-wide the Liberal vote is down 0.1%. Volpe has been the incumbent since 1988 while Oliver is a second-time candidate who acquitted himself reasonably well in the 2008 election. In this case, one could argue that Oliver should be doing better than the general swing based on increased name recognition. The same type of argument would apply in Brampton-Springdale with a second time Tory candidate against a three-term incumbent, yet you project the Tory vote to increase only 0.5% while the Liberal vote increases by 2.1%. At least in Ontario, your model seems to concentrate Tory gains and Liberal losses in ridings with Tory incumbents.

  24. Anonymous,

    The incumbency effect is dependent on whether a party is losing or winning in a province.

    If a party is winning, a first-time incumbent gets a bonus. A second-time-or-more incumbent gets a slight penalty.

    If a party is losing, incumbents get a bonus. This is what is happening to the Liberals in Ontario.

  25. seems like the latest round of polls all show the NDP gaining ground - of course it says nothing about where we will be on election night May 2, but it will certainly boost NDP morale going into the election and it is a vindication of Layton's strategy of being coy and stringing the media along for almost two months before voting against the budget.

  26. Layton doesn't have to defeat the budget !!

    All he has to do is vote for the Contempt motion on Friday !!

    Thus removing the Budget from the electoral consideration !!

  27. Peter the contempt motion doesn't defeat the government. A motion of non confidence based on the contempt motion would defeat the government, but why would Layton support the budget and then in essence defeat it by voting with the Liberals and Bloc on their motion? Doesn't make a lot of sense for a party that says it wants to make Parliament work.

  28. "What seems to be catching on on some mainstream media is ABC. Remember that one ??"

    Daily.... not much has changed in the last 20 or so years, has it Peter??

    I kinda disagree with you on Layton's problem. Voting for the budget but against the government in a confidence motion days later... one that they have been talking about needing for weeks??

    That kinda sticks into the political games that Layton keeps telling us he is better than. He spent today talking about Libya and Japan and other stuff and staying away from the contempt charges. I think he wants to forget them and go back to the making parliament work narrative.

    Layton will vote for the budget (or scare Iggy into doing it for him) and then vote confidence in the government based on the foreign affairs file of late.

    To do otherwise would put him into a very grueling campaign (and this one will be worse than most) through his recovery period from cancer therapy and surgery on the hip. And for what? The party is already at near record highs. The polls have them likely dropping a few seats. There is a chance they might win more, but it would be a very hard fight, I respect Layton, but I don't think he could carry the party through it, injured/drained as he is.

  29. "why would Layton support the budget and then in essence defeat it by voting with the Liberals and Bloc on their motion?"

    Use your brain. This way Jack can have his cake and eat it to !!!

    He can tell his base he voted for their interests and at the same time tell the general electorate he supports the contempt view !!

  30. " And for what? The party is already at near record highs. The polls have them likely dropping a few seats."

    To prevent Mulcair taking him out !!

  31. Interesting that Ajax-Pickering moves back into the red column with this projection.

    Judging from the (admittedly not very representative) Globe and Mail online comments section, the Liberal, Mark Holland, appears to be a bête noire for many Conservatives. On the other hand, Christopher Alexander has been underwhelming as a campaigner so far, coming across as a cross between a schoolboy debater and a general smartypants more interested in impressing big-name Toronto journalists than connecting with voters not already inside the Tory camp. It will be interesting to see which one (if either) manages to overcome these limitations and wins over undecideds and third-party voters - from the looks of it this will be the key to victory in Ajax-Pickering.

  32. What non-New Democrats never seem to understand is that Layton and Mulcair are close ALLIES. There is a succession plan that involves Mulcair being Layton's handpicked successor when the day comes. It takes years to build up the image and skills of a new leader - the last thing Mulcair would want would be be put into a leadership role just before a new election and lose all the brand equity that Layton has built up over the years.

    I think Layton wants to fight one more election (maybe more depending on the results) harvest 40+ seats and then retire gracefully after leading the NDp to its highest seat count ever and then let a successor be chosen when there is a window of several years before the next election.

    The NDP will denounce the budget tomorrow as being a bunch of half-measures and the election will be on!

  33. "To prevent Mulcair taking him out !!"

    You don't think that would be hastened by losing a few seats?? Or that a person running 18 hr days while on recovery from hip surgery and chemo would still feel like leading the party after what promises to be one of the most grueling campaigns ever??

    Or on the other hand he can be on tv for a week talking about how he is the hero that exacted a price from Harper for seniors and working class Canadians that want to eco refit their homes. ...not to mention maybe delay disolving parliament long enough to increase his and his wifes pensions a bit before she loses her seat.

    If memory serves.... she was elected in 06... which would make her eligible for a full pension... oh, about 1 more year.

  34. "Use your brain. This way Jack can have his cake and eat it to !!!

    He can tell his base he voted for their interests and at the same time tell the general electorate he supports the contempt view !!"

    ...Like I said Peter.. pretzel logic. "Yeah we um have no confidence in the government... wait budget? We don't want to bring him down on the budget. Its a good budget that we mostly don't like, but there was something for seniors and some program for eco renovations. Which we like. So we'll vote for it. but don't worry. in 2 days we go back to having no confidence in this government we are holding in contempt... but voting to keep them in power a couple more days....

    That will go over real good. Layton keeps telling us he doesn't play politics... he is in it to make the government work. Doing what you suggest doesn't fit his narrative of standing up for principle and making things work.

  35. Will you be including today's new Harris-Decima poll?


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