Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Liberals gain one seat, close in seven more

There is a Harris-Decima poll for the Canadian Press to add to the projection this morning, in addition to the usual Nanos poll for CTV and The Globe and Mail. Thanks to the close race both polling firms have identified in Ontario, the Liberals are poised to make a major move in the projection - but they aren't there yet.
Nationally, the Conservatives are still leading with 38.9%, a drop of 0.1 points from yesterday. They have also dropped one seat and are now projected to win 152, three short of a majority. The Liberals have made that seat gain, and are now projected to win 73. They are up 0.1 points to 28.1%, reducing the gap between the two parties to 10.8 points, or 0.6 points narrower than it was in 2008.

The New Democrats, Bloc Québécois, and Greens are unchanged at 33, 50, and zero seats, respectively. The NDP is down 0.1 point to 16.7% while the Greens are up 0.1 points to 6.1%.

The update is a mixed bag for every party.

The Conservatives have made modest gains in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, but they are not in a position to make any serious gains in those provinces. The drop in the Prairies doesn't hurt them much, but the 0.4-point slip in Ontario does - especially considering the Liberal gain of 0.5 points. Just like that, a gap of eight points is now a gap of 7.1 points.

That's about the only good news for the Liberals in this update, as they have dropped in every province but Ontario and British Columbia. Granted, most of those drops are insiginificant.

The same can't be said for the New Democrats, who are down 0.3 points in Alberta and Quebec. That isn't a huge drop, but considering their already low level of support in these provinces, the decrease is larger than it seems. But the gain of 0.4 points in the Prairies makes a seat like Elmwood - Transcona a lot safer.

The Bloc Québécois has dropped only 0.1 points in Quebec, but the decline continues unabated.

The Liberals make their seat gain in Ontario, picking up Brampton West from the Conservatives in the projection. It's the riding of Liberal incumbent Andrew Kania.

More interestingly, however, is how close the Liberals are getting to raking in a pile of other seats. They are within 1.5 points in seven other ridings, four of them currently held in the projection by the Conservatives in Ontario (Ajax - Pickering, Brampton - Springdale, Kitchener - Waterloo, and Vaughan) and three of them held by the Bloc Québécois (Ahuntsic, Brossard - La Prairie, and Haute-Gaspésie - La Mitis - Matane - Matapédia). A few of these, however, were held by the Liberals at dissolution.

Winning Kitchener - Waterloo and Haute-Gaspésie would be significant for the Liberals, as they would give the party seats outside of their current centres of strength around Toronto and Montreal. Haute-Gaspésie would be a particular coup, as it is a very francophone riding with no city of over 20,000 people within its boundaries.


  1. Just a quick question on the table attached to the article, have the Liberals just recently built up that big of a lead in Vancouver South? I was under the impression that it was much smaller.

  2. No changes have been made to that riding in particular, it has moved along with the others in British Columbia according to provincial trends.

  3. Bonjour Eric,
    This is where I wish those Ontarians would get off their duffs and do some riding polls. Because for Ajax-Pickering, very anecdotal coverage like this http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/11/riding-profile-scrappy-liberal-incumbent-battling-star-tory-challenger/
    leaves ME with the impression that Holland will win. That he's a popular hard-working local candidate up against a parachuted in "star" candidate who is not as well-connected with the community. But of course that totally unscientific: until we get a darn poll.

  4. Hello Eric,

    First of all - I am becoming addicted to your updates and riding projections.

    Secondly: Regarding the growing Liberal strength in Brossard La Prairie: under your chart, is held by the Liberals. Hence, rather than capturing the seat from the BQ, they would be hanging on to it.


  5. Yes, indeed. I mean in terms of the projection. I will make it clearer in the text.

  6. I really don't understand how the Cons are doing so well. First ever government to be found in contempt, scandel after scandel and they are still riding high! I think Harper could literally kill a baby on live TV at this point and it wouldn't make a difference.

  7. Matt, I think people are concerned about the alternative to Mr. Harper, which is instability. Most Canadians would be glad not to have to hear about another election until 2015.

  8. Matt:
    Most people are not paying attention. It will be up to each and every one of us to work hard, volunteer for the local non-Harper candidate, talk to friends and family over the long weekend, and most of all, make sure everyone you know votes! Hound them until they do; advance polls are better, but even on e-day.
    Take the day off work if you can; do your part for democracy.
    People are getting thousands of commercial messages a day. Political messages have to be repeated over and over again to have a hope of getting through (hence the annoying repetition of the 'dangerous coalition' meme). However, personal contacts are still what win campaigns, so make sure to talk to everyone you know and get them engaged in the process.

  9. Matt, it's a classic case of "Boy who cried wolf" syndrome... the Liberals and to a lesser extent the NDP have made such a big deal out of ridiculous non-scandals that people have tuned them out.

  10. Anonymous. I've never voted Conservative in my life, and I'm not young and I have voted in every election. But I'm going to this time. If all the opposition has to offer is faux outrage and petty scandal that pales in comparison to the tyranny of Jean Chretien and the billion dollar kickback Adscam, it's not worth voting for.

    And before anyone tells me Chretien wasn't a tyrant, why do you think the Martinites hated him so much. He was a tyrant. I know people who worked with him. That being said Canadians are ok with tyrants as PM. Martin wasn't a tyrant. He was called Mr. Dithers. Harper is a tyrant. So what.

  11. Adscam was between 100-200 million dollars not billions. If you want billions thats the 1.25 billion harper spent on the G20/G8. That money clearly went to many things not related to the G20 or G8, and into ridings of certain conservative members. This level of corruption is beyond belief. For a relative degree of comparison the total cost of G20 in Pittsburgh US was 12 million dollars and about 80 million in London England....How Canada spends 1.25 Billion dollars where 900 million vanishes in security costs boggles the minds of even the experts who have said its impossible to actually spend that much on a 3 day event.

  12. Clementscam was half that of adscam (and no it wasn't billions as one poster seems to think) but somehow Conservatives seem to be fine with it. Is there an acceptable dollar limit for kickbacks we are not aware of?

    Great site Eric and much thanks to you for trying to make these polls make a bit more sense for everyone. The G and M seems to have Ibbitson as their back up poll master who only reports on the leadership polls in order to keep the spin going for Harper (he seems to forget that Harper polled at 14% in leadership back in 2005...you know back before he was actually the leader).

  13. Hey Eric,

    Loving the site and predictions; it's the first site I go to in the morning.

    A small suggestion: Would it be possible to indicate in your helpful graphic outlining your seat projections, the seats which have flipped in your projection, by highlighting them somehow? Also, it might be useful to highlight which seats could potentially flip (as you say, within 1.5% of each other). I think this would add a really helpful dimension to the graphic.


  14. As the Bloc campaigns to be part of a federalist coalition and calls Harper a Liar and their support drops to the low 30s they are in serious trouble of losing a lot of seats.

    Huge pressure on Duceppe to do well in the debate.

    With the Bloc dropping from 38.1% it makes sense that the Liberals and CPC will at least hold their 2008 support in Bloc contested ridings. The logical drift is Bloc to NDP but there will be a good chance that the federalist vote will be strategic and focus on the CPC and Liberals where they are the viable federalist option in a riding.

    The BLOC have the most marginal seats won in 2008. The seats that will be lost with the BLOC at 33% are:

    Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik—Eeyou 2008 Margin 2573 votes 9.3% - CPC

    Ahuntsic 2008 margin 423 votes .9% - Liberal

    Alfred-Pellan 2008 margin 5092 votes 9.4% - Liberal

    Brome—Missisquoi 2008 margin 1204 votes 2.4% - Liberal

    Chicoutimi--Le Fjord 2008 margin 3057 votes 6.4% - CPC

    Gatineau 2008 margin 1573 votes – NDP

    Haute-Gaspésie--La Mitis--Matane—Matapédia 2008 margin 616 votes 1.9% - Liberal

    Jeanne-Le Ber 2008 margin 13.2 votes 2.7% Liberal

    Laval 2008 margin 4895 votes 9.7% Liberal

    Louis-Hébert 2008 margin 4649 votes 8% - CPC

    Saint-Lambert 2008 margin 3963 votes 9.1 % - Liberal

    Gains from 2008 - Liberal 7 CPC 3 NDP 1

    Add the CPC 2009 byelection win in Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup where the Bloc won in 2008 by 6854 15% and there is 4 CPC gains from 2008

    2008 seat counts in Quebec Bloc 49 Liberal 14 CPC 10 NDP 1 Ind 1

    2011 seat count in Quebec Bloc 37 Liberal 21 CPC 14 NDP 2 Ind 1

    NDP might take some current Liberal held Montreal seats. They might also vote split to cost Trudeau and Rodriquez their current seats to the Bloc.

  15. M,

    The graphic does point out who previously held the seats. It does require you to look through them all, though.

    As to highlighting the close races, it would be a bit too much to monitor. I'll mention close races in my posts when they are worth noting (i.e., today).


  16. Whether it was billions,hundreds of millions,or less than a million, Adscam happened a long time ago -- in political terms, where a day can be a year in real time. The Adscam scandal killed the libs and allowed the CPC to gain power. Now the CPC is proving to be every bit as corrupt as the Libs were and in only five years. You can bring back the ghost of scandals past all you want, but voters will likely be more pissed off at the CPC for what they're doing now than the Libs for what they did an eternity ago. Many of them will hold their noses and vote liberal, if for no other reason than to punish the CPC.

  17. Carl, the entire sponsorship program was a billion dollars. Around 200 million of it went missing in Quebec. Still unaccounted for to this day,some of which we know was transferred in brown paper envelopes in cash to Liberal supporters as kickback, much of which would then be funneled back into Liberal coffers.

    I'm not saying a billion dollars on a three day summit isn't outrageous. It is outrageous. So was the police state and removal of civil liberties that went along with it.

    However, all the money is accounted for. 50 million to Muskoka was just another stimulus fund that went into rejuvenating parks and street scapes, much the same as the rest of the stimulus projects around the country.

    Just down the street from my previous house, there's a rebuilt band shell, washrooms and a community party room in Vancouver Kingsway done during the same time period. It was at least a couple hundred grand and it's not a Conservative riding.

    Honestly 50 million on empty band shells, washrooms flowers and trees, all accounted for, is not a big deal.

    Adscam was a big deal, and was done in complete contempt of parliament and Canadian law, btw.

  18. pinkobme,

    The electorate is reminded of Adscam every time the Liberals try to fling misappropriation of funds allegations at the Conservatives, which is why Harper is aok with the opposition dwelling on it.

    The more the Liberals and the media dwell on petty scandal, and this is petty rehashed scandal, the less Harper has to answer real questions and debate policy.

    I predict record low voter turnout, because this election has been about nothing so far, and for no reason. Mock outrage isn't a reason. Below 60%, somewhere around 56% voter turnout, and that means a Conservative majority.

  19. Just to put the 50 million in context, if Eric doesn't think this conversation that's not about polls has gone on too long:

    In today's Globe and Mail, the City of Vancouver, with approx. 1/30th the budget and tax base than the feds, will lose at least 230 million on the Olympic Village development project. That is without unpaid strata fees and management fees.

    At least 230 million completely mismanaged by one municipality for one set of buildings, for a two week long event, to the benefit of a private developer, in a city with massive homelessness and affordable housing issues, all the while lying to taxpayers about this spending.

    That's like the federal government losing 6.9 billion before fees on a private development while lying to taxpayers, to the benefit of wealthy, offshore condo purchasers.

    One can argue that the G8 with it's business benefits, is a much wiser venue to spend/misspend/invest money on, and 50 million is next to nothing.

  20. This scandal is just another paper tiger.

    There was $50B spent on infrastructure. I would really be pleasantly shocked and pleased if the worst thing we find out about is some washrooms and under used facilities were funded

    I am sure that an audit on the infrastructure projects built in the last two years will come up with all sorts of bogus projects .... picked and partially funded by Provinces and Municipalities.

    Whenever government money is spent there is a certain amount lost to stupidity, greed, corruption and inefficiency.

    That's why government spending needs to be severely limited.

  21. Eric:

    I appreciate the comments on close races. I know you're only one man running this thing! But I'm totally engaged by this.

    Looking forward to seeing your results versus election night!


  22. It makes me sad that this election has come down to 'whose scandals were more egregious'.

  23. To Anon

    I believe you are making up numbers or have stumbled on a misleading source of information.

    The auditor general first made notice of sponsorship by saying that $100 million of the $250 million sponsorship program was awarded to Liberal-friendly advertising firms and Crown corporations for little or no work.

    The Gomery Commission which was then tasked to investigate spending during sponsorship concluded that $2 million was awarded in contracts without a proper bidding process, $250 thousand was added to one contract price for no additional work, and $1.5 million was awarded for work that was never done, of which $1 million had to be repaid. Not billions or hundreds of millions in Quebec

    The AG does not have good things to say about the 1.2 billion spent for the 3 day G20 either.

  24. To Anon

    900 million dollars in security costs over 3 days...is not buying anything of use at all. Pittsburgh spent 12 million on their entire G20 and London spent 30 million on security which was decried as wasteful by their media.

    900 million....3 days, on security. Someone has to explain that.

  25. Pittsburgh had 2000 national guards armed and outfitted called up for the G20 for no incremental cost.

    The US has an extensive secret service to look after executive level security.

    There are over 400,000 troops in the American national guard that are trained, very well equipped and ready to go.

    America spend 4.7% of their GDP on Military... just under $2B/day every day. You can then host G20 conferences for free.

    Great Britain only spends 2.7 % GDP. They had also built up internal security infrastructure for the Irish troubles.

    Canada spends 20B 1.5 % of GDP.

    So if Canada were to spend $20-40B more per year on our military we could host a G8 with no incremental costs.

    I was in Manhattan when President Bush was just dropping through, just a visit not a G8 or anything. The city basically shut down while he was in for a 2 hour visit. Roads blocked ... troops in the streets

  26. Various anons:
    My point wasn't who has the largest scandals, but who will be punished most for them. Since the Liberals' scandals are now stale in most voters' minds and they've been thoroughly and rightfully punished, likely the voters will turn their anger toward CPC. If that's the case and Iggy does reasonably well tonight that should be reflected in the polls in the coming days.
    Thanks Carl S. that's the info I was referring to earlier but couldn't remember the source.

  27. Carl S. said:
    "900 million dollars in security costs over 3 days...is not buying anything of use at all. Pittsburgh spent 12 million on their entire G20 and London spent 30 million on security which was decried as wasteful by their media.

    900 million....3 days, on security. Someone has to explain that."

    BC's point is right on. I think if you look back in the days leading up to the G8/G20 conference, the Parliamentary Budget Office (no lapdog of the Tories) put the cost of the G8/G20 summits in a proper context. First, they noted that the $1 billion cost for the Toronto summit was the total cost of everything associated with the summit, the $12 million and $30 million dollar figures cited from previous summits were not "all in" figures.

    Second, they pointed out that, because of it's smaller size, and smaller security forces (police, army, etc.), hosting a summit of this size is likely to be significantly more costly for Canada than, say, the US. For example, the US regularly (i.e., several times each year) hosts events with similar security requirements to the G8/G20 (think Superbowl, Presidential inauguration, UN meetings, etc.). As a result, they already have dedicated resources availabe to provide security, operations, etc. for such events (i.e. secret service, FBI, national guard, etc.) In contrast, Canada has to (and had to) fly in security forces (police, army) from all over the country (according to the parliamentary budget office, something like a third of Canada's security establishment was involved in the G8/G20 conference), shelter them, pay them overtime, equip them, yada, yada, yada. The end result is that such an operation is likely to be significantly more expensive for Canada than for the US. And moreover, it involves the allocation of special funds which, in the US, are routinely allocated to security forces as a matter of course (and so don't turn up as a "cost" of a summit). And while the US is an easy example, it's clear from the PBO report that other countries who have hosted recent summits (Japan, UK, Italy) not only have significantly larger populations, but signficantly larger security forces in the ordinary course from which to draw on.

    In any event, it's been a while since I looked at the Parliamentary Budget Office report on this issue, but I'd commend it to your attention.

    Other Carl

  28. Pinkobme,

    I think the key difference between the Tory "scandals" and adscam, is that there's no suggestion that money is being funelled into the pockets of Tory supporters for nothing. That was the killer for the Liberals.

    Even if the worst of the allegations about G8 are true (and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle), there is no suggestion that this was money funelled into the pockets of, say, Tony Clement's supporters for nothing. Gazebos and washrooms WERE built, security forces were paid (no double double overtime for working on weekends). Now, I wouldn't be the least bit suprised if some of the contractors who built those Gazebos were long-time supporter of the Tories, but I'm also not under illusion that that sort of thing doesn't routinely happen under governments of all stripe, and I suspect that, so long as the work gets done (and isn't proposterously over-expensive) and the government doesn't blatantly favour it's friends, people don't get too worked up about it.


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