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.