It would seem that all the pollsters share the confusion:
"It seems to me they're putting more of their eggs in building up support in Quebec. I don't know if they've cut Ontario loose. I can't imagine you'd want to do that ... but it does look like an odd strategy right now," said Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research.
"I'm as perplexed as the next guy about where the Ontario strategy is."….
"When you start to get scrappy with issues of concern to urban voters, it's hard to do that and six months later go back and ask for their vote," said Nik Nanos, of Nanos Research.
"If majority was the name of the game, then they do need to make some sort of gains in Ontario, specifically suburban Ontario. You're not going to do that if you're viewed as being anti-urban," Nanos said.
But he also said it reinforces that Tory habit of talking to their "core constituencies – small-town, rural and also suburban Canadians," as well as Quebec.
"It basically means that Toronto, suburban Toronto and urban Ontario is not really part of that mix," Nanos said…
"I don't see where the electoral upside is in that," said Bruce Anderson, Harris/Decima president. "I have no way to explain what would be in it for the Conservatives to take a relatively confrontational stance, at least in rhetorical terms, with the Ontario government."
The really odd part, most of the tensions have been created by a belligerent government, that gladly mocks the Premier, expresses disinterest at legitimate concerns. There is no sensitivity, when it comes to Ontario, which stands in stark contrast to the egg shell routine we see in Quebec. Obviously, and legitimately, the Conservatives made the astute calculation that Quebec provided the biggest opportunity to expand support. However, that approach has developed an exclusive flavor, where the tunnel vision has failed to see the other part of the equation. Even the most optimistic of Conservative scenarios couldn’t possibly have entertained a complete Bloc collapse, which always necessitated additional support elsewhere.
When you see the polls, and wonder what is holding back the Conservatives, the answer is primarily the failure in Ontario. It’s not like the polls only recently projected this truth, that has been a known quantity for over a year. That consistent picture makes the recent posturing all the more curious electorally. A very timid approach to the manufacturing situation, verbal slurs directed towards the Premier on an issue that is political suicide from the federal perspective, referring to cities as “whiners”, dumping centrist candidates who articulate urban issues. A host of examples that make you wonder if these people really do the simple electoral math. The Conservatives so obsessed with winning a majority on the one hand, so utterly clueless and self-destructive on the other.