Disclaimer, this is a best case scenario, more about potential than rose colored glasses. I still see a path to a weak Liberal minority, if everything falls into place, if there is maximum consolidation. For arguments sake, let's put the Conservatives ahead with 35%, the Liberals at 26%, NDP 19% and the Greens at 10%, seems a pretty fair averaging, giving more weight for past accuracy.
I believe the core Conservative vote is 32%, anything lower exceptional, but you can shave a couple points off their current total. I believe the core NDP vote is 15%, I believe the core Green vote is 6%. I base this on past elections, and a reading of vote "softness". I've seen a couple findings which peg the percentage of current Green vote potentially changing as high as 48%, which makes sense, given the lack of historical support. There also seems to be some softness in the NDP vote, but in fairness that also holds true for the Liberals, to a lesser degree. What is clear, amongst soft Green and NDP support, the Liberals are the clear "second choice", this is also the case with soft Conservative supporters.
I also believe, that when looking at the national numbers, given regional efficiency, the Liberals only need to be within 2% to have a chance at a minority. The Conservatives do suffer from over the top support in some regions, which skew the national numbers, meaning if we had a scenario where the Cons are shown at say 34%, the Libs 32%, we could still win. People will remember the pre-writ polls that showed a statistical tie, but when you drilled into the numbers, you saw a Liberal victory. So, I will factor that fact into the calculation.
I can see a realistic scenario where the Liberals can shave 3% off the current Con tally used at the beginning. Some of that support would move to the NDP, so we will give the Liberals 2% of that, the NDP 1%. It's now Cons 32%, Libs 28%, NDP 20%, Greens 10%. We've seen it before, as the race reaches crescendo, the NDP are challenged to keep the focus on them, as others try to narrow the choice. It is entirely possible that the Liberals could shave 2-3% of the NDP's current tally. Let's not forget, before the election, many pollsters showed the NDP battling for third in Ontario, any gains since hardly denotes FIRM support, it can move. Let's take a mere 2% off the current NDP tally, now it's Cons 32%, Libs 30%, NDP 18% (which is still a sizeable vote), Greens 10%. That leaves the Greens, the most fertile ground for the Liberals. When push comes to shove, I see a powerful argument- if you favor a carbon tax, you need to vote for the party that can bring make this policy into law. There are many differences between the two parties, but there is no question similarities do exist, any plea is not without substantive appeal. Let's say 3% of the Green vote is siphoned off, and we will even give the NDP 1% of that. It's now Cons 32%, Libs 32%, NDP 19%, Greens 7%.
Maybe it's just me, but those final numbers don't seem outrageous at all. The NDP are still above their 2006 total, the Greens well above. I mention this, because it demonstrates a path for victory that doesn't over-estimate any erosion in the other parties vote, those are good numbers, relatively. A tie translates to a Liberal victory, or has the real possibility. If I put the Conservative total too low, remember I give others much more than 2006, so you could still draw more Liberal support elsewhere to make up, just another calculation.
Will this happen? It's just a POSSIBLE path, an optimistic view, but not an outlandish one either. What it does show, how some minor tinkering with the various party votes, turns a sizeable lead into a statistical tie.