Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's A Mess

The latest batch of polls are so fluid, almost every scenario is possible. One thing is becoming clear though, whether you're a NDP or Liberal supporter, if you want Harper gone, then it is imperative the Liberals hold in Ontario. The latest Harris Decima poll offers an almost optimal scenario for Harper to be replaced:
The Conservatives are at 35 per cent support nationally, with the NDP at 30 per cent and the Liberals at 22 per cent.

The results indicate the New Democrats have doubled their support since the campaign began late last month — thanks mainly to huge gains among Quebecers and women voters.

The poll has the NDP with a 20-point lead over the Bloc Quebecois — 42 per cent to 22 per cent — and leading the Conservatives by one point among female respondents.

It also suggests significant gains in B.C., where the NDP is two points behind the Tories and 21 points ahead of the Liberals.

The key battleground of Ontario remains a rare bright spot for the Liberals. Michael Ignatieff's party led there, supported by 34 per cent of respondents compared with 33 per cent for the Tories and 25 for the NDP.

I sense there is the possibility that some in Ontario will flock to the Conservatives, if the NDP looks poised to take government. Call it hunch, a worry, but if the Liberal vote collapses further in Ontario, I suspect more go right than left. It is beyond crucial that the Liberal vote holds in Ontario and HD offers some reason for optimism. We will never figure out the vote splitting math, frankly these individual seat predictors, I'm putting ZERO stock in.

What needs to happen is close to the HD poll. The NDP surge in QC, which I believe is now cemented, plus a challenge in British Columbia more and more probable, as well as the aforementioned Liberal "hold" in Ontario. If we can't check off all three boxes, then it may just be advantage Harper. There will be no orange wave sweeping across Ontario, at worst it will cause some backlash or weird splits, a few NDP gains not enough to offset the negatives.

I am expecting to be surprised when the polls close. Forget the individual seat predictors, it's pure voodoo with such a turbulent electorate. What is known, the paths to victory, and I believe what I've laid out is the only realistic scenario, so let's hope it shakes out as such.


Tof KW said...

Grits should pray that this H-D poll is right and the Libs are in a statistical tie with the CPC in Ontario. And this is to the benefit of both the LPC and NDP.

With the NDP now set to replace the Bloc in Quebec and challenging Harper in BC, they are in for a huge night on May 2nd.

Coupled with the LPC holding their Ontario seats, maybe even picking up a few from the CPC, then the Harper regime is in serious trouble.

Scott MacNeil said...

Admittedly the ebb&flow of the polls is cause for concern. But I truly think there may be an outlier here that bodes well for the LPC, namely that I personally think there is a good chance that a significant percentage of the CPC's 'red tory' base may simply stay away on election day.

Am I a pollster with any proof for this assertion, no - but I do have a real anecdote that may be instructive. My neighbour had a CPC sign on his yard until Tuesday. It's gone now. This morn' I asked if him if it had been stolen. He said no. He said he had simply decided to take it down because Harper campaign has him "upset". Then he told me, he's not voting. An anecdote, sure... but "Bill" is an old time "Tory" in his early 60s who has decided not to vote. Makes me wonder how many more of them there are? Guess we'll find out May 2nd!

Omar said...

It's a beautiful mess though. It feels like my fellow Canadians are in the midst of a thorough spring cleaning that will result in a Pine-sol freshness come Monday night. The long darkness may very well coming to an end. Hallelujah!

Steve V said...


It remains to be seen if a party can fall apart elsewhere and hold one region, can voters be that specific? It could go so many ways here, it really is confused.


Hope you're right, but I don't underestimate the GOTV of the Cons, and that is a big factor.

Steve V said...


No question it's a great expression of democracy occuring, I just hope the numbers land to reflect that sentiment.

ch said...

Interesting times indeed. One has to wonder how the NDP Quebec non-French speaking and/or vacationing candidate stories will settle out. And the Liberals just launched new French ads.

Dame said...

On May 2 we all will be surprised and even pleasantly that is my prediction
Coyne came down saying he will vote liberal!!! wow.. First surprise
The seat projections are just a total nonsense... that is for sure.
I am hoping people didn't lost their minds and more realise the reality ...

Steve V said...

One factor, this in longer a boring election, it has gotten people's attention, which bodes well for turnout.

JohnH said...

Steve what is your view on assorted CBC,CTV (and Tom Clark) pundits along with an unfortunate number of Liberals on twitter saying the Liberals will/should prop up Harper instead of Layton if we finish 3rd no matter how many seats the NDP wins?

I think we've got to tamp the lid on that talk. It's a bit dispiriting after 5 years of Harper to even hear contemplation that the Liberals might actively choose to keep him in power. I still think we can keep official opposition and have a shot at government (by being propped up by NDP) if we keep up on the attack on the NDP and Conservatives, but I want Harper and his WHOLE CABINET gone from government above all. I know these pundits and Liberals don't speak for the party leadership but I'd like to think that possibility of propping up Harper is not even being considered.

Steve V said...

I can't see us propping up Harper, that will be my last day as a Lib that's for sure.

Sean Cummings said...

It's anything can happen day from here on in. One thing is for certain, the electorate will make the right decision for Canada because that's what voters do. They are never wrong.

Kirbycairo said...

JohnH - I think one of the problems (wrong word really but I can think of no other) of a party that has essentially been such a 'big tent' in the middle is that there are people on both extremes (again the wrong word, but you get the idea) and if a party like that suddenly has to face a stark choice it is bound to cause major splits.

Some blue liberals have bought into the corporatist line of the Martin and Harper years, while some red liberals see the updated version of the NDP as pretty close to their beliefs.( Remarkably some right-wing liberals still talk as though the NDP is a radical socialist party and it really isn't.) Either way, this presents a real problem for the LPC if they are suddenly faced with a choice of who to support. It could, in certain circumstances rib the whole party in two in a similar way that the old PC party was split.

Ironically when Peter Mackay sold the old PC party down the river, he got the worst of both worlds, a totally un-populist party that had the governing style of an ultra-right non-libertarian group.

It will be interesting for sure.

Steve V said...


Sure they are, that's poetic nonsense :)

Tof KW said...

Steve - I know it's weird to consider the Libs can drop to 22% nationally and still think they have a shot at holding one region, but you can toss whatever election model you have in the toilet right now. As soon as the Bloc vote collapsed this has become a whole new ballgame. I don't see how but H-D has the Libs slightly ahead (statistically tied) with Harper in Ontario - so anything is possible right now.

On another note, heard a radio commercial for a Lib candidate on Conestoga College radio today - and I got a robo-call from Michael Ignatieff inviting me to a Lib rally tomorrow in Kitchener. At least the LPC is fighting hard in the K-W area reaching out to soft supporters like me.

JohnH said...

Good to hear Steve. We hope for the best and work to maximize Lib seat count. I think all this talk of people tuning out election due to royal wedding coverage from tomorrow to monday is a bit of bs (besides can't parties run ads during the wedding coverage?), so there's still time to turn the tide in our favour.

But if do finish 3rd and as I suspect Harper is kept to a minority, it will fall to the Liberals to choose the government and voices will have to be very loud and forceful against even considering more Conservatives. I don't care if Harper even offers to resign in exchange for Liberal support, I supect his successor will be Kenney or someone just as bad so these cpc mps all need to be outside government, no compromises.

Kirbycairo said...

Maybe Sean was being ironic. After all, irony is indemonstrable in the text as my thesis advisor used to always say.

And Sean - if you are not being ironic, then don't be ridiculous! Hitler was elected with 49.6 percent of the vote I believe and Nixon was elected for the second time with 60%,

Voters are wrong a lot of the time.

Steve V said...

Lapierre says 30-35 NDP seats in QC, and he sees Libs losing a few as well.

Kirbycairo said...

If the Liberals were able to hold quite a few seats in Ontario and the NDP picked up in Quebec, BC, and the Atlantic, then GOODBYE Harper!

And not a moment too soon, I'd say.

Omar said...

All the Firing Line back-slapping between Jamie Watt and Alf Apps makes me want to take a shower.

Scott @ Prog Blog said...

I've already said that IF the scenario happens as the polls say.. and IF the Liberals (what's left of us) have a choice between the NDP and the CPC, and choose the CPC, the Liberal membership card is getting ripped up within 2 seconds (but not before a determined effort to get progressive Liberal grassroots supporters - who trend left - irate at their party brass and demanding they stop supporting a party and guy that has been smearing our party and our leaders for 5 years now).

Miles Lunn said...

While this is unpredictable, looking at the aggregate of the regionals and also at the margins in past election, I think it is quite plausible that you won't see a whole lot of seat changes outside Quebec. In Ontario and Atlantic Canada there is a strong Liberal base that I don't see easily swinging over to the NDP. Lets remember, Quebecers loyalty to any given party tends to be a lot shallower than other provinces. Also one should not ignore the incumbency factor. Looking over the past five elections, ridings that didn't have an incumbent were far more likely to change hands than those with one. As for Ontario, I think the Tories will probably get between 37-42% considering they have a solid base and a good GOTV strategy so the Liberals over the next few days need to convince those who have switched to the NDP that the Liberals not the NDP in Ontario can beat the Tories. I would also argue even in rural ridings where the Tory candidate got over 50% last time around, the Liberals should still try to make that argument to vote Liberal as it is not just about this election, it is also about positioning for future ones. If the NDP come in second in most of Rural Ontario, that could be bad news for the Liberals longer term.

As for the coalition, As Michael Ignatieff stated, I would do things on an issue by issue basis. As much as I know some cannot wait to get rid of Harper, the last thing the party needs to do is try something that blows up in their face. I should also note in Ontario the NDP rarely does as well as the polls suggest so I can only see them getting over 25% if the momentum continues into the weekend. Ontarioans are also quite cautious and tend to be more reluctant to take risks on the unknown whereas Quebec is the exact opposite.