The long-term NDP surge has finally shown up in this week’s Forum poll. On June 5, 2015, when EKOS and Angus Reid were showing the NDP in the lead, Forum’s poll showed a three-way race with the NDP in a close third. Now, the NDP has 34%, the Liberals 28%, the Bloc Quebecois 7%, and the Greens 5%. This is another twist and turn in what has turned out to be quite the volatile state of public opinion since May 2, 2011.
Here is the seat projection my model shows with Forum’s numbers*:
British Columbia: New Democratic 39% (25 seats), Conservative 27% (9 seats), Liberal 24% (7 seats), Green 8% (1 seat), Other 1% (0 seats) Long Term: NDP and Liberal gains at Conservative expense
Alberta: 39% Conservative (19 seats), 35% New Democratic (12 seats), 19% Liberal (3 seats), 6% Green (0 seats), 1% Other (0 seats) Long Term: NDP and Liberal gains at Conservative expense
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 36% New Democratic (10 seats), 32% Conservative (12 seats), 27% Liberal (6 seats), 4% Green (0 seats), 1% Other (0 seats) Long Term: NDP and Liberal gains at Conservative expense
Ontario: 33% New Democratic (40 seats), 31% Liberal (38 seats), 30% Conservative (40 seats), 5% Green (3 seats), 1% Other (0 seats) Short Term: Liberal and Green gains at Conservative expense Long Term: NDP, Liberal, and Green gains at Conservative expense
Quebec: 31% New Democratic (38 seats), 26% Bloc Quebecois (16 seats), 24% Liberal (15 seats), 15% Conservative (8 seats), 3% Green (1 seat), 1% Other (0 seats) Long Term: Bloc Quebecois, Liberal, Conservative, and Green gains at NDP expense
Atlantic Canada: 38% Liberal (15 seats), 34% New Democratic (11 seats), 24% Conservative (6 seats), 1% Green (0 seats), 1% Other (0 seats) Long Term: Liberal and NDP gains at Conservative expense
Total: 34% New Democratic (137 seats), 28% Liberal (84 seats), 26% Conservative (96 seats), 7% Bloc Quebecois (16 seats), 5% Green (5 seats), 1% Other (0 seats)
*Northern Canada not polled, so I will leave their seats the same for simplicity.
According to the numbers, if the election were held tomorrow, the NDP would form a minority government with 137 seats, the Conservatives would take up the Official Opposition with 96 seats despite coming third in the popular vote, the Liberals would be in a strengthened third place with 84 seats, the Bloc Quebecois will return to Official Party Status with 16 seats, and the Greens will increase their caucus to 5 seats.
In relation to the most Angus Reid poll as of the time of writing, there are some interesting swings nationally. Despite having a larger lead over its two opponents in the Forum Poll than the Angus Reid poll, the NDP reduces its caucus by 6 seats with the Forum poll. Overall, though, it remains a minority government. The Conservatives bleed seats, going from a close second to third in the popular vote competing for second place with the Liberals. These seats, at the national level, appear to bleed to the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois.
At the regional level, the NDP gains in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and Atlantic Canada, stagnates in Ontario, and declines in Quebec. The Conservatives gain in Quebec, stagnate in Atlantic Canada, and decline in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and Ontario. The Liberals gain in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, stagnate in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and decline in Atlantic Canada. The Bloc Quebecois makes gains in Quebec. The Greens make gains in Ontario and Quebec, stagnate in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and Atlantic Canada, and decline in British Columbia.
If we look at the regional trends in comparison to 2011, the NDP gains everywhere except for Quebec, where it declines. The Liberals gain in all regions. The Conservatives decline everywhere except for Quebec, where they make gains. The Bloc Quebecois makes gains in Quebec. The Greens make gains in Ontario and Quebec, and stay the same everywhere else.
What implications do these results have if representative of public opinion? Of course, four months out from the election, it is impossible to tell whether these numbers will stay. The NDP’s gains as a result of Rachel Notley’s recent win in Alberta do have a possibility of being a honeymoon effect, and that may wane from now until October. The Bloc’s gains may also be a honeymoon effect, and they will remain a small presence in Parliament. However, it is troubling for the Conservatives that the NDP is eating into areas they’ve had on lockdown since their inception. The NDP also may encounter some trouble if the gains they have in other regions are not enough to offset their declines in Quebec. After all, doing well in Quebec is the center of their strategy. If the Bloc forms Official Party Status once again, Quebec separatists will once again have a national podium, and the movement may have a resurgence. The Greens will increase their voice in Parliament, but remain below Official Party status.