NDP and Conservative Dead Heat: Seat Projection, Ipsos Reid Poll, July 27

In the latest Ipsos Reid poll, the NDP and Conservatives are in a virtual tie. The NDP narrowly leads with 34% and the Conservatives are close behind at 33%, a margin smaller than the margin of error. The Liberals languish in a more distant third than last week at 25%. Bringing up the rear are the Bloc Quebecois at 5% and the Greens at 3%.

Here is the seat projection using my model*:
British Columbia: 39% New Democratic (22 seats), 32% Conservative (13 seats), 20% Liberal (6 seats), 9% Green (1 seat)
Alberta: 57% Conservative (29 seats), 28% New Democratic (5 seats), 11% Liberal (0 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 39% Conservative (16 seats), 32% New Democratic (7 seats), 25% Liberal (5 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 37% Conservative (63 seats), 32% New Democratic (31 seats), 28% Liberal (27 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Quebec: 37% New Democratic (49 seats), 24% Liberal (12 seats), 22% Bloc Quebecois (11 seats), 15% Conservative (6 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 41% Liberal (18 seats), 32% New Democratic (8 seats), 24% Conservative (6 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Total: 34% New Democratic (123 seats), 33% Conservative (135 seats), 25% Liberal (68 seats), 5% Bloc Quebecois (11 seats), 3% Green (1 seat)

*Because Northern Canada was not polled, I am keeping their seats with the same parties that hold them currently for the sake of simplicity.

Despite lagging behind slightly in the popular vote, the Conservatives would have a plurality of seats at 135. The New Democrats would form an increased Official Opposition at 123. The Liberals, ideologically between the NDP and Conservatives, would face a kingmaker situation with 68 seats. The Bloc Quebecois would take 11 seats, one short of regaining Official Party Status. The Greens would retain their seat in their leader’s home province.

Over the past few months, there has largely been stability at the regional level. However, there are two regions at play for the parties that could affect the outcome of the election – Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Ontario is in play for the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP alike – who have all led at one point or another. The province is crucial for the strategies of all three parties and while a win in this province does not guarantee a plurality, it will make it much more unlikely for those who lose the province to see a path to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Atlantic Canada, while less crucial, has a chance for a moral victory for the NDP. Even with the Liberal downturn, the Liberals for the most part have led in this region. Even though only one stronghold is left for the party, having one gives the Liberals infinitely more viability in the eyes of the voters than having none. If the NDP can gain this region, then they become the viable alternative to the Conservatives nationwide, and the Liberals will retain only a loyal core of voters and a small pool of tactical voters for the second election in a row.

NDP and Conservative Dead Heat: Seat Projection, Ipsos Reid Poll, July 27

A Tale of Two Polls: Seat Projections of Forum and Mainstreet Polls

On July 20-21, two different polls came out: one by Forum and one by Mainstreet Research. Both showcase two radically different results. The Forum poll indicates a continued NDP lead with 34%, the Liberals in second with 29%, and the Conservatives very close behind with 28%. The Bloc Quebecois and Greens bring up the rear with 5% and 4%, respectively. The Mainstreet poll indicates a game changer – 38% Conservative, 27% New Democratic, 25% Liberal, 6% Green, and 4% Bloc Quebecois. The Conservatives have rarely held this much of a lead since 2011.

Here is the seat projection for the Forum poll*:
British Columbia: 43% New Democratic (28 seats), 27% Conservative (9 seats), 23% Liberal (5 seats), 6% Green (0 seats)
Alberta: 42% Conservative (24 seats), 32% New Democratic (7 seats), 20% Liberal (3 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 53% Conservative (24 seats), 22% New Democratic (2 seats), 21% Liberal (2 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 33% Liberal (40 seats), 31% Conservative (41 seats), 31% New Democratic (38 seats), 4% Green (2 seats)
Quebec: 38% New Democratic (48 seats), 20% Bloc Quebecois (10 seats), 20% Conservative (10 seats), 19% Liberal (10 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 46% Liberal (21 seats), 29% New Democratic (6 seats), 25% Conservative (5 seats), 0% Green (0 seats)
Total: 34% New Democratic (130 seats), 29% Liberal (81 seats), 28% Conservative (115 seats), 5% Bloc Quebecois (10 seats), 4% Green (2 seats)

Here is the seat projection for the Mainstreet poll*,**:
British Columbia: 43% New Democratic (28 seats), 28% Conservative (9 seats), 21% Liberal (4 seats), 10% Green (1 seat)
Alberta: 52% Conservative (30 seats), 22% Liberal (2 seats), 16% New Democratic (2 seats), 10% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 49% Conservative (22 seats), 23% Liberal (3 seats), 21% New Democratic (3 seats), 7% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 45% Conservative (84 seats), 27% Liberal (22 seats), 21% New Democratic (13 seats), 7% Green (3 seats)
Quebec: 37% New Democratic (49 seats), 22% Conservative (11 seats), 22% Liberal (11 seats), 17% Bloc Quebecois (7 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 38% Liberal (19 seats), 28% Conservative (7 seats), 27% New Democratic (6 seats), 7% Green (0 seats)
Total: 38% Conservative (165 seats), 27% New Democratic (102 seats), 25% Liberal (61 seats), 6% Green (4 seats), 4% Bloc Quebecois (7 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, I will keep their seats with the same parties for the sake of simplicity.
**Since Mainstreet didn’t separate undecided voters from decided, I calculated each party’s percentage of the decided vote.

These polls tell two highly different stories. In one, the NDP will win a minority government. In another, it remains in opposition with slightly less votes but almost the same seat count as 2011. In one poll, the Conservatives are third in popular vote and second in seat count, and in another it is 5 seats shy of a majority government. In one poll, the Liberals are second in popular vote and third in seat count and a potential kingmaker, and in another, the Liberals are a more distant third and can only bring the Conservatives over the top alone. In both polls, the Bloc Quebecois are short of Official Party status. Finally, in one poll, the Greens will remain the same size in the House of Commons, and in another, they will double their caucus.

Which is true? Only time will tell.

A Tale of Two Polls: Seat Projections of Forum and Mainstreet Polls

Seat Projection: Leger Marketing Poll, July 16, 2015

Leger Marketing released a poll this week that mirror’s Forum’s results – a Conservative and NDP tie at 32%, and the Liberals in a slightly distant third at 25%. Bringing up the rear are the Greens with 6%, and the Bloc Quebecois with 5%.

Here is the seat projection using my model*:
British Columbia: 36% New Democratic (21 seats), 27% Conservative (11 seats), 24% Liberal (7 seats), 12% Green (3 seats)
Alberta: 43% Conservative (23 seats), 32% New Democratic (7 seats), 21% Liberal (4 seats), 4% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 35% Conservative (12 seats), 32% Liberal (9 seats), 30% New Democratic (7 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 38% Conservative (69 seats), 29% Liberal (28 seats), 27% New Democratic (22 seats), 6% Green (2 seats)
Quebec: 37% New Democratic (47 seats), 23% Conservative (12 seats), 19% Bloc Quebecois (10 seats), 18% Liberal (9 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 35% Liberal (13 seats), 35% New Democratic (12 seats), 18% Conservative (5 seats), 11% Green (2 seats)
Total: Conservative 32% (134 seats), New Democratic 32% (117 seats), Liberal 25% (72 seats), Green 6% (5 seats), Bloc Quebecois 5% (10 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, I will keep their seats with the same parties for the sake of simplicity.

With these numbers, the Conservatives are first in the seat count for the first time in a couple of months with 134 seats, and would form a minority government. The New Democrats would have an increased presence as the Official Opposition with 117 seats. The Liberals would have potential kingmaker status at 72 seats. The Bloc Quebecois will increase their caucus to 10 seats, 2 short of regaining Official Party Status. The Greens will increase their caucus to 5 seats.

What does this mean? First of all, trouble for the NDP. The NDP was reigning supreme the last few weeks. For it to now be neck-and-neck with the Conservatives may be a drop from the honeymoon, or worse, a return to second place. Only time will tell. Its main drop is in the province of Ontario, in which the Conservatives have made great strides regaining support. It will have to fight hard to bring it back to its former status as deadlocked between the three major parties.

However, not all is bread and roses for the Conservatives either. If these results are correct, that means they will be forming a minority government. The Liberals, with potential kingmaker status, or at the very least the party that can determine whether a government falls or not, could go into coalition with the NDP and still knock the Conservatives out of power. For the Liberals, this may be their way back into government – remaining in third two elections in a row makes it a possibility that it may be Canada’s third party for a generation at least.

Seat Projection: Leger Marketing Poll, July 16, 2015

Seat Projection: EKOS Poll, July 14, 2015

EKOS has been a bit quiet in its opinion polling for the last couple of weeks. However, a couple of days ago it conducted its first survey since June 28, leading to a new poll. The NDP has increased its support from 30.9% to 32.6%, which is huge keeping in mind that EKOS was the first poll to predict the NDP’s rise. The Conservatives also rose, from 27.3% to 29.4%. The Liberals declined from 25.6% to 24%. The Greens stayed steady at 6.6%. The Bloc declined from 6.3% to 5.3%, belying the results of this week’s Forum poll.

Here is my seat projection using the EKOS poll data*:
British Columbia: 41% New Democratic (28 seats), 27% Conservative (9 seats), 20% Liberal (4 seats), 9% Green (1 seat) NDP and Conservative gains at Liberal and Green expense
Alberta: 49% Conservative (27 seats), 29% New Democratic (5 seats), 15% Liberal (2 seats), 4% Green (0 seats) NDP gains at Liberal expense
Saskatchewan: 45% New Democratic (10 seats), 34% Conservative (4 seats), 12% Liberal (0 seats), 6% Green (0 seats) NDP gains at Conservative and Liberal expense
Manitoba: 33% Conservative (7 seats), 32% New Democratic (4 seats), 27% Liberal (3 seats), 7% Green (0 seats) NDP gains at Conservative expense
Ontario: 33% Conservative (55 seats), 29% Liberal (35 seats), 27% New Democratic (26 seats), 8% Green (5 seats) Conservative and Green gains at NDP expense
Quebec: 37% New Democratic (49 seats), 23% Bloc Quebecois (12 seats), 19% Liberal (10 seats), 15% Conservative (6 seats), 5% Green (1 seat) NDP gains at Bloc Quebecois, Liberal, Conservative, Green expense
Atlantic Canada: 38% Liberal (18 seats), 31% New Democratic (8 seats), 25% Conservative (6 seats), 4% Green (0 seats) NDP gains at Liberal and Conservative expense
Total: 32.9% New Democratic (131 seats), 29.4% Conservative (116 seats), 24% Liberal (72 seats), 6.6% Green (7 seats), 5.3% Bloc Quebecois (12 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, their three seats will have the same MP’s in the total for the sake of simplicity.

With my numbers, the NDP will be forming a minority government with 131 seats, the same amount of seats as the last poll’s numbers projected. The Conservatives will form Official Opposition with 116 seats, the Liberals will be potential kingmakers with 72 seats, the Bloc Quebecois will return to Official Party Status with 12 seats, and the Greens will increase their caucus to 7.

The NDP has the most positive regional indicators out of the three major parties. They are gaining in all regions except for Ontario, in which they have declined. Unlike this week’s Forum poll, the EKOS poll did not show the NDP in the lead in Atlantic Canada. However, it still made gains there at the expense of the Liberals. The gains speak for themselves in terms of why it would be good for the NDP. However, their status in Ontario is nonetheless troubling for them – not only are they a more distant third than the previously tight results in Ontario, but the Liberals are ahead of them here. Whoever wins Ontario is likely to win the election – if the Conservatives or Liberals win here, the NDP will likely kiss its chance at the Prime Minister’s Office goodbye.

The Conservatives have a mixed bag. They are gaining in British Columbia and Ontario, holding steady in Alberta, and declining in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. The good news for them – they are making huge gains in their stronghold, Ontario, which is a province paramount to them winning the election. Are the gains to their 2011 days? No, but that is not to be expected. Also good news – maintaining in British Columbia. They are likely to suffer huge losses, but it appears the bleeding has stopped there. They are also holding steady in their longtime stronghold of Alberta. However, the declines everywhere else, including their only possible area of expansion (Quebec), showcase grimmer prospects.

The Liberals face possibly the most negative over the past two weeks. They have recorded gains nowhere. They are holding steady in Manitoba and Ontario, and declining in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. The gains in Ontario are a bright spot – if they can sustain them, they may very well be able to get the soft NDP vote to their side. After all, the party that wins Ontario usually forms the government. Increases in Manitoba also are a result of tapping into previously untapped ground. However, declines everywhere else while the NDP is usually gaining is a sign that the Liberals are losing to the NDP in terms of who wins the tactical vote.

As for the other two major parties, the picture is rather steady-as-she-goes. The Bloc Quebecois remains at 12 seats just like two weeks ago, and the Greens remain at 7.

Seat Projection: EKOS Poll, July 14, 2015

Seat Projection: Forum Poll, July 13, 2015

After what appeared to be the beginning of a slump for the NDP, Forum has released a new poll this week putting that possible trend to rest. The NDP has gained two points, achieving 34% support. The Conservatives, tied for first last week, are now tied with the Liberals in second place at 27%. The Bloc Quebecois is running at 7%, a pretty healthy segment of support post-2011. The Greens have rebounded to 5%, after a nadir in their numbers through a handful of Forum polls.

Forum predicts, with its numbers, that the NDP would form a minority government with 132 seats, the Conservatives will form the Official Opposition with 107, the Liberals will have potential kingmaker status with 79, the Bloc Quebecois will have 19 seats, returning to official party status, and the Greens would have one.

Here is the seat projection with my model*:
British Columbia: 46% New Democratic (30 seats), 24% Conservative (7 seats), 20% Liberal (4 seats), 10% Green (1 seat)
Alberta: 47% Conservative (25 seats), 29% New Democratic (7 seats), 17% Liberal (2 seats), 5% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 40% Conservative (13 seats), 39% Liberal (11 seats), 21% New Democratic (4 seats), 0% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 34% Liberal (41 seats), 31% Conservative (42 seats), 30% New Democratic (36 seats), 4% Green (2 seats)
Quebec: 34% New Democratic (43 seats), 25% Bloc Quebecois (16 seats), 22% Liberal (11 seats), 16% Conservative (8 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 47% New Democratic (24 seats), 30% Liberal (6 seats), 15% Conservative (2 seats), 8% Green (0 seats)
Total: 34% New Democratic (145 seats), 27% Conservative (99 seats), 27% Liberal (75 seats), 7% Bloc Quebecois (16 seats), 5% Green (3 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, their three seats will have the same MP’s in the total for the sake of simplicity.

With my numbers, I make essentially the same call as Forum, but with different amounts of seats. The New Democrats would form a minority government with 145 seats, the Conservatives would take Official Opposition with 99, the Liberals would have potential kingmaker status with 75, the Bloc Quebecois will return to Official Party Status with 16, and the Greens will increase their caucus to 3 seats.

The NDP has mostly positive returns in terms of regional trends. They are gaining in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, and declining in Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Ontario. Gains in British Columbia and Quebec are both good for the party since these are strongholds that the NDP needs to maintain in order to win the election. Gains in Alberta, while still not at high enough levels to overturn the dominant Conservatives, are a good beacon of morale for the NDP. After all, the NDP surge of the last couple of months coincided with Rachel Notley’s NDP coming to power at the provincial level in Alberta. The gains in Atlantic Canada might be the biggest game-changer. For years, this has been the one consistent Liberal stronghold. If the NDP takes this, they may see a tidal wave of soft Liberal support going their way out of tactical voting.

The declines in Saskatchewan/Manitoba are not so important, since they have few seats to defend here. However, the declines in Ontario may be a problem. It has been a tight three-way race there for a couple of months now, and out of the two parties vying to replace the Conservatives in government, the Liberals are coming out on top here. If they can displace the NDP as the alternative in Ontario, it is a serious blow to the NDP’s chances at getting first place. If the Liberals can take Ontario, and gain in the rest of the country, the tide towards the NDP may swing the other way.

The Conservatives have a rather bleak outlook at the regional level. They are gaining in Ontario, and declining literally everywhere else at various levels. The gains in Ontario bode well for the Conservatives, since Ontario is a province at the center of every major party’s strategy. However, declines everywhere else, even with the bleeding of support the Conservatives have generally had (save for the last poll), are bad new for them. Declines from their 2011 result are likely after being a majority government for 4 years and in government in general for almost a decade, but they must focus on maintaining. They also must focus on a strategy for Quebec, so that they can find a way to expand there and offset other declines if they wish to win.

The Liberals have a more mixed bag when it comes to gains and declines. They are gaining in Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Ontario, staying steady in Alberta, and declining in British Columbia, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. Gains in Saskatchewan/Manitoba are good for the Liberals as they are largely untapped territory for them in recent times. Ontario bodes well for their strategy, too – if they can gain a lead in Ontario, it may lead the soft Liberals who have gone to the NDP back into the Liberal vote in a tactical move to defeat Conservatives. Declines in British Columbia and Quebec are setbacks, but not devastating, as they didn’t have high totals to begin with. However, they are harbingers of possibly worse to come for the party if they don’t concentrate their resources in areas of expansion. The real blow to the Liberals is in Atlantic Canada, their stronghold that they have now lost to the NDP. This may sway soft Liberal support in the NDP’s direction.

The Bloc Quebecois appears to be benefitting from Gilles Duceppe’s return to the leadership. Of course, with the fluctuations that have been occurring, it’s too early to tell whether they will be able to regain Official Party Status or not. However, gains are undeniable on the Bloc’s part. The Greens are also holding steady – they may have lost their one seat in Quebec in this projection, but they gained a more important one in its place – in British Columbia, the province where party leader Elizabeth May’s riding is located.

Seat Projection: Forum Poll, July 13, 2015

Seat Projection: Forum Ontario Poll, July 5, 2015

Last week, Forum released a poll for the next Ontario general election. Andrea Horwath’s political career seemed to be dead in the water a year ago, with very low polling throughout the 2014 campaign, but she bounced back in time to hold onto the NDP’s seats in that election. Now, her party is leading the pack with 35%. The Progressive Conservatives under relatively new leader Pat Brown follow closely with 32%, and the governing Liberals under Kathleen Wynne trail at 26%. Mike Schreiner’s Greens bring up the rear with 5%.

Forum projected 45 New Democrats, 35 Progressive Conservatives, and 27 Liberals with their model.

Here is the seat projection using my model:
Eastern Ontario: 37% Progressive Conservative (7 seats), 32% New Democratic (4 seats), 27% Liberal (3 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Toronto*: 36% New Democratic (10 seats), 31% Liberal (7 seats), 28% Progressive Conservative (5 seats), 5% Green (0 seats) (22 seats)
905: 39% New Democratic (18 seats), 30% Progressive Conservative (8 seats), 24% Liberal (6 seats), 5% Green (0 seats) (32 seats)
Southwest Ontario: 41% New Democratic (15 seats), 29% Progressive Conservative (5 seats), 21% Liberal (2 seats), 8% Green (0 seats) (22 seats)
Northern Ontario: 43% Progressive Conservative (12 seats), 29% Liberal (3 seats), 22% New Democratic (2 seats), 4% Green (0 seats) (17 seats)
Total: 35% New Democratic (49 seats), 32% Progressive Conservative (37 seats), 26% Liberal (21 seats), 5% Green (0 seats)

*The 416 and GTA results were combined, since I had the numbers available to me.

With my numbers, the New Democrats are predicted to be five seats short of a majority with 49 seats, the Progressive Conservatives increasing their Opposition caucus to 37, and the Liberals losing 64% of their caucus, being reduced to 21 seats. Interestingly enough, it seems that the Liberals and NDP have mostly switched places.

What are the implications of the results of this poll? Well, first it should be noted that, while there has been sparse polling in the last few months in Ontario, and understandably so, considering we’re three years out from an election, Forum is the only poll showing an NDP victory. The rest are showing the Progressive Conservatives ahead.

However, though, assuming that Forum is correct, it showcases a pattern that may dictate the long-term of Ontario politics. The Liberals and NDP appear to be dipping from the same pool of voters, and when one party falls out of favor, those same voters move to another, save for the cores of each. Assuming the track record of these parties in elections continues, this electoral bloc could be decisive for some time. There appears to be a conundrum for the Progressive Conservatives: even with major discontent with the government, they still hit a ceiling of around a third of Ontario voters. They may face perpetual Opposition status unless they can get the Liberal and NDP vote to split in their favor.

Seat Projection: Forum Ontario Poll, July 5, 2015

Seat Projection: Forum Poll, July 7, 2015

It appears that the honeymoon for the NDP may be over. As they continue to hold steady at 32%, the Conservatives, once in third according to Forum, are now tying the NDP in their latest poll. The Liberals remain in third with 26% support, not far from the other two parties, but decisively the third place party. The Bloc Quebecois has 5% of the vote nationally, and the Greens are rebounding slightly from the last round of polls with 3% support.

Forum predicts, with its numbers, that the Conservatives will have a minority government with 155 seats, the NDP in second with 120, the Liberals in potential kingmaker status with 59, the Bloc Quebecois taking 2, and the Greens holding Elizabeth May’s seat.

Here is the seat projection with my model*:
British Columbia: 41% New Democratic (26 seats), 29% Liberal (8 seats), 23% Conservative (8 seats), 6% Green (0 seats)
Alberta: 54% Conservative (27 seats), 28% New Democratic (5 seats), 15% Liberal (2 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 42% New Democratic (12 seats), 41% Conservative (14 seats), 14% Liberal (2 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 33% Liberal (40 seats), 32% Conservative (41 seats), 31% New Democratic (38 seats), 3% Green (2 seats)
Quebec: 29% New Democratic (34 seats), 26% Conservative (20 seats), 23% Liberal (14 seats), 18% Bloc Quebecois (9 seats), 3% Green (1 seat)
Atlantic Canada: 33% New Democratic (11 seats), 32% Conservative (12 seats), 29% Liberal (9 seats), 6% Green (0 seats)
Total: 32% New Democratic (127 seats), 32% Conservative (124 seats), 26% Liberal (75 seats), 5% Bloc Quebecois (9 seats), 3% Green (3 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, their three seats will have the same MP’s in the total for the sake of simplicity.

According to my numbers, the NDP will still be hanging on by a hair to first place in seat count with 127 seats. The Conservatives will be three seats behind at 124, forming the Official Opposition. The Liberals will be in third, and due to their ideological position, will likely be the kingmaker, with 75 seats. The Bloc Quebecois will take 9 seats, 3 short of Official Party Status, and the Greens will increase their caucus to 3 seats.

The regional trends are mixed for the three major parties. The Conservatives are gaining in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, and declining in British Columbia and Ontario. The NDP is gaining in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, and declining in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The Liberals are gaining in British Columbia and Quebec, and declining in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. The Bloc Quebecois is declining in Quebec. The Greens are declining in Ontario, gaining in Quebec, and holding steady elsewhere.

What implications do these trends have? Well, in this case there are two sides to every coin. The Conservative gains in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Atlantic Canada represent returns to form in regions they have had a stronghold. This will bode well for maintaining their numbers, but at the same time, it’s not a route for expansion. Quebec is possibly the only main route for expansion in seat count for the Conservatives, and it bodes well for them that they are rising there. Declines in British Columbia and Ontario represent the losses of strongholds, and if Conservatives want to win, they should at least concentrate resources into Ontario.

The NDP gains in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada all have two things in common – they are all expansions into areas where they have not previously been strong, and they are Conservative strongholds. If they can successfully eat into the Conservative vote here, it may be enough to push the Conservatives down while pushing their own numbers up. This is especially crucial in Ontario – any party that wants to form government needs to win Ontario. In addition, inroads into Atlantic Canada hurt the Liberals, prime competitors with the NDP as the alternative to the Conservatives. If they can become the tactical party in Atlantic Canada, a place that has had strong Liberal polling for years, it bodes well for the NDP nationally. However, the vote increase may not be enough to offset declines in British Columbia and Quebec. British Columbia, though a Conservative stronghold, has been quite friendly towards the NDP in recent years, and Quebec is at the center of the NDP’s strategy. In addition, Alberta, though never a federal NDP stronghold, just recently elected Rachel Notley’s NDP to govern at the provincial level for the first time. Declines there, while not significant in terms of the Alberta NDP’s seat count in federal elections, may be a harbinger of strife to come.

The Liberal gains in British Columbia and Quebec represent boons to their electoral success. While British Columbia in terms of seats is a Conservative stronghold, the real hurt will come to the NDP if these gains are sustained and sufficient. The NDP has been polling quite well there, and it would hurt their chances of forming government if the Liberals gain at their expense there. Inroads into Quebec also push the NDP’s numbers down, and if the Liberals can overtake the NDP in Quebec, the entire NDP strategy falls apart, since the NDP strategy is centered on Quebec. Declines in Alberta and Saskatchewan/Manitoba do not represent much hurt to the Liberals, since they were at rock bottom there in 2011 anyway. However, the fact that they are declining in Ontario and Atlantic Canada is quite troubling for their chances. Ontario is crucial for all three major parties to win – without Ontario, there is little chance of forming government. Declines there with corresponding NDP gains may result in voters tactically voting for the NDP, sending large numbers away from the Liberals. Atlantic Canada, the one region to consistently have a Liberal plurality, has the Liberals now suffering in the polls. This also is a potential harbinger of ill fortune for the Liberal Party in their quest to form government.

The Bloc Quebecois honeymoon, also shown in the Abacus poll of the previous day, may be over. They are projected to form 9 seats, which is 3 shy of Official Party Status. They are also currently in fourth in the popular vote, similar to where they were before. However, if they can push down the numbers of other parties enough, they wouldn’t have to gain support to win more seats. The Greens, though still not projected to win any seats in British Columbia (I highly doubt Elizabeth May will lose her seat, but it may be a sign of potential inroads not happening), appear to be viable in Ontario and Quebec. This can bode well for Bruce Hyer, the other Green MP.

Seat Projection: Forum Poll, July 7, 2015