The federal election campaign is now in full swing, and since it is longer, we are not seeing as many polls released at one time as before. Yesterday, NANOS released a poll they took the day after the first Leaders’ Debate. This poll displays a very tight three-way race. The Conservatives have a narrow lead with 31.2% of the vote, and the NDP follows close behind with 30.4%. The Liberals have caught up to the two parties with 28.6%, within striking distance of first place. The Greens have 5% and the Bloc Quebecois has 4.2%.
Here is the seat projection using my model*:
British Columbia: 41% New Democratic (25 seats), 29% Liberal (8 seats), 26% Conservative (9 seats), 4% Green (0 seats)
Prairies: 56% Conservative (54 seats), 19% New Democratic (4 seats), 18% Liberal (4 seats), 6% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 37% Conservative (67 seats), 29% Liberal (28 seats), 26% New Democratic (21 seats), 8% Green (5 seats)
Quebec: 39% New Democratic (51 seats), 28% Liberal (15 seats), 17% Bloc Quebecois (7 seats), 13% Conservative (5 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 48% Liberal (22 seats), 32% New Democratic (7 seats), 18% Conservative (3 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Total: 31.6% Conservative (140 seats), 30.4% New Democratic (109 seats), 28.6% Liberal (77 seats), 5% Green (5 seats), 4.2% Bloc Quebecois (7 seats)
*Since Northern Canada was not polled, I will leave their seats with the same parties for the sake of simplicity.
With this projection, the Conservatives have a plurality of seats, with 140 out of 338. This means that they have a chance of continuing on as a minority government. The NDP is in second place with 109 seats, which can mean forming an increased Official Opposition or a coalition government. The Liberals, ideologically between the Conservatives and NDP, have 77 seats, enough to push either party over the top. The Bloc Quebecois will increase their caucus to 7 seats, 5 short of Official Party Status, and the Greens will increase their caucus to 5 seats.
In terms of regional trends, the Conservatives have made gains in British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, and declines in Quebec. These gains nationwide are a boon for their chances at retaining a government. However, they are still behind their 2011 levels. This is not cause for much concern, though, on the part of the Conservative government – it has never been a likely scenario that they would gain seats after 9 years in power. They have to consolidate and build on these gains if they wish to get the elusive majority.
The NDP has regionally declined in British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, and gained in Quebec, the direct opposite of the Conservative Party. Naturally, this is worrisome for the party, but compared to the 2011 election not all is bleak. They are in a far better situation in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada now than they were then. They are in roughly the same situation in the Prairies and Ontario. However, they are a bit down from where they were in Quebec. Not to worry though, regarding Quebec – again, just like Conservative gains, retaining all 59 seats that they got in Quebec last time was an unsustainable measure from the get-go.
The Liberal picture is more positive than the NDP’s. They have made gains in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, and have risen back to a firm lead in Atlantic Canada. However, they have registered declines in the Prairies. Compared to their 2011 election result, they are doing quite phenomenally. In every region in Canada, they have improved their position.
The Bloc Quebecois has declined in its position in recent trends, but is still registering gains compared to 2011. The Greens have sharply declined in British Columbia, a worrying sign, but it remains to be seen whether this is a result of luck of the draw of those polled or whether it is representative of BC residents. However, they have a healthy amount of support in Ontario and can likely pick up seats there.