The latest in a series of Manitoba polls by Mainstreet Research came out this morning. In this new poll, the plot thickens. The Progressive Conservatives remain in a significant lead with 52%. However, the governing NDP and the resurgent Liberals are tied at 20%, making it unclear who really is in second place. The Greens bring up the rear at 9%.
This represents an 8 point jump for the Progressive Conservatives, who were already ahead, corresponding nearly equally with a 7 point loss for the Liberals. The NDP lost 3 points, corresponding with a Green increase of 3 points. Last time around, this resulted in a projection of 37 PC’s, 10 Liberals, 9 NDP, and 1 Green in the Legislative Assembly.
Here is the latest seat projection using my model:
Winnipeg: 46% Progressive Conservative (22 seats), 23% New Democratic (5 seats), 21% Liberal (3 seats), 10% Green (1 seat)
Not Winnipeg: 61% Progressive Conservative (25 seats), 17% Liberal (1 seat), 14% New Democratic (0 seats), 8% Green (0 seats)
Total: 52% Progressive Conservative (47 seats), 20% New Democratic (5 seats), 20% Liberal (4 seats), 9% Green (1 seat)
This significant 8 point jump brings the projected seat count for the Progressive Conservatives to a landslide – 47 out of 57 seats. The NDP is back in second place in the seat count, but it coincides with a loss of four seats from last projection. The Liberals took a significant dive in the projection from 10 to 4. The Greens remain projected to win their first seat.
At this point, there is not much that any party could do to dislodge the PC lead unless the PC’s have a devastating scandal. If only one party was the opposition to the PC’s, that party would still only net 25 out of 57 seats, rendering it in second place still.
This means that at this point, every party that is not the Progressive Conservatives is in the running for second place at best.. The most the NDP can hope for is to survive as the Official Opposition, which will require consolidating the anti-PC vote in the province, which would be significant in Winnipeg, but not really help it outside of the city. However, any salvaging of the vote is difficult with a low ceiling brought on by Selinger’s low approval rates.
The Liberals, who have a higher ceiling of support and much less baggage, would have an easier path to second place and a potentially more substantial opposition. They have the ability to get votes outside of Winnipeg, which is crucial to this. However, they would have to replace the NDP in Winnipeg as well to hit opposition status due to the wide lead the PC’s have outside of the city.
The Greens, if the model is correct, would reach a huge milestone – their first seat. The best strategy for them is to concentrate resources in one or a few ridings with the most potential, and make an entrance into the mainstream of Manitoba politics that way.