Seat Projections: Forum Research and Abacus Data Polls, March 15-18, 2016

Ever since the Liberals came to power in the 2015 election, they have been in an extended political honeymoon. This honeymoon continues, though with slightly less intensity, in the two polls that have been released in the last week by Forum and Abacus Data.

Here is the seat projection for the March 15 Forum poll*:
British Columbia: 47% Liberal (33 seats), 26% Conservative (5 seats), 21% New Democratic (4 seats), 5% Green (0 seats)
Alberta: 58% Conservative (29 seats), 32% Liberal (5 seats), 6% New Democratic (0 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 44% Conservative (17 seats), 41% Liberal (11 seats), 10% New Democratic (0 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 46% Liberal (77 seats), 41% Conservative (40 seats), 10% New Democratic (4 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Quebec: 49% Liberal (66 seats), 16% Conservative (4 seats), 16% New Democratic (4 seats), 16% Bloc Quebecois (4 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 60% Liberal (29 seats), 30% Conservative (3 seats), 7% New Democratic (0 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Total: 46% Liberal (224 seats), 34% Conservative (98 seats), 12% New Democratic (12 seats), 4% Bloc Quebecois (4 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)

Here is the seat projection for the March 18 Abacus Data poll*:
British Columbia: 46% Liberal (32 seats), 23% Conservative (5 seats), 20% New Democratic (4 seats), 10% Green (1 seat)
Alberta: 54% Conservative (29 seats), 28% Liberal (5 seats), 9% New Democratic (0 seats), 5% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 41% Liberal (11 seats), 37% Conservative (14 seats), 12% New Democratic (2 seats), 10% Green (1 seat)
Ontario: 45% Liberal (85 seats), 35% Conservative (28 seats), 14% New Democratic (6 seats), 6% Green (2 seats)
Quebec: 45% Liberal (60 seats), 23% New Democratic (9 seats), 16% Bloc Quebecois (6 seats), 12% Conservative (3 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 56% Liberal (29 seats), 22% Conservative (2 seats), 16% New Democratic (1 seat), 5% Green (0 seats)
Total: 44% Liberal (225 seats), 29% Conservative (81 seats), 16% New Democratic (22 seats), 6% Green (4 seats), 4% Bloc Quebecois (6 seats)

*Since Northern Canada was not polled, I gave their seats to the party that currently holds them for the sake of simplicity.

With these numbers in mind, the Liberals, despite slightly declining in the popular vote, still would get roughly 2/3 of the seats in the House of Commons, 41 more than what they currently have. The Conservatives would have a stable, if reduced, opposition status, likely making 25-30% their floor. Abacus and Forum tell two different stories about the NDP – Forum shows that the NDP is still at its floor in terms of public opinion. However, Abacus shows that they may be rebounding somewhat to their 2015 results, even if that rebound only results in a projected win of half the seats they got in 2015. The Bloc Quebecois in both polls would drop back to a single-digit seat count, and the Greens would either be shut out or gain in the legislature.

Strategically, the Liberals have to be somewhat worried about Ontario. The Conservatives are consolidating in the seat-rich province, and if they wish to maintain their huge popularity, they should focus on keeping it in Ontario. Another worrying sign is the beginnings of the Conservatives reasserting themselves in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This is a departure from the Liberal lead since after the elections. The NDP, if it wishes to be a major force in Canadian politics again, needs to win back its former British Columbia and Quebec strongholds, as well as eat into the Liberal lead in Ontario, where it is losing badly.

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Seat Projections: Forum Research and Abacus Data Polls, March 15-18, 2016

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