Seat Projection: Forum Poll, May 11, 2016

Forum has come out with a new poll detailing the state of the parties in Canada, and it’s good news for the Liberals. Forum has their support pegged at 52%, which is their second highest level of support since the election (they had 55% in the immediate aftermath). The Conservatives are in a stable second with 29%, which appears to be their floor. The NDP is currently in a dismal third with 11%. The Bloc Quebecois and Greens bring up the rear with 4% and 3%, respectively.

As to the last forum poll, my model projected 244 seats for the Liberals, 75 for the Conservatives, 10 for the NDP, 9 for the Bloc Quebecois, and 0 for the Greens.

Here is the seat projection for this latest poll with my model*:
British Columbia: 43% Liberal (29 seats), 33% Conservative (9 seats), 17% New Democratic (4 seats), 6% Green (0 seats)
Alberta: 52% Conservative (25 seats), 41% Liberal (9 seats), 4% New Democratic (0 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: 44% Conservative (16 seats), 42% Liberal (12 seats), 10% New Democratic (0 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)
Ontario: 54% Liberal (100 seats), 30% Conservative (18 seats), 11% New Democratic (3 seats), 4% Green (0 seats)
Quebec: 59% Liberal (71 seats), 15% Bloc Quebecois (3 seats), 13% Conservative (3 seats), 9% New Democratic (1 seat), 2% Green (0 seats)
Atlantic Canada: 61% Liberal (29 seats), 28% Conservative (3 seats), 8% New Democratic (0 seats), 2% Green (0 seats)
Total: 52% Liberal (253 seats), 29% Conservative (74 seats), 11% New Democratic (8 seats), 4% Bloc Quebecois (3 seats), 3% Green (0 seats)

**Since Northern Canada was not polled, I left their seats with the party that won them in 2015.

With these numbers, the Liberals are currently projected to have around three quarters of the House of Commons, and would make drastic gains if the election were held today. Their totals in Ontario and Quebec alone give them a majority government. Currently, they are up from the last poll in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and Quebec, the same in Ontario, and down in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. However, if they are able to stop the NDP from gaining in British Columbia and the Conservatives in Atlantic Canada, those losses will be reversed.

The Conservatives have stayed the same at the aggregate level, only dropping from 75 to 74 in the projected seat count. They have made gains in Atlantic Canada, stayed the same in British Columbia, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and Ontario, and declined in Alberta and Quebec. Their gains and declines are both related to changing fortunes for the Liberals. Due to the overwhelming leads the Liberals have everywhere but the three Prairie provinces, there are not as many paths open for the Conservatives to coming in first. Their short term priority should be opening up a wide lead in Saskatchewan and Manitoba so that they can at least consolidate the leads they have in their safest provinces. In the long term, they should try to take back British Columbia and Ontario, and at least attempt to eat into Liberal leads in Atlantic Canada, where their 2015 sweep is unlikely to take place a second time.

The NDP, already in a pitiful state, have dropped down to single digits in the seat count with 8, which would be worse than their disastrous 1993 result. The silver lining is that they have made gains in British Columbia and held steady in Alberta, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. They have, however, made worrying declines in Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Quebec. British Columbia may be statistical noise, but this is a key province to rebuilding their 2011 coalition. If there is a glimmer of hope, this is a good place to start. The harder part would be rebuilding their base in Quebec, where they are projected to win only one seat, down from the 16 they have currently.

The NDP have a long way to go if they even wish to replicate their 2015 result, so concentrating their forces is only one of these provinces may prove more fruitful. One fatal flaw in the NDP’s campaign strategy that undid the party was attempting to pander to both Western protest voters and Quebecers, which in many cases have diametrically opposed interests. They can either rebuild their populist base in the Prairies that have moved to the Conservatives but may look elsewhere now that the Conservatives are in opposition, or rebuild themselves in Quebec. If they can open up a lead in either of these regions, the NDP is back in play. If not, then they are doomed to third place for a while.

The Bloc Quebecois has to first concentrate on not bleeding support to any other party. However, if it will bleed support anyway, it should hope that it’s not going to any one place. Finding a way to divide the field in Quebec will net them seats in a first-past-the-post electoral system. The Greens should attempt to consolidate their support in Vancouver Island and get more than one seat, since Elizabeth May cannot carry the party’s mantle forever and a successor will need to take over eventually. It would be best for the party if this successor was an MP during that transition.

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Seat Projection: Forum Poll, May 11, 2016

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