It has been a wild few days in the world of political polls. For months, we have seen almost no changes – the Liberals have been ahead, but only slightly, over the Conservatives, the NDP have been struggling to remain relevant, the Bloc had been dipping, and the Greens stuck in neutral, despite remaining popular in BC.
Now so much has changed. Based on a new Léger poll in Québec and new numbers from Nik Nanos, it appears now as though despite the fact the Liberals still maintain their popular vote lead, they’ve lost enough ground in Ontario and BC, that we now safely can project that an election held today would be most likely to produce a minority CONSERVATIVE government. This is the first time this has been a true possibility in quite some time. Also, the NDP look like they’d lose official party status if an election were held today. Meanwhile, the Bloc Québécois looks like they’d regain official party status for the first time since they lost it in 2011.
IF AN ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY…
My projections currently show the following seat count totals for the parties if an election was held today:
Conservative – 163
Liberal – 147
Bloc Québécois – 12
New Democratic – 10
Green – 5
People’s – 1
What is extremely interesting and maybe puzzling about this new information is where the Conservative numbers are coming from. In general, for the Conservatives to form government, they need to be super strong in the Prairies, and at least get a few seats in Atlantic Canada. However, despite their gains in Ontario and Bc, they have actually somehow lost ground in the Prairies. Meanwhile, their Atlantic numbers have been consistently poor.
Maxime Bernier could be a major spoiler. New numbers have him polling 12% in Québec City, a major Conservative stronghold. In an election that looks like it will be extremely close, that could be a huge difference.
The Greens are now steadily polling around 20% in BC, which is exactly where they need to be to make some noise.
EYE ON QUÉBEC
In what is sure to be a battleground, the Liberals still hold their advantage. But the Bloc and Conservatives are gaining, at the expense of the NDP, mostly. This is strange because in general, across the rest of the country, when the NDP loses votes, they tend to go Liberal. However, in Québec, NDP supporters are often separatists, nationalists, or anti-pipeline voices, and so have switched to a party other than the Liberals in their vote intention.
We see a stronger showing than expected for the People’s Party which is extremely interesting. The Liberals simply have to do well in Québec and I’d watch for the Bloc to be big spoilers, especially with new leader Yves-Francois Blanchet appearing to be a strong candidate. The People’s party of “Mad Max” Bernier could turn out to be spoilers as well if they take some votes away from the Conservatives in some tight three or four-way races in and around Québec City.