Thursday, August 28, 2008

Election preditions on August 28

I was not planning on updating the seat projections, but I had to use the latest CROP data in Quebec. Things are much worse for the BQ than I thought. I believe that there is a significant danger of the Liberal vote being squeezed and the Conservatives rapidly gaining seats in Quebec. If as little as 10% of Liberals from 2006 move to the leading federal party, Harper could gain a national majority

Adding the CROP data in gives us the following result:

  • Conservatives 145
  • Liberals 108
  • BQ 36
  • NDP 19
  • Ind 1
Currently the projections have the Conservatives closing in on a majority government.

The federal Liberals can not afford an election at this time. The party is in debt, they are not managing to raise the money they need - only raising what the NDP has been able to. Without a big campaign, the party is in trouble. At this time it is unclear if the party can remain competitive in more than 150 ridings. To put it in other terms, there is no possible way that the Liberals can win even a bare majority in the coming election.

The NDP will have roughly the same resources as the Liberals in the election, but will only have to focus on 50 or 60 ridings, one third of what the Liberals have to focus on at a minimum.

Even worse for the Liberals is that of the top 50 ridings for the NDP, ones they hold or have a chance, the Liberals hold 11 of them and are the main rival in 25 more. Almost one in four ridings where the Liberals need to win they are battling the NDP. For the NDP it is almost three quarters of their seats. It is inevitable that the NDP and Liberals should fight and fight hard

In contrast, the Conservatives are competitive in over 200 ridings, 127 of them which they hold. The party also has more money in the back and is better prepared for the election.

While there is a reasonable chance that the election result will be another minority government, but the campaign will be very different. The Liberals, BQ and NDP will be doing a lot of defence of traditional strong territories and effectively ceding a 125 seat advantage to the Conservatives. This simple reality will be that Harper will be on the offensive with a majority in sight.

The discussion above will be working its way into the modelling.
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