Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More polling results and more analysis of the election

All of the polling companies offer some degree of data, we are seeing a lot of information in this election from the polls and not only national numbers, but regional and sub regional numbers.

Ekos yesterday released data on the big cities and their suburbs. When looking at their data, I can see a few interesting trends.

In BC the data seems to indicate that outside of the Vancouver area the Liberals really are completely out of the race. The NDP is also far behind the Conservatives. What I take from this is that the NDP will be lucky to hold all four do the seats it has outside of the lower mainland. I personally believe they will lose Vancouver Island North and are in danger in BC Southern Interior.

In the suburbs of Vancouver the numbers say to me that we are looking at a Conservative sweep.

In Vancouver itself the Liberals are in the most trouble because they have dropped to 25%, effectively in a tie with the Conservatives. The NDP has a nice lead. I can see the Liberals only managing to retain Vancouver Centre and losing the others to the NDP and Conservatives.

In Ontario there is a nice divide in the province, the further you get from downtown Toronto the stronger the Conservatives get and the weaker the Liberals get. At this point the Conservatives are strong enough outside of the GTA to take a large percentage of the seats. The worst news in Ontario is for the NDP because they are running a distant third in all areas. The Liberals have enough strength in Toronto that the should be able to hold many of their seats there, but they are still going to lose some to Harper.

In Quebec the Liberals are the leading federalist party in the Montreal area but completely out of the money in the rest of the province. But even in the Montreal area the Bloc is the most popular party. Outside of Montreal the race really is Conservative versus Bloc with the Bloc marginally in the lead.

Looking at the Polling Observatory numbers updated yesterday. the Conservatives remain more or less stalled in the low 38% range, the Liberals are continuing a slow deline and are now 11 percentage points behind. The last few days have seen a decent rise for the NDP and taking them to almost where they were in 2006. The BLoc and Greens remain in and around 8%.

I am still convinced the trend is showing a strong Conservative majority, but not as strong as before. The biggest changes are in Quebec where the Bloc is gaining from the Conservatives. Also with better data from Ontario the Liberals are more concentrated and hold more seats.

Here is the quick and dirty seat projection based on no change in the numbers by Oct 14th:

  • Conservatives - 158
  • Liberals - 69
  • Bloc - 45
  • NDP - 33
  • Ind - 2
  • Green - 1

Recent polls are showing Quebec being in utter voter turmoil, the best I can read from the tea leaves is that there is some recovery among the Bloc and a nice split in a lot of ridings that should allow them to win a lot more than I orginally expected.

So where do I see the trends going? Given the Liberal Party induced problems in the NDP and the emerging vicious fight between the two parties, I can see the both parties being harmed by that. I can see both parties shedding some support to the Greens and the Conservatives.

If there is movement of voters I see it as the following. I see populist NDP supporters splitting 2 for 1 in BC for the Greens. Modern left New Democrats I see splitting half to the Greens and half staying at home, hardcore New Democrats feel there is no second choice for them. As to the Liberals, in BC I see most of them going to the Greens and in Ontario breaking 2 for 1 to the Conservatives. I refuse to guess how this will play out in the Atlantic provinces or Quebec.

My new estimate of final party support is as follows:
  • Conservatives - 40%
  • Liberals - 25.5%
  • NDP - 16.9%
  • Greens 9.2%
  • Bloc 8.2%

I need to crunch these numbers to see where it takes the election results, but I do think the NDP being Official Opposition is now outside the realm of realistic. Now having the Bloc there may become possible. Much depends on the Liberals being able to maintain a fortress of ridings in Montreal and Toronto.
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